Director: Neal Axon, MD
Associate Director: Kenneth Ruggiero, Ph.D.
About the COIN
This Center's mission is to improve access and equity in healthcare for all Veterans by eliminating geographic, racial/ethnic, and gender-based disparities.
Focused Areas of Research
HEROIC's focused areas of research include:
HEROIC seeks to improve equity in healthcare and reduce disparities in health outcomes through the development and testing of innovative, patient-centered,
and culturally-tailored interventions. A wide range of medical and psychiatric outcomes in rural and minority Veterans will be targeted through patient
(e.g., self-management) and provider (e.g., patient-provider communication) level interventions. HEROIC also will develop, test, and disseminate innovative
methodologies for analyzing health equity data, and will work with key partners to establish a VA equity report card using VA administration data.
Access to Care
HEROIC will focus on increasing access to care by developing interventions that address the geographical, temporal, financial, cultural, and digital
dimensions that influence access to care, as well as Veterans' perceptions of care and their perceived need for care. This will be done through the
development of innovative strategies and resources to improve access to high-quality care and the evaluation of strategies for increased implementation of
effective telehealth interventions in the VA. HEROIC also will work with key partners to identify and refine new metrics for measuring access to care in
both primary and specialty care settings.
HEROIC aims to improve health outcomes among rural Veterans by examining the increasing role of technology on access. Emphasis will be placed on:
Understanding barriers to care within the context of an increasingly technology-driven healthcare system; and
Working with operational partners to develop performance measures that--
- more accurately reflect actual and perceived indices of access,
acknowledge the role of technology on access to care, and
- capture differential outcomes with regard to technology-based interventions that may exist among rural and minority Veterans.
HEROIC investigators will conduct longitudinal analyses across multiple medical and mental health conditions to assess the contribution of rural/urban
disparities, and develop tailored interventions to improve health outcomes.