Skip to Content

VA Augusta frontline staff selected for national VA innovation program

VHA Innovators Logo Spark Seed Spread

VA Augusta Health Care System announced today the selection of 11 frontline staff for the FY24 VHA Innovators Network Spark-Seed-Spread program. This initiative fosters innovation and empowers frontline staff to fundamentally change the culture within the Veterans Health Administration.

VA Augusta experienced a 240% increase in Spark-Seed-Spread applicants from last year, a clear reflection of its growing culture of innovation (see examples of VA Augusta’s recent innovation projects here and here).

"We are thrilled to partner with these staff innovators for the FY24 Spark-Seed-Spread program," said Kelsey Shull, VA Augusta Innovation Specialist. "Their dedication to improving the lives of Veterans through innovation is inspiring. We believe their projects will play a pivotal role in changing Veterans lives - and strengthening VA culture."

The 11 innovators selected for FY24 Spark-Seed-Spread represent a diverse range of projects and ideas, from new technology to improve patient care to novel approaches in healthcare administration. What unites them is a shared vision of creating solutions tailored to the needs of Veterans. These innovators will receive funding, mentorship, training, and the opportunity to collaborate with experts and stakeholders across the VHA and industry. The innovators are:

  • Diana Mcmenemy-Deacon and Liza Denny, Blind Rehab
  • Theo Bennett, Research
  • Trisha Milnes, Audiology & Speech Pathology
  • Ebony Dillard, Physical Therapy
  • Kimberly Linticum, Surgery
  • Kathleen McHugh, Audiology & Speech Pathology
  • Lynn Dowling, Evidenced-Based Practice Nursing
  • John De Caro, Surgery
  • Tamara Reid, Audiology & Speech Pathology
  • Stephanie Blizzard, Pharmacy Service (Columbia VA Health Care System)
  • Jeanovan Owens, Pharmacy Service (VA Northern California Health Care System)

VA Augusta also announced the addition of a second innovation specialist, Christian Ndeti, whose experience in coaching and mentorship paired with her commitment to excellence in Veteran care will strengthen VA Augusta’s innovation efforts.

For more information about the FY24 Spark-Seed-Spread program and the VHA Innovators Network, please visit Innovators Network | VHA Innovation Ecosystem.