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HSR&D National Meeting Emphasizes Collaboration

"Teaming Up for High VAlue Care" was the theme of the 28th VA Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) National Meeting held in February. This year's theme emphasized HSR&D's priority to establish and maintain close collaborative relationships with its VA partners, so that research is more responsive and the findings are more likely to be implemented into practice. The meeting brought together policymakers, clinicians, and researchers, enabling participants to gain exposure to each other's work, to understand each other's needs, and to develop collaborative relationships that will ultimately enhance the health care provided to Veterans.

More than 650 attendees had access to 90 papers, 21 workshops, and 113 posters on vital health care issues, such as: chronic disease management, mental health, substance use disorders, homelessness among Veterans, women Veterans' health care needs, issues specifically related to deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan (e.g., traumatic brain injury, PTSD) and presentations from HSR&D's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI). Many of these studies depend upon partnerships between HSR&D and other VA programs and offices, such as the Office of Quality and Performance, Patient Care Services, and the Office of Information & Technology.

Meeting highlights included a keynote address by VA's Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, Robert Jesse, M.D., Ph.D. The title of his talk was "Transactional Quality" and he spoke about the importance of differentiating between "delivering health care," which is what VA provides to patients, and "health care delivery," which pertains to the systems that enable this care. Other meeting highlights included the presentation of awards. Paul Shekelle, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., received the Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (see related article below). Seth Eisen, M.D., M.Sc., Director of HSR&D, presented the Post-Doctoral Poster Award to Lauren Broyles, Ph.D., R.N., of HSR&D's Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion, for her study on alcohol screening.

Dr. Eisen addressed meeting participants about the future and HSR&D's priorities, which include: engaging VHA partners in health services research; further aligning investigators with the needs of VA; increasing research synergy and reducing scientific overlap; speeding implementation of research findings; and maintaining investigator- initiated research. The National Meeting was hosted by HSR&D's Northwest Center for Outcomes Research in Older Adults, located in Seattle, WA.

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