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Research News

HSR&D Investigators Honored at AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

July 3, 2018

VA’s Health Services Research & Development Service (HSR&D) was well-represented among both award recipients and presenters at the AcademyHealth 2018 Annual Research Meeting (ARM), which was held June 24-26 in Seattle, WA. There were several VA sessions at the Meeting, including:

  • “Preventing Suicides: VA, DoD, and Community Health System Strategies for Research-to-Practice Efforts,” which focused on the challenges and opportunities in implementing suicide prevention efforts across a range of health systems;
  • “Recent Developments in Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders” that examined new evidence regarding optimal treatment for opioid use disorders, and was chaired by Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD, VA’s Chief Research & Development Officer; and
  • “20 Years of QUERI: From Clinical Implementation to Healthcare System Sustainability” that was chaired by Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, QUERI (Quality Enhancement Research Initiative) Director, and highlighted incredible strides in this program – now an international leader in the field of implementation science.

Please visit the HSR&D podcast webpage to hear from HSR&D investigators interviewed during ARM on their presentations, ranging in topic from caregiver support to end-of-life care to Veterans’ experiences with the Choice Program.


Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, an HSR&D Career Development Awardee and part of HSR&D’s Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion (CHERP) located in Philadelphia, received AcademyHealth’s Alice B. Hersh New Investigator Award. This prestigious award recognizes scholars early in their careers as health services researchers who show exceptional promise for future contributions. Dr. Patel's research focuses on studying innovative ways to change health behaviors and improve health outcomes by combining digital health approaches that collect data using wireless and wearable devices with engagement strategies that leverage insights from behavioral economics. He has led more than 10 clinical trials that evaluated financial and social incentive designs within hospitals and in partnership with insurers, employers, and community organizations. Dr. Patel also is Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit –the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within a health system.

Leah Zullig, PhD, MPH, an HSR&D Career Development Awardee and a core investigator at the Durham Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, received the Women and Gender Health: Carol Weisman and Gary Chase Gender-Based Research Award for her abstract titled “Telehealth Services Designed for Women: An Evidence Map.” Presented each year as part of AcademyHealth’s Gender and Health Interest Group Meeting, this award recognizes excellence in gender-based research.

Best Abstracts

The following Abstracts by HSR&D investigators were selected as the most outstanding research submitted for presentation in the Call for Papers Themes (underlined):

  • Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, Director of VA HSR&D’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI), and Mark Bauer, MD, part of HSR&D’s Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR). Translation, Dissemination, Implementation, and Impact. “12 Month Outcomes of a Cluster Randomized Implementation Trial to Enhance Uptake of a Mood Disorders Collaborative Care Model in Community Practices.”
  • Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, part of HSR&D’s Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion (CHERP). Payment and Delivery Systems Innovations. “A Pragmatic Policy Trial Testing Larger Bonus Sizes and the Behavioral Economic Principles of Loss Aversion and Social Pressure in Physician Pay-for-Performance.”
  • Edwin Wong, PhD, HSR&D Career Development Awardee and part of HSR&D’s Center for Innovations for Veteran-Centered and Value Drive-Care. Organizational Behavior and Management. “Effects of the VA Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative on Healthcare Utilization: Results after Four Years.”

AcademyHealth is the leading professional organization for health services researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners, and is a non-partisan informational resource for health services research and policy. Recognition of VA research across multiple areas at this high-profile meeting reflects positively on VA's research mission, and is of importance in disseminating valuable lessons learned via research conducted within the nation's largest integrated healthcare system.

Eve Kerr, MD, MPH, Director of HSR&D’s Center for Clinical Management Research, was elected by the members of AcademyHealth to chair the planning committee for next year’s annual meeting that will be held in Washington, DC in early June.

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