Last year, who would have thought that by Spring 2020 we would be confined to our homes, holding virtual get-togethers with our friends, home-schooling our kids, and worrying about where our next roll of toilet paper would come from? Over the course of a couple of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about the most dramatic changes in our daily lives in a generation. Moreover, many of our clinician colleagues were rapidly pulled into providing needed care to those affected by the virus.
It is not surprising that QUERI investigators responded to this crisis by quickly adapting to the needs of their VA facilities and the Veterans they serve, as well as teaching us how implementation science plays a critical role in fostering resilience in healthcare. Our May 2020 issue features their stories, with key examples that include the first VA COVID-19 Drive-Thru testing site (“Swab Squad”), formation of tele-critical care learning communities with national operations partners, provider support through virtual implementation facilitation, scale-up of advanced care planning for Veterans, and a national policy evaluation to protect frontline providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This month, we also especially want to extend our sincere gratitude to all Veterans and their families, our VHA leaders, providers, and researchers, particularly our QUERI clinician-investigators who are working around the clock to care for Veterans during this global health crisis.
Overall, May 2020 is a particularly special month in which we remember our past challenges and subsequent victories: the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, the 224th anniversary of the smallpox vaccine, and, of course, our modern-day heroes on Mother’s Day. These milestones remind us that by loving and caring for what matters most, we can overcome even the most pressing challenges through creativity, innovation, and resilience.
Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH