Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Ecosystem to Train Frontline VA Employees to Replicate Promising Practices in New Orleans

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), America’s largest integrated healthcare system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, will bring together clinicians and administrators from across the U.S. to New Orleans from Feb. 11-13 for three days of specialized training.

VHA Innovation Ecosystem’s mission is to enable the discovery and spread of healthcare innovations within VHA that exceed expectations, restore hope, and build trust within the Veteran community.

The Diffusion of Excellence Base Camp brings together winners of the 2019 VHA Shark Tank Competition, known as Gold Status Fellows, to collaborate with counterparts at other VHA sites in developing actionable implementation and sustainment plans for replicating health care improvement projects across VHA.

A few of the winning health care improvement projects, known as Gold Status Practices, to be highlighted include:

A program begun by Long Beach VA Medical Center, Veterans Mental Evaluation Team (VMET) involves the proactive utilization of Police Department officers in conjunction with mental health clinicians to conduct outreach contacts and follow-up on cases of Veterans experiencing mental health issues/crises. VMET will be replicated at four new medical centers in the coming six months.

A program that reduces opioid utilization in veterans by holding group appointments that introduce concepts of self-care and whole health, safety education, and goal setting.

An initiative to educate veterans about chronic kidney disease and how to incorporate healthy eating habits into their lives to slow or prevent altogether its progression.

A program that helps non-mental-health VA employees when they receive a call from a suicide caller. The Suicide Alert Red Card provides frontline personnel a bold color, silent signal that is modifiable, easily reproduced and budget-friendly, but mostly a proactive tool to be waved to alert coworkers for help with a suicidal caller.

The event will be held at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, 2400 Canal St. in New Orleans.