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2012 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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2012 National Meeting

2009 — Building the Plane While Flying It: Lessons from the VA Homelessness Health Services Research-National Center on Homelessness Partnership

Kilbourne AM, VA Ann Arbor CCMR/SMITREC; Kane V, VA National Center on Homelessness among Veterans; Kertesz S, VA Birmingham Center for Surgical, Medical Acute Care Research and Transitions; Saxon A, Seattle VA Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education; O'Toole T, VA Providence Center on Systems, Outcomes, & Quality in Chronic Disease & Rehabilitation;

Workshop Objectives:
Practice-research partnerships can be complicated to implement given divergent timelines and priorities, and the need for researchers to be flexible in their study designs to address day-to-day crises faced by VA program offices. In light of these challenges, the objectives of this workshop are to 1) describe the evolution of the partnership between the VA National Center on Homelessness among Veterans (NCHV) and HSR&D’s VA Homelessness Health Services Research Initiative (VAHHSRI) and 2) lessons learned from the methodological challenges and opportunities arising from this unique partnership to inform future implementation research. VAHHSRI is a practice-research partnership involving NCHV as well as Patient Care Services and Operations (10N) to support the Secretary’s goal of ending homelessness among Veterans by 2015.

We will provide an overview of the four projects associated with VAHHSRI, how NCHV informed their development and implementation, and how each of the projects was adapted to respond to changing NCHV and VACO priorities. First, we will walk through the development and implementation of a VACO National Directive aimed at preventing mortality among Veterans using population-based panel management, and how it was adapted to help prevent homelessness. Second, we will describe the development and implementation of a multisite Homeless Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) randomized controlled trial in light of rapid shifts in “usual care” for this group. Third, we will discuss how NCHV's Housing First program initiative helped to frame a project to organizationally assess barriers and facilitators to implementation, emphasizing points of collaboration and the impact of shared expertise and resources. Finally, we describe the application of measurement-based care strategies to assess housing outcomes within substance use treatment for homeless Veterans. Ultimately, this workshop will provide important lessons to VA health services researchers on how partnerships with VA leadership not only enhance the science of their work but also lead to policy-relevant research based on flexible study designs to maximize the impact of rapidly developing VACO initiatives.

Target Audience:
HSR&D researchers and VA policy/operations leaders interested in developing meaningful partnerships that enhance the health services research field.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
Some familiarity with VA databases and resources, implementation research, and/or VA operations/policy.

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