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Research News


VHA Shark Tank Competition Announces 2022 Semifinalists

June 24, 2022


Five HSR&D investigators advanced to the VHA Shark Tank semifinals! The Competition helps identify innovations that promote positive outcomes and improve experiences for both Veterans and the VA workforce. Congratulations to David Au, MD, MS, Lucas Donovan, MD, MS, and Laura Feemster, MD, MS, core investigators with HSR&D’s Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care; Deidre Quinn, PhD, MSc, a core investigator with HSR&D’s Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion (CHERP); and Courtney Van Houtven, PhD, MSc, who is part of HSR&D’s Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Change (ADAPT) and co-leads the Function QUERI Program.

  • Au, Donovan (CDA awardee), and Feemster are pulmonologists and health services researchers. Their promising practice – Proactive Specialty Care Population Management for COPD – leverages behavioral economic principles to expand the reach of guideline-based therapies for COPD in primary care. Prior trials demonstrate that their practice improves the quality of services patients receive and leads to meaningful improvement in their quality of life.
  • Quinn (CDA awardee) is a health services researcher whose focus is on advancing the quality and equity of reproductive health and healthcare for women Veterans. Her promising practice Contraception on Demand employs two evidence-based strategies – pharmacist-led contraceptive prescribing and 12-month dispensing – to increase contraceptive access for Veterans, improve Veterans’ experiences with VA reproductive healthcare, and meaningfully expand VA clinical pharmacists’ scope of practice.
  • Van Houtven (Research Career Scientist) works to support family caregivers of Veterans and to identify care models that meet the preferences of Veterans to remain safely in their homes. Her promising practice – CaregiversFIRST – is a skills training course designed to help general caregivers connect with other caregivers and VA staff to learn and practice coping, support seeking, and hands-on-skills to help them in their caregiving role.

Finalists will be announced on August 15th. From August through October, the finalists will then prepare to pitch their practice live at the VHA Shark Tank Competition during the VHA Innovation Experience (iEX), which will be held October 25-27, 2022.


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