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Institute for Learning, Education and Development (ILEAD)

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The Institute for Learning, Education and Development (ILEAD) offers a diverse selection of podcast offerings for Veterans, VA employees, educators and health care professionals. They contain information on programs, services, tips, stories, and news from VA on a range of topics including PTSD, smoking cessation, mental health and leadership.

Battling Two Frontiers: Substance Use Epidemic during a Pandemic 

Dr. Michal Wilson, Medical Advisor, VHA Homeless Programs Office, moderates a series of podcasts featuring various subject matter experts from VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Emergency Medicine, Pharmacy Academic Detailing Services and Veteran first responders. The podcast series is focused on advancing awareness, access to naloxone and aftercare to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid use disorder.

For several years our nation has been in an opioid epidemic with escalating usage, overdoses, and deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic created significant additional challenges in combatting the opioid epidemic necessitating increased awareness and creative approaches to identify, outreach, engage and treat Veterans. Homeless Veterans have a high risk for opioid overdose and resultant death, which require unique and targeted strategies. This series will explore strategies VHA is engaging and challenges faced in the midst of battling two intersecting crises of the pandemic and the substance use epidemic.

Multiple Sclerosis and Veterans (MS & Vets) 

Nearly 1 million people in the United States are living with MS. This is more than double the original estimate from a few years ago and means answers for MS are now twice as important. The VA’s Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence (MSCoE) are dedicated to furthering the understanding of MS, its impact on Veterans, and effective treatments to help manage the disease and its symptoms. MS & Vets is a podcast series from MSCoE and the VA’s Employee Education System that discusses important issues related to the health and quality of life for Veterans with MS. During every episode you’ll hear subject matter experts weigh in on MS issues and also talk about services the VA provides because every Veteran’s health really does matter.

PainKILLER Podcast 

Exploring opioid dependence in America from the perspectives of subject matter experts in the field and those who are trying to positively influence this crisis.

PTSD Bytes

Welcome to the VA podcast series, PTSD Bytes! In each episode, host and clinical psychologist Colleen Becket-Davenport from the VA National Center for PTSD talks to an expert or innovator about how technology can support people with PTSD or other mental health concerns. There are many resources out there, so join us for “bite-sized” episodes featuring practical information you can use or share. Visit for more information.

She Wears the Boots: A Podcast for Women Veterans

Women service members are the fastest growing groups of VA patients. This podcast is dedicated to the recognition of the unique needs of women as well as the people who may be caring for them. She Wears the Boots hopes to provide information about resources and services in the VA that can foster resiliency and life enrichment.

Talking Later: Veterans' Stories of Late-Life PTSD 

This podcast is about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD in later life; it is also about resilience as we age. PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. While some of us may be familiar with the idea of PTSD as a result of combat or natural disasters or other traumatic events, many people are less familiar with the ways PTSD can resurface, or emerge for the first time, as we age. Each episode of “Talking Later” begins with a real Veteran’s story. They’ll share their ups and downs, and sometimes the ways that they coped – or found meaning – in what they’ve gone through. Then we’ll discuss what the Veteran’s story can teach us about PTSD in later life. We hope these stories and conversations will help people with PTSD, as well as those who care for them.

The Audacity to Fail: Misstepping Into Success! 

The Audacity to Fail Podcast: Misstepping Into Success and it focuses on discovering leadership wisdom through experiences with failures and missteps. The podcasts dives into conversations and stories from leaders as they share that failure activates a growth mindset, is an important part of learning, and motivation for improvement!

The Veteran Educator

This podcast will produce one to two sessions a month and will feature experienced educators providing professional and career development for the healthcare professional education community. Listeners are encouraged to visit the VA Boston Education homepage for faculty development programming and other tools to develop as educators.

The Work Life Lab Series

The Work Life Lab Series is a monthly podcast featuring best-selling authors and national thought leaders who volunteer their time to provide insight and inspiration for our listeners. Episodes in this series revolve around personal and professional development, with each presenter and topic especially curated to provide listeners with the know-how to improve their interactions in their career and in their everyday lives.

Tobacco Unfiltered: Conversations with Clinicians

Tobacco use is a major cause of death and disease in the US and impacts literally every organ system in the body. Given the dire health consequences of tobacco use, it is critical that all health care providers (physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, dentists, pharmacists, and more) are comfortable addressing their patients’ tobacco use.

Hear from the experts about evidence-based tobacco treatment. The Veterans Health Administration (VA/VHA) treats hundreds of thousands of Veterans each year for tobacco use. Listen as Dr. Mark Myers, PhD, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego discusses tobacco treatment with other clinical experts. Topics addressed include strategies for offering and providing tobacco treatment, how to build a tobacco treatment program, and understanding the health impacts of tobacco use. The podcast is geared to provide actionable clinical takeaways for front-line providers.

VA Diabetes Numeracy Campaign Series

The Secretary of the VA announced the Understand Your Diabetes Numbers Campaign to ensure that every Veteran understands their numbers in order to manage their diabetes, to be safe and, ultimately, to achieve their personal goals—both today and over their lifetime. To expand on this important concept, these podcasts, produced by VHA clinicians who work with Veterans to manage their diabetes, are developed to highlight the important issue of numeracy in diabetes, among other important diabetes-related concepts. Listeners can expect to hear from providers within a wide array of disciplines and roles in patient care in order to increase awareness of this crucial topic across VHA.

VA Presents: My Life, My Story 

If someone asked you to tell your life story, what would you say?

Since 2013, writers from the “My Life, My Story” project have asked more than 5,000 Veterans at VA hospitals around the United States to tell their life stories. With the Veteran’s permission, those stories go into the Veteran’s medical record so that VA health care providers can read them and get to know their patients better.

On this podcast, we’ll share some of our favorite stories from over the years.

Veterans Health Equity: Leave No Veteran Behind

This podcast series is brought to you by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Health Equity. Listen to stories and other efforts from across the VHA and partners to help America’s Veterans achieve their best health.

Veterans’ Health Matters 

Ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, as well as historic deployments in multiple eras, have resulted in Veterans with a range of post deployment health concerns and the need for providers to understand these concerns and utilize best practices in the identification, assessment, management, and communication of Veteran care. Veterans with complex medical conditions may benefit from a patient centered approach that is rooted in whole health and functional and integrative medicine. Veterans’ Health Matters, a new podcast series sponsored by the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC), offers clinicians, Veterans, and caregivers information on post deployment care, and also offers tools on effective patient-provider communication, various functional and integrative medicine approaches, along with exercise, that can improve the care of our nation’s Veterans. During every episode you’ll hear subject matter experts weigh in on these topics and also talk about services the WRIISC provides because every Veteran’s health really does matter.

VHA Homeless Programs - Conversations about Racial Equity

A disproportionate number of minorities experience homelessness - issues of race, diversity, and bias should be part of our conversations within our programs that serve minority populations. The National Center on Homelessness among Veterans in collaboration with VA’s Employee Education System have developed a two-part podcast series on Racial Equity and Racial Justice. Dr. Roger Casey, Director, Education & Dissemination, National Center on Homelessness among Veterans interviews a Clinical Psychologist on creating safe places to have race conversations and talks with a VA Homeless Program manager about his personal and professional experiences managing a program providing direct services to homeless Veterans.

VHA Homeless Programs – Ending Veteran Homelessness 

Want to know what the Department of Veterans Affairs is doing to end Veteran homelessness? Join us each month as we explore all the ways our country is working to ensure that every Veteran has a safe and stable place to call home.

VHA Homeless Programs – Self Care for Staff 

Dr. Roger Casey, Director, Education & Dissemination, National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, talks with experts from across the VHA on balancing personal and professional life through wellness and self-care while working with Veterans experiencing homelessness.

Whole Health for Employee Tobacco Cessation 

A dramatization of two employees who are on a journey to quit smoking. The series is intended to serve as a guide for listeners to move at their own pace, listen to episodes multiple times, and pause at any time to take notes or work on skills during their own journey to quit smoking. This podcast is provided by the Employee Whole Health Program and will introduce Whole Health concepts that the listener can incorporate to achieve desired goals and milestones.

Whole Health for Veterans with Chronic Pain

Dr. Carol Bowman has worked with patients with chronic pain for over 10 years, and with Veterans for the past 6 years. In addition to Primary Care Internal Medicine training, Dr. Bowman studied and practiced holistic medicine for over 25 years and is certified in Integrative Pain Management. She learned that people can re-gain their lives and purpose through a holistic approach to medicine, and this created a passion to teach others a holistic approach to pain.

This podcast series is based on the VA Whole Health model of care and the Circle of Health and was developed by the VA to provide education and tools for those suffering with chronic pain. If you have a pain program at your facility, this podcast can be used alongside your pain treatment to provide additional information and strategies for reaching your goals. If you do not have a pain program

available to you, this series will give you skills and knowledge around self-care and complementary and integrative treatments that you can incorporate into your life to reduce the impact of chronic pain and improve your health and well-being.

The podcasts are designed around the Circle of Health and how each area relates to chronic pain. We hope they inform and inspire you to make positive changes for yourself.