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May 31, 2024

HSR Announces Recipients of the Health System Impact Award

Congratulations to the two winners of the 2023 HSR Health System Impact Award: Seppo Rinne, MD, PhD, of HSR’s Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR) and VA Bedford Healthcare System; and Leslie Hausmann, PhD, MS, of HSR’s Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System! The award honors HSR- and QUERI-funded research that has had a direct and important impact on clinical practice or clinical policy within VA healthcare—and that has been successfully translated into VA policy or operations.

Seppo Rinne, MD, PhD

Seppo Rinne, MD, PhD

Dr. Rinne is a practicing pulmonologist, critical care physician, and board-certified informaticist who leads several QUERI- and HSR- funded initiatives focused on VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM). Through his leadership of QUERI’s EHRM Partnership Integrating Rapid Cycle Evaluation to Improve Cerner Implementation (EMPIRIC), Dr. Rinne and his team have demonstrated EHRM issues with user experience, Veteran safety, and organizational readiness that influenced VA decision-making about the EHRM rollout, providing evidence-based insights to the Under Secretary for Health, EHRM leaders, and field-based leaders. Dr. Rinne also leads QUERI’s Strengthening Cerner Implementation for Health Professions Trainees to Optimize Learning and Reinforce Veteran Care (SCHOLAR), which partners with VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations to assess and improve trainees’ experiences with EHRM. This evaluation identified unique challenges that trainees face during EHRM, leading to the development of a Health Professions Trainee Council and guiding targeted initiatives that have improved onboarding and training with the new electronic health record (EHR) system. Collectively, this work has raised awareness of user concerns and laid the groundwork for a learning health system approach that can progressively improve user experience and EHR use in VA.

Leslie Hausmann, PhD, MS

Leslie Hausmann, PhD, MS

Dr. Hausmann is a social psychologist and former HSR Career Development Awardee who currently serves as Associate Director of CHERP. She received the 2023 HSR Health System Impact Award for leading the development and dissemination of the VHA Primary Care Equity Dashboard (PCED), an innovative tool designed to promote equity-guided quality improvement (QI) by empowering the VHA workforce to identify and address healthcare inequities affecting their patient populations. By identifying demographic subgroups that are experiencing disparities in key quality measures within and across VA medical centers, the PCED provides a roadmap for QI teams and an implementation tool for researchers as they design, implement, and evaluate equity-focused initiatives. It has become a powerful, widely used tool for advancing equity-guided projects at local, regional, and national levels, with more than 6,400 active users based at 130 VAMCs spanning all 18 VISNs, as well as operational leaders based in VA Central Office. The PCED has been adopted by the VA Office of Health Equity as a flagship tool for education and outreach and was cited in VA’s enterprise-wide Equity Action Plan to support the strategy priority to “advance equity by reducing health disparities, ensure access to high-quality health care for every eligible Veteran, and use equity-informed approaches to better reach underserved Veterans.”

HSR is grateful to Drs. Rinne and Hausmann for their valuable research, dedication, and continuing contributions toward improving the VA healthcare system and the care we provide for our Veterans.

HSR also thanks the Health System Impact Award nominees for their important work that improves the VA healthcare system and Veteran care:

  • Lisa Callegari, MD, MPH, of HSR's Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care (DiSCoVVR), leads the MyPath reproductive health program as well as the National Contraceptive Access Initiative under the Office of Women's Health.
  • Alicia Cohen, MD, MSc, of HSR’s Center of Innovation in Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), co-leads the VA Assessing Circumstances and Offering Resources for Needs (ACORN) initiative.
  • Orna Intrator, PhD, of the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System, leads the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care Data and Analysis Center (GECDAC).
  • Anne Sales, PhD, RN, of HSR’s Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), leads Long-Term Care QUERI (LTC QUERI).
  • Christopher Slatore, MD, MS, of HSR’s Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, co-leads the National Center for Lung Cancer Screening (NCLCS).
  • Courtney Van Houtven, PhD, of HSR’s Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT), leads QUERI’s Caregivers FIRST and VA CARES, and the RIVR project “Advancing Science of Population-based measures of Independence to help Veterans REmain at Home” (ASPIRE).
  • Todd Wagner, PhD, leads HSR’s Health Economics Resource Center (HERC), co-leads QUERI’s Center for Policy Evaluation (CPE), and is also an investigator with HSR’s Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i).

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