VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) - Office of Academic Affiliations
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VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D)

History and Purpose

In 1991, the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) started VA's Advanced Fellowships Program in Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D). A broad array of concerns was challenging health care delivery in VA and the nation. These concerns ranged from issues involving approaches for incorporating patient perspectives in decision making to quality, cost, and measurement issues. Few physicians had the training in health services research needed to address these critical issues, and the need for such trained physicians was increasingly dramatically. In response, OAA started the HSR&D Fellowship Program to develop a cadre of physicians with health services expertise for the VA healthcare system and to foster the development of high quality health services research and development at local and national levels.

In 2013, VA HSR&D superseded the HSR&D Centers of Excellence program with 19 new Centers of Innovation (COINs) to advance research through innovations and partnerships with key stakeholders in the VHA healthcare system. The launch of the COINs represents a significant transformation in the mission and objectives of the HSR&D Centers program. A unique feature of the COINs is that they include one or more focused areas of research that address questions of significance to VHA by engaging VHA clinical and operational partners, often executive decision makers, in the research activities of COINs.

The re-invention and re-focus of these HSR&D Advanced Fellowship host sites will offer unique opportunities for OAA Advanced Fellows. It is anticipated that experiences with stakeholder engagement, innovation, and system impact will better position fellows to contribute to areas of vital importance to VHA in the emerging healthcare environment.

This fellowship program seeks to apply the content expertise, mentoring, and educational infrastructure at selected COIN sites to provide advanced interprofessional training opportunities for physicians and associated health professionals in innovative health services research, implementation science, and healthcare system improvement.

Program Overview

The fellowship provides two years of post-residency, post-doctoral research, education, and clinical learning opportunities to eligible physicians and associated health/nursing professionals. Fellows spend approximately 75 percent of their time in research and education and 25 percent in clinical care at competitively selected VA sites. Mentors of national stature provide guidance to fellows in rich learning environments. Graduates are expected to be role models in leading, developing, conducting, and evaluating innovative health services research in a variety of clinical settings including VHA and other healthcare institutions that seek to improve care for Veterans and the Nation.

Program Announcement

Program details and application procedures:
Program Announcement


To inquire about the application process and to learn more about the program, interested physicians should write to the site of their choice and send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to that site.

Health Services Research Fellowship Address List

Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital (Bedford)/VA Boston Healthcare System (Boston).  
Co-Director: Amy Linsky, MD, MSC
Co-Director: Martin Charns, DBA

Bedford Address:
200 Springs Road (152)
Bedford, MA 01730

Boston Address:
150 South Huntington Avenue (152M)
Boston, MA 02130


Research Focus: Fellowship faculty has a broad array of interests that center on studies to assess and improve the quality and access to VA healthcare. Priority areas include patient-centered care, organizational transformation and culture change, implementation of evidence-based practice, care coordination, public health communication, medication optimization and effectiveness, and mental health recovery. The program is designed to develop and enhance skills in conducting health services research toward the goal of becoming an independently funded researcher. Senior investigators serve as mentors, guiding fellows in the application and use of health services research methods, quantitative and qualitative analysis methods, implementation science methods, and the design and conduct of clinical trials involving health service innovations.

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Co-Director: Debra Saliba, MD, MPH
Co-Director: Allison Hamilton, PhD, MPH
PhD Postdoctoral Program Coordinator: Britney Lewkowitz, MPH
MD Postdoctoral Program Coordinator: Deborah Riopelle, MSPH
 310-478-3711 x49832
Sepulveda Campus Address:
16111 Plummer Street Building 25 (152)
North Hills, CA 91343

West Los Angeles Campus Address:
11301 Wilshire Blvd
West Los Angeles, CA 90073

Research Focus: The Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation and Policy focuses on implementation, observational and intervention research on provider behavior, quality improvement, collaborative care models and assessments of organizational factors related to quality. Strategic program areas include primary care, women’s health, high risk/high needs populations (aging and long term care, homelessness, substance use disorders and serious mental illness) and complementary and alternative medicine.

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Houston)
Director: Aanand Naik, MD
Co-Director: Lilian Dindo, PhD
Co-Director: Salim Virani, MD

2002 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030

Research Focus: Our site offers a multidisciplinary immersion in team science approaches to health services research. Mentors are drawn from all scientific programs at IQuESt: Behavioral Health, Clinical Effectiveness & Population Health, Health Policy, Quality & Informatics, Implementation Science & Innovation as well as the Houston CREATE, South Central MIRECC, Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, SHARE program, and VA Quality Scholars Coordinating Center. We offer didactics at IQuESt and courses at the Baylor College of Medicine, Clinical Scientist Training Program and University of Texas, School of Public Health.

James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital (Tampa)/Malcom Randall VA Medical Center (Gainesville)

Co-Director: Gail Powell-Cope, PhD, ARNP, FAAN
Co-Director: Diane Cowper Ripley, PhD
Medical Director & MD Post-doctorate Program: Charles Levy, MD
Medical Director & MD Post-doctorate Program: Steven Scott, DO
PhD Post-doctorate Program: Sergio Romero, PhD
PhD Post-doctorate Program: Sandra Winkler, PhD

 352-376-1611 x4922
813-972-2000 x7506
352-376-1611 x4968

Tampa Address:
8900 Grand Oaks Circle
Tampa FL 33637-1022

Gainesville Address:
1601 SW Archer Rd. (151B)
Gainesville, FL 32608

Research Focus: CINDRR is dedicated to conducting research that identifies, develops, and tests strategies for improving Veteran rehabilitation services across the continuum of care and providing long term support for Veterans with disabilities and their families, including issues related to access, utilization, cost, quality, and health outcomes. Areas of particular interest include Virtual and Technology Based Care; Informatics Research and Analytics; and Implementation Science.

VA Portland Health Care System
Co-Director: Christopher Slatore, MD, MS
Co-Director: Kathleen Carlson, PhD, MS
503-220-8262 x52018
503-220-8262 x52094
Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)
VA Portland Health Care System (R&D 66)
3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Road
Portland, OR 97239

Research Focus: The focus of CIVIC research is to improve Veterans' experiences with VA mental healthcare by enhancing the active participation of Veterans' and their supports in mental health treatment, with a particular focus on optimizing communication and collaboration with clinicians, self-management, and continuity of care. CIVIC investigators conduct research on mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, suicide, psychiatric disorders in cancer patients, substance abuse, chronic opiate use, and traumatic brain injury, and cross-cutting topics including health disparities, clinician-patient communication, and health care informatics. Fellows may pursue individualized training tracks in these or other areas of scientific investigation, as well as in evidence synthesis or clinical innovation involving patient safety improvements.

Minneapolis VA Health Care System

Co-Director: Diana Burgess, PhD
Co-Director: Elizabeth Danan, MD, MPH
Minneapolis VA Health Care System
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Research Focus: Investigators at the Center for Care Delivery and Outcome Research (CCDOR) have expertise in PTSD and other trauma-related disorders, chronic pain and opiod harms reduction, healthcare disparities, implementation science, high value health care and policy, biostatistics, research methodology, cancer prevention and screening, substance use disorders, or epidemiology.

Providence VA Medical Center  
Co-Director: Whitney L. Mills, PhD
Co-Director: Kali Thomas, PhD
Program Coordinator: Elizabeth Archambault
401-273-7100 x2231
401-273-7100 x6268
401-273-7100 X6263
Providence VA Medical Center
830 Chalkstone Avenue
Research Building 32
Providence, RI 02908

Research Focus: Improving quality of care and outcomes for aging and vulnerable Veterans, particularly those receiving long-term services and supports, with a goal of maximizing function. Our research spans five areas: 1) Quality of Care in Nursing Homes and Community-Based Services, 2) High Risk Veteran Populations (e.g., Palliative care, Dialysis, Cognitive Impairment), 3) Policy and Economic Analysis of Long-Term Care Programs, 4) Antimicrobial Stewardship Research in Long-Term Care Settings, and 5) Mental Health and Homelessness.

VA Puget Sound Health Care System (Seattle)
Co-Director: Ann O'Hare, MD
Co-Director: Karin Nelson, MD, MSHS
Co-Director: Emily Williams, PhD, MPH 
Co-Director: John Fortney, PhD 
Fellowship Coordinator: Mary Little
1660 S. Columbian Way (S-152)
Seattle, WA 98108

Research Focus: This Center's mission is to conduct outstanding health services research that promotes Veteran-centered and value-driven care, generate and disseminate knowledge that contributes to the well-being of Veterans, partner with VA policy and operational leaders to implement research findings into clinical care, and train the next generation of health services researchers and leaders.

VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System  
Co-Director: Wyndy Wiitala, PhD
Co-Director: Michele Heisler, MD
2215 Fuller Road
Ann Arbor MI 48105

Research Focus: (1.) Developing and promoting Veteran-centered and personalized decision-support tools and performance measures that increase appropriateness of care; (2.) Developing, implementing, and evaluating systems-based approaches to improve safety and outcomes for our most vulnerable, high-risk, and complex patients; and (3.) Using innovative approaches to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of patient self-management and treatment engagement.

VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Co-Director: Ranak Trivedi, PhD
Co-Director: Douglas Owens, MD
Co-Director: Steven Asch, MD, MPH

650 493-5000 option 1, option 2, x25225
650 493-5000 1,2 x23436
650 493-5000 1,2 x23476
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Center for Innovation to Implementation (152MPD)
795 Willow Rd.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Research Focus: High value health care in mental health and medical subspecialties, Health services research methods and application, Training Objectives: Provide didactic and project-based training in health services research; Provide training in implementation science and systems redesign for high value care; Provide training and experience to enable fellows to work effectively with operational partners.

VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (Denver)
Co-Director: Catherine Battaglia, PhD, RN
Co-Director: Christine Jones, MD
Co-Director: Michael Ho, MD, PhD
Denver VAMC
1055 Clermont
Denver CO 80220

Research Focus: The Center focuses on Veterans with complex chronic conditions and has broad research goals that include: (1.) Improving patients' experiences across community and healthcare settings, and (2.) Advancing the science of providing the highest quality medical care per cost of care.

Durham VA Medical Center  
Center Director: S. Nicki Hastings, MD

Director, MD Postdoctoral Program: David E. Edelman, MD, MHS 
Deputy Director, MD Postdoctoral Program: Matthew J. Crowley, MD

Director, PhD Postdoctoral Program: Jennifer M. Gierisch, PhD, MPH
Deputy Director, PhD Postdoctoral Program: Leah L. Zullig, PhD, MPH
Fellowship Coordinator: Dana Tucker

Phone - 919-286-6936
Fax - 919-416-5836

508 Fulton Street (152)
Durham, NC 27705 


Research Focus:  The Center's main objective is to develop and test strategies that enhance the delivery, quality, and cost-efficiency of primary care for Veterans. Our research spans the following areas: increasing access to care, improving the patient experience and health care delivery, generalist-specialists interactions, defining and promoting healthy behaviors in primary care; designing and evaluating new methods to enhance access to high quality care (e.g. telemedicine, machine learning, among others. We provide fellows with a multidisciplinary, collaborative training environment.

Philadelphia VA Medical Center/VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System  
Co-Director: Mitesh Patel, MD
Co-Director: Galen Switzer, PhD
Co-Director: Karin Daniels, PhD
Program Coodinator: Carson Clark


Philadelphia Address:
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
Philadelphia VA Medical Center
3900 Woodland Avenue
Annex Suite 202
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Pittsburgh Address:
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
University Drive (151C)
Pittsburgh, PA 15240

Research Focus: The primary focus of CHERP research is to improve the quality and equity of health and health care for a broad range of vulnerable populations (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, women, the homeless, those with diminished autonomy, sexual orientation and gender minorities). We also support 2 additional research foci designed to: (1) improve the effectiveness, safety, and value of clinical therapeutics (i.e., medications, procedures); and (2) apply the principles and techniques of behavioral economics to improve the health and health care of Veterans and other populations.

VA Connecticut Healthcare System (West Haven) NEW
Co-Director: Rani A. Hoff, PhD, MPH
Co-Director: Lori Bastian, MD, MPH

203-932-5711 x2655
950 Campbell Ave.
West Haven CT 06516

Research Focus: Pain, Informatics, Multimorbidities, and Women’s Health

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