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Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar Series

Upcoming Session 


Social Risks for Adverse Health Outcomes Among Veterans

12:00 PM EST - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Registration Link:

 Session Description

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has been successful in reducing disparities in health and patient outcomes. However, disparities that are often the result of social and behavioral determinants of health, including financial and nonfinancial barriers to care, remain and often result in adverse health outcomes.

The July 2019 Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar will highlight: 1) Findings from a recent evaluation that examined racial/ethnic mortality disparities among a national cohort of VA healthcare users; 2) Findings from a nationally representative survey of nearly 5,000 Veterans that examined associations of future hospitalizations and social and behavioral determinants of health; and, 3) an innovative program that addresses Veterans’ social determinants of health at the point of clinical care.

Confirmed Speakers

  Michelle Wong 

Michelle Wong, PhD
VHA Health Equity Roundtable Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

   Donna Zulman

Donna Zulman, MD, MS
Investigator, Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i) in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Assistant Professor, Division of General Medical Disciplines at Stanford University

   Alicia Cohen

Alicia Cohen, MD, MSc
Providence VA Medical Center
Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Family Medicine, Brown University
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan

   Lauren Russell

Lauren Russell, MPP
Presidential Management Fellow
VA New England Healthcare System (VISN 1)

   Erica Morris

Erica Morris, BS, MPH(c)
Health Equity Fellow
Office of Health Equity


About the Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminars

The VHA Office of Health Equity (OHE) in partnership with the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) launched the Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminars.  Each cyberseminar spotlights activities that promote the implementation of the VHA Health Equity Action Plan (HEAP), and aims to:

  1. Catalyze, synergize, and coordinate VHA programs, projects, and initiatives to effectively identify, understand, seek and implement solutions to diminish and where possible eliminate health disparities;
  2. Demonstrate alignment with other federal partners working to achieve health equity;
  3. Bring focus to VHA efforts to provide a more equitable, individualized and patient-driven health care delivery system;
  4. Improve overall quality of care through equity in all policies and the achievement of health equity for all;
  5. Incorporate the innovative ideas and input of all users in order to encourage a bottom up approach while maintaining a strong connection to the overarching goals of the VA;
  6. Capitalize on the existing network of advocates and programs in both administrative and clinical realms to weave health equity dialogue and cultural attunement into training and other activities within and outside the health care system; and
  7. Serve as a guide and/or starting place that would remain a living document which is open to modification and adaptation to continuously meet the needs of the Veterans entrusted to the VHA.

Use the following links, or continue reading on this page, for information on:

Intended Audience

Researchers, clinicians, care coordinators, policy makers, educators, data analysts, Veteran stakeholders and representatives of vulnerable Veteran groups who are interested in understanding and/or promoting equitable health among all Veterans.


Veterans may experience disparities in health and healthcare outcomes. These disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health and/or a clean environment based on racial or ethnic group; gender; age; geography; religion; socio-economic status; sexual orientation; mental health; military era; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; and other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.

Visit the Office of Health Equity website at for more details about Veteran health equity issues, VA’s strategic plan to achieve health equity for Veterans (Health Equity Action Plan), and more information about the Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar series.

Background Resources

Session titles and presenters will be updated closer to the event date. Sign up for the Office of Health Equity listserv to receive updates and to learn more about Veteran health equity issues. 

Past sessions

1/9/2019 Obesity Disparities and the Use of Activity Tracker Technology to Facilitate Healthy Behavior
10/10/2018 Making Health Equity Data Actionable with Visualizations
02/22/2018 Pursuing Health Equity for Veterans with a Dedicated National Program Office—Five Years in Review 
12/18/2017 Using Quality Improvement Projects to Demonstrate Health Equity in Action for Vulnerable Veterans
11/16/2017 Advancing Health Equity Through Partnered Evaluation and Action
10/26/2017 New Vietnam Veteran Studies on Health and Mortality
09/28/2017 Promoting Health Equity with the Virtual Medical Center
07/27/2017 Using Effective Communication of Healthcare Disparities and Vulnerabilities to Empower Professionals, Veterans and Stakeholders
06/29/2017 Chronic Health Conditions among Vulnerable Veterans: Current Research and Action
04/27/2017 Military Service History and VA Benefit Utilization for Minority Veterans
03/30/2017 Incorporating Social Determinants of Health into VHA Patient Care and Electronic Medical Records
02/23/2017 Using Veterans’ Stories to Promote Health Equity and Reduce Disparities
01/26/2017 State of VHA Care for Vulnerable Veterans
10/27/2016 Release of the Inaugural VHA National Veteran Health Equity Report
06/30/2016     National Expert Panel Discussion on TBI & Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Morbidity & Mortality among Vulnerable Veterans
04/28/2016 Race/Ethnicity Data Collection in the Veterans Health Administration
03/24/2016 Using Data to Characterize Vulnerable Veteran Populations
02/25/2016 Treatment of HCV-ALD Among VHA Vulnerable Populations
01/21/2016 Findings from the VISN 4 Hypertension Racial Disparities Quality Improvement Project
11/19/2015 Office of Health Equity Hepatitis C Virus-Advanced Liver Disease Disparities Dashboard
04/27/2015 Disparities in Healthcare Quality Indicators among Adults with Mental Illness: A systematic review
09/24/2014 Partnership in Pursuit of Health Equity: Focus on Minority Veterans
03/05/2014 ACA-Health Equity/Disparities Connection
11/04/2013 VHA Office of Health Equity- What is it all about?