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Cultivating a diverse workforce is integral to QUERI’s mission and strives to support researchers that reflect the diversity of the Veterans the VA healthcare system serves. The purpose of the QUERI initiative to Advance Diversity in Implementation Leadership (ADIL) is to promote implementation, quality improvement, and evaluation leadership opportunities for diverse health services researchers. QUERI supports ADIL awardees who are currently addressing VA priorities, such as improving the uptake of strategies to address health disparities and Veteran social determinants of health, and assessing and improving quality and cost of community care, to name a few. The most recent ADIL Awardees are investigating additional topics of vital importance to enhancing care for Veterans, including:
- Joshua Hamer, PhD, leads the VA TREAT Cognitive Decline project, which will adapt, implement, and evaluate an intervention to increase the use of dementia warning signs in primary care clinics—and improve screening rates of dementia-related disorders and referrals to dementia care pathways. With the advent of innovative therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, initiatives that promote the early detection of dementia-related cognitive decline are critical to enhancing care for elderly Veterans.
- Sarah Javier, PhD, is addressing equity gaps in the implementation of Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) in VA homelessness programs. OEND, which includes the receipt of naloxone (i.e., Narcan®), is an evidence-based strategy to prevent opioid-related overdose. This is important because Veterans with opioid use disorder are twice as likely as non-Veterans to experience fatal opioid-related overdose. Dr. Javier is being mentored by Amanda Midboe, PhD. VA partners in this ADIL project are VISN Homeless Program leadership, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP), VA’s Homeless Program Office, and VA’s Office of Health Equity (OHE).
- Maria Venegas, PhD, is evaluating the Post-Incarceration Engagement (PIE) Program, which enhances VA’s Health Care for Re-entry Veteran (HCRV) Program by linking Veterans to VA and community healthcare, and provides social support from peers. This project will characterize the experiences of Veterans of color who use the Program, thereby improving the uptake of strategies to address health disparities and Veterans’ social determinants of health. Dr. Venegas is being mentored by Keith McInnes, ScD. VA multi-level partners in this ADIL project are VA’s OMHSP, Homeless Program Office, OHE, Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM), and VISNs 1, 4, 16, 17, 19, and 21.
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