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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion


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VA HSR&D Field-Based Health Equity Meeting - September 2016

VA HSR&D Field-based Meeting to Engage Diverse Stakeholders and Operational Partners in Advancing Health Equity in the VA Healthcare System


Co-hosted by the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) and the Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC), this meeting brought together approximately 100 health equity investigators, representatives of vulnerable Veteran populations, and VA operational leaders committed to improving the quality and equity of health and health care for three specific at-risk populations: (1) racial and ethnic minority Veterans; (2) homeless Veterans; and (3) Veterans from the LGBT community. It was held on September 20-21, 2016 at the Sheraton University City Hotel in Philadelphia, PA

The objectives of the meeting focused on these at-risk populations were to:

• Identify opportunities and promising strategies to improve the quality and equity of health and health care for these at-risk populations;

• Obtain stakeholder insights and recommendations to ensure that Veteran and operational perspectives inform HSR&D priorities and strategies for developing and testing interventions to reduce disparities in health and health care; and

• Identify priorities, opportunities, and strategies to support broad implementation of effective interventions to improve the quality and equity of Veteran health and health care.

Keynote Speakers:

Jeroan J. Allison, MD, MS:  "Ending Health Inequity:  Meta-lessons from 15 years in the field"
Co-Editor-in-Chief of Medical Care, the Official Journal of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association and Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences and Associate Vice Provost for Health Disparities Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD: "NIMHD Contributions to and Priorities for Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities and Opportunities for Synergy"
Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health


We are pleased to make available video recordings of the event for those who were unable to attend.

Click on the links below to watch video of individual invited talks, slide decks, and moderated panel discussions from this lively and well received meeting. You can also watch each themed session in entirety by clicking the underlined session links. 

Conference Agenda - DAY 1

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016


Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, MBA

Ending Health Inequity: Meta-lessons from 15 years in the field

Jeroan Allison, MD, MS

Summary of State of the Science

Karli Kondo, PhD, MA and Kimberly Peterson, MS

Introduction to Plenary Session: Interventions to Improve the Quality and Equity of Health

(Click this link to watch all three Plenary talks - 1 hr. 9 min.)

Leonard Egede, MD, MS

Plenary Session: Testing an implementation support strategy: Using Getting To Outcomes to facilitate the use of an evidence-based practice in VA homeless programs

Sharon McCarthy, PhD, LSW, MBA

Plenary Session: Evaluation of a network-wide effort to reduce racial disparities in hypertension

Leslie Hausmann, PhD

Plenary Session: Exploring racial variation in acceptability and outcomes of an internet and telephone support intervention for stroke caregivers

Constance Uphold, PhD, ARNP, FAAN

Strategies to Engage Veteran Patients in Research & Quality Improvement Efforts

(Click this link to watch the session in entirety - 1 hr. 37 min.)

Session Moderators: Leonard Egede, MD, MS and Jennifer Gala True, PhD

Invited Talk: Introduction to Veteran Engagement

Jennifer Gala True, PhD

Presentation: The needs of marginalized women Veterans: A call to create space for intersectional identities

Karie Gaska, PhD, MSW

Presentation: Association of social determinants of health with medical conditions among transgender Veterans: Evidence from electronic health records

John Blosnich, PhD, MPH

Presentation: Racial/ethnic differences in contraceptive preferences and beliefs: Findings from the Examining Contraceptive Use and Unmet Need among Women Veterans (ECUUN) study

Lisa Callegari, MD, MPH

Moderated Veteran Stakeholder Panel Discussion

• Michael Callahan, MSW – Coordinator of Veteran Services, Monmouth University
• Rhonda Dennis – Forensic Peer Specialist; Wellness Recovery Action Plan Facilitator; Equal Opportunity Employment Office LGBT Special Emphasis Program Manager, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC
• Alex Glover, BS – Director of Veterans Services, Transition Projects
• Earl Newsome, III – Deputy Director, Center for Minority Veterans

Strategies for Meaningful Engagement of Operational Partners

(Click this link to watch the session in entirety - 1 hr. 53 min.)

Session Moderators: Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, MBA and Leslie Hausmann, PhD

Invited Talk: Office of Health Equity: Overview of stakeholder engagement

Uchenna Uchendu, MD

Invited Talk: Office of Health Equity-QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative

Donna Washington, MD, MPH

Presentation: Assessing the culture of inclusion and respectfulness in VA: Efforts to address racism, sexism, and heterosexism

Avy Skolnik, PhD

Presentation: Factors influencing Veterans’ access to permanent supportive housing

Meagan Cusack, MS

Presentation: How big data, precision oncology, and the moonshot initiative are improving equity in cancer care for Veterans

Julie Lynch, PhD, RN, MBA

Moderated Panel Discussion

• Uchenna Uchendu, MD – Chief Officer, VHA Office of Health Equity
• Michael Kauth, PhD – Director, LGBT Program, VHA Office of Patient Care Services
• Jillian Shipherd, PhD - Director, LGBT Program, VHA Office of Patient Care Services
• Jill Albanese, LCSW – Regional Coordinator, Supported Services for Veteran Families Program
• Joe Francis, MD, MPH – Chief Quality and Performance Officer, VHA Office of Informatics and Analytics


Conference Agenda - DAY 2

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Welcome and Keynote Introduction

Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, MBA

NIMHD Contributions to and Priorities for Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities and Opportunities for Synergy

Eliseo Perez-Stable, MD

Case Studies of Implementation Efforts to Improve the Quality and Equity of Health Care Within the VA

(Click this link to watch the session in entirety - 1 hr. 21 min.)

Session Moderator: Michael Fine, MD, MSc

Invited Talk: Using implementation science to increase the impact of health equity research

Matthew Chinman, PhD

Presentation: Improving access to and engagement in services for Veterans with multiple social, medical, and mental health needs: examples from BridgeQUERI

Keith McInnes, ScD, MS

Presentation: Connecting Veterans to post-incarceration health care: Integrating process mapping and stakeholder interviews to guide a peer-based intervention

Bo Kim, PhD

Moderated Panel Discussion

• Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH – Acting Director, HSR&D; Director, QUERI
• Brian Mittman, PhD, MA – Senior Implementation Scientist, VA Center for Implementation Practice and Research Support, VAGLAHS
• Matthew Chinman, PhD – Director, Implementation & Evaluation Core, CHERP; Research Associate VISN4 MIRECC; Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND

Summary of Meeting Findings and Recommendations

Michael Fine, MD, MSc

Meeting Adjourned


Call for Manuscripts:


Following the Field-Based Meeting, the meeting sponsors (two national VA HSR&D Centers for Innovation focused on health equity – the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) and the Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC)) will collaborate with Medical Care, a preeminent health services research journal to publish a supplemental issue on “The State of Science” in VA Health Equity. This supplement will summarize key findings and recommendations and feature invited editorials and key papers from the meeting. Original research papers focused on the science of documenting, understanding, and intervening on health care disparities among vulnerable populations served by the VA Healthcare System or highly relevant to Veteran health and health care are invited. All manuscripts will undergo standard peer review by the Medical Care editors and peer referees as defined by the Medical Care policy. Accepted manuscripts will be evaluated for inclusion into the supplement. Those that are not selected for the supplement will be considered for publication in the standard journal issue. Potential authors should go to Instructions for Authors on the Medical Care website.  Word limit for original manuscripts is 3,500 and 2,000 for brief reports. The manuscript submission deadline has been extended to December 1, 2016. Using the online submission system, select “VA Health Equity Supplement” from the drop down menu. 

Please Note: VA servers may block the receipt of registration confirmation emails and other important email communications from the journal Medical Care to authors.
Both corresponding authors and co-authors are strongly encouraged to use non-VA email addresses in their manuscript submission request to ensure that all authors receive the relevant and time sensitive communications related to their manuscripts submission and are able to respond to requests from the journal for further information in a timely manner.

For more information, please contact the co-guest editors at