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2023 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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2001 — Engagement is at our CORE: Sharing the successful model of the Pain/Opioid CORE Veteran Engagement initiative

Lead/Presenter: Tracy Sides,  COIN - Minneapolis
All Authors: Sides T (Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research, Minneapolis VA Health Care System) Amundson EC (Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research, Minneapolis VA Health Care System) Miedema K (HSRD Pain/Opioid CORE Veteran Engagement Panel member) Washington K (HSRD Pain/Opioid CORE Veteran Engagement Panel member) Jensen A (Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research, Minneapolis VA Health Care System/Veteran)

To share the successful model of the national Pain/Opioid Consortium of Research (CORE) Veteran Engagement initiative, which promotes co-learning and community building between HSRD researchers and the Veterans we serve.


Veterans who have personal experience with chronic pain, opioid medications, or opioid use disorder; although lessons learned in this forum can be applied to all Veteran populations.

Breaking the ice…why is it an essential component of successful Veteran Engagement? (15 minutes) Icebreaker activities strengthen bonds among panel members and create connections with visiting researchers. Attendees will participate in an icebreaker together. Building national Veteran Engagement Panels (VEP) to support HSRD initiatives: (15 minutes) Forum moderators (comprised of Veterans and research staff) will share lessons learned from building a national VEP and share highlights from two years of VEP consultations with researchers from across the country. Topics include seeking diverse Veteran partners, training tips, compensation for VEP members, and creating a welcoming environment for researchers at all career stages. What are best practices to prepare both researchers and Veteran partners for a great engagement experience? (20 minutes) Moderators will 1) describe three essential roles – trained meeting facilitators, Veteran panel members, and researchers; 2) share pre-meeting preparation processes for Veterans and researchers; 3) illustrate how to encourage co-learning during engagement meetings; and and 4) demonstrate how using tools like polls and chat enrich interaction. Handouts of meeting materials and processes will be shared. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions. How can breakout sessions be used to encourage detailed feedback? (20 minutes) Moderators will share tactics for effective use of breakout sessions both in person and in the virtual space. Attendees will move to breakout groups and participate in an exercise to gain feedback on a topic such as developing ground rules to ensure members feel equally part of the group. What evaluation methods can be used to improve the engagement experience? (20 minutes) Moderators will share methods for short- and long-term evaluation of engagement experience and discuss the importance of communicating impact of VEP consultations back to the VEP (examples provided). Forum attendees will discuss their ideas for continuous improvement of the engagement experience.

Veterans, investigators, and staff. All conference attendees with enthusiasm or curiosity about engagement (regardless of direct experience) are encouraged to attend.