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VA Health Systems Research

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Projects by Independent VA Investigators (IVIs)

Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs)

The Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs) program is a new HSR funding mechanism that gives researchers the opportunity to pursue a five-year impact goal. Each RIVR impact goal aligns with VA priority areas including VA legislative priorities (e.g., MISSION Act); cross-cutting ORD priorities (e.g. PTSD); other HSR defined clinical priorities (e.g. Health Equity); and HSR methodological priorities (e.g. Data Sciences, Implementation Sciences, Systems Engineering). Impact goals for RIVRS could include changes in VA policy or clinical guidelines, spread of operational processes across VISNs, scaling of an effective intervention to 2-3 additional sites, advancements in health services research methods, or any other impacts that have real-world effects on Veteran health and satisfaction.

San Francisco

Current RIVR project

Evaluating the Implementation of a Novel Whole Health Pathway: A Model for Engaging Veterans in VA and Community Wellness Programs Using Telehealth and Web-Based Technology

Principal Investigator: Natalie Purcell, PhD, MPA

The goal of this project is to facilitate implementation of a sustainable Whole Health Pathway that engages Veterans in proactive wellness programs tailored to their personal health goals. This Pathway model uses a centralized consult process—facilitated by an innovative web-based application and telehealth technology—to coordinate Veterans’ access to health coaching and holistic wellness services both in VA and in the community. Investigators will implement, evaluate, and disseminate this Pathway in two phases. During Phase 1 (Years 1-3), the intervention will be rolled out across the San Francisco VA Health Care System and a “RE-AIM” implementation evaluation will be conducted, assessing the Pathway’s reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. This will include a prospective observational study to assess the Pathway’s effectiveness in improving Veteran health, quality of life, health services utilization, and satisfaction. During Phase 2 (Years 4-5), an implementation toolkit will be developed to support dissemination of Pathway components found to be effective. Investigators will then partner with the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation VISN 21 Field Implementation Team to facilitate Pathway dissemination at 3 additional VISN 21 sites.


Current RIVR project

Enhancing Veteran Community Reintegration Research (ENCORE)

Principal Investigator: Karen Besterman-Dahan, PhD, RD

The goal of this project is to improve VA policies, programs, and services that support Veteran community reintegration (CR). Two strategic objectives will guide ENCORE activities: (1) mobilize Veteran CR research and (2) promote innovation, relevance, and acceleration of Veteran CR research and knowledge translation. Successful achievement of ENCORE’s goal will be measured by meeting project milestones and benchmarks including deliverables developed by the multi-stakeholder partnership (MSP: partnership among those who produce research and those who use it in order to enhance the relevance of research and facilitate its use), ENCORE-informed research proposal submissions, and knowledge translation (KT) of research and MSP consensus into VA policies and programs.