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VA Patient-Centered Specialty Care Education Centers of Excellence


The VA Patient-Centered Specialty Care Education Centers of Excellence (SCE COE) foster the transformation of clinical education and patient care by preparing graduates of health professional schools and programs to work in and lead patient-centered interdisciplinary and/or interprofessional teams providing specialty care in the setting of coordinated longitudinal primary care.

New Specialty Care Centers of Excellence

Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health (POSH) Sandhya Lagoo-Deenadayalan, MD and Mitch Heflin, MD, COE Program Directors


The Durham VA Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health (POSH) aims to establish an interprofessional, multidisciplinary service that ushers patients from their initial primary care provider surgical referral to their post-operative follow-up. In addition, they will be providing a point-of-care educational experience that is patient and family-centered, crossing traditional boundaries of discipline and professionalism, while establishing communication and continuity across settings and systems.

Interprofessional Healthcare Team Includes: Nursing, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Social Work, Anesthesiology, and Physical Therapy

Affiliates: Duke University

Cognitive Disorders Specialty Care in Education Center of Excellence Anne Tomolo, MD and Corrine Abraham, RN, DNP


The Atlanta VA Cognitive Disorders Specialty Care in Education Center of Excellence focuses on an interprofessional approach to the care of Veterans with cognitive disorders. The SCE COE will provide specialty services, ranging from confirmation of diagnosis of a cognitive disorders to assistance with behavioral health related issues and end of life care and planning, as patients experience functional and cognitive decline.

Interprofessional Healthcare Team Includes: Internal Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Neurology, Geriatrics, Palliative Care, and Psychiatry

Affiliates: Emory University and Morehouse University

Existing Specialty Care Centers of Excellence

Integrated Cancer Care Center Lisa Arfrons, MD and Jennifer Smith, NP CoE Program Directors


The VA Integrated Cancer Care Center located in Cleveland, Ohio focuses on integrated healthcare for those patients with colon/rectal cancer, melanoma, sarcoma, soft tissue tumors, breast cancer, and thyroid and other endocrine cancers. The goal of this SC CoE is to provide timely, patient-centered interdisciplinary and interprofessional oncology specialty care to patients referred by their primary care provider. Interprofessional healthcare team includes: Surgery, Hematology & Oncology, Dermatology, Nursing, Social Work, Interventional Radiology, Psychology, Nursing, Nurse Practitioners, and Primary Care.

Affiliates: Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland (Dermatology and Family Medicine).

Women’s Health Center Denise Williams, MD, CoE Program Director


The Atlanta VA Women’s Health Center focuses on comprehensive healthcare service for female Veterans, emphasizing prevention, overall health promotion, mental health support, and reproductive health care. Interprofessional healthcare team includes: Ob/Gyn, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, Physician Assistants, Nutrition and Dermatology.

Affiliates: Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory University School of Medicine and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

Integrated Musculoskeletal Care Clinic Michael Battista, MD, CoE Program Director

salt lake

The SLC VA Integrated Musculoskeletal Care Clinic focuses on patient-centered care for those Veterans diagnosised with common and/or complex musculoskeletal disorders. Interprofessional healthcare team includes; Primary Care, Orthopedic Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, and Orthopedic Surgery.

Affiliates: University of Utah School of Medicine (Rheumatology, Endocrinology, IM and Orthopedics) and the University of Utah College of Nursing (Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy in the College of Health).

Patient-Centered Specialty Care Education Model

  • Disruptive Innovation/Cultural Change – Use of technology and principles of system redesign to deliver specialty care that is more accessible to Veterans and more efficient than the current care model.
  • Integrated Care - Enhance consultative services to care clinicians, specialty-primary care communication, and transitions between various sites and levels of care.
  • Patient-Centered Care – respecting the preferences of patients and making patients integral members of the treatment team.
  • Education – Centers will utilize ambulatory settings, such as VA’s Patient-Aligned Care Teams, inpatient settings, and/or transitions between inpatient and outpatient settings to develop and test innovative, team-based, interprofessional approaches for providing timely, patient-centered specialty care to Veterans.
Coordinating Center Contacts:
Judy Brannen, MD, MBA – Clinical Director, Undergraduate and Graduate Medical Education
Christy Clary, MSW – Senior Project Manager, SCE COE