Background: The Senior Research Career Scientist Award (SRCS) requires a strong and dedicated commitment to the VA and to the care of Veterans. This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the VA in their research, mentoring and teaching, service activities, and scholarly productivity. Maintaining the SRCS requires not only a personal and deep sense of commitment to the VA, but also an acute understanding of the needs of the Veteran population. With rapidly changing VA national priorities, it is critical that awardees are aware of these changes, realign their own research goals with those of the VA, and reflect the latest priorities in their own research studies and professional commitments.
Specific Aims : The overall goal of this renewal application is to continue to make important and productive contributions that improve the safety and quality of care provided to Veterans through leadership and service on VA local and national activities, obtaining independent funding, maintaining scholarly productivity, and leading mentoring and training activities.
The specific aims are to: 1) mentor junior faculty, fellows, students, and project staff at both the VA and university settings; 2) become a national expert and leader in evaluating the impact of community care on Veterans? health outcomes, as well as the quality and safety of care; and 3) pursue research to advance the measurement of patient safety and quality, ultimately achieving scientific distinction and national recognition in this area. Methods: To accomplish Aim 1, the applicant will dedicate specific time each week for mentoring and training purposes. This will include one-to-one sessions as well as group meetings such as the writing and mentoring group that occurs bi-weekly. Mentoring/training will involve discussions of long- and short-term career goals, review of proposals, grants, and manuscripts, discussion of potential service opportunities, and other topics as they arise.
For Aim 2, current research on evaluating Community Care program, with a focus on quality, safety, cost, and access, will continue with HSR&D funding of a three-year grant. To accomplish Aim 3, the applicant will continue research through work funded by the VA National Center of Patient Safety and also HSR&D. Additional training and skills in implementation science, evaluation research, and advanced statistical methods will be undertaken in order to provide the applicant with new skills necessary for accomplishing this work in order to achieve scientific distinction and national recognition. Expected Results: Scientifically rigorous and timely evaluation of the impact of VA?s changing national priorities, including expansion in the use of Community Care, will provide VHA with critical information needed on the quality and safety of care that Veterans receive in the community. Moreover, the activities proposed in this SRCS renewal application will significantly contribute to improving the overall quality of care provided to Veterans, as well as strengthen the personal commitment and contribution of the applicant to the VA for at least the next seven years.
This application describes the research conducted since 2011, highlighting the applicant?s current focus and its relevance to Veterans? healthcare. The applicant?s research has focused on examining and improving the quality and safety of care in VA, important areas of study given increasing pressures for the VA to compare its performance with that of the private sector. Recent changes in VA national priorities (?providing greater choice? and ?improving timeliness in access?) have also influenced the applicant?s research. Her studies now include Veterans who receive care in the community (CC) purchased by the VA as well as those who receive care in VA facilities. Through collaboration with the Office of Community Care, this work will provide VHA with important information on areas for safety improvement in CC; it will evaluate the timeliness of the CC provided; and examine the quality of care that Veterans receive in CC.