What's new in the VA Office of Health Equity?

Veterans Health Logo


July 8, 2016

Commission on Care Final Report Calls for the Elimination of Health Disparities among Veterans

Commission on Care Cover

On June 30, 2016, the Commission on Care released its final report. Included in the 18 recommendations is a call for the elimination of health disparities. Specifically, the Commission makes the following recommendation:

Recommendation #5 – Eliminate health care disparities among veterans treated in the VHA Care System by committing adequate personnel and monetary resources to address the causes of the problem and ensuring the VHA Health Equity Action Plan is fully implemented.

  • VHA work to eliminate health disparities by establishing health care equity as a strategic priority.
  • VHA provide the Office of Health Equity adequate resources and level of authority to successfully build cultural and military competence among all VHA Care System providers and employees.
  • VHA ensure that the Health Equity Action Plan is fully implemented with adequate staffing, resources, and support.
  • VHA increase the availability, quality, and use of race, ethnicity, and language data to improve the health of minority veterans and other vulnerable veteran populations with strong surveillance systems that monitor trends in health status, patient satisfaction, and quality measures.

The report is available at https://commissiononcare.sites.usa.gov/files/2016/07/Commission-on-Care_Final-Report_063016_FOR-WEB.pdf.

The statement by Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the Commission on Care report is available at http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2800.

Recent Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar Largest Single Session to Date

Thank you to those who have participated in the Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar series. The FY16 series wrapped up with a panel discussion on Veteran TBI disparities. The number of registrants and attendees for this session were the highest since the VA HSR&D Cyberseminar series began.

The panel featured VA TBI expert Dr. David Cifu along with Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose research and discovery inspired the 2015 motion picture Concussion starring Will Smith. The distinguished panelists highlighted TBI-related morbidity and mortality among vulnerable Veteran groups including chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The session has been archived at the following link: http://www.hsrd.research.va.gov/for_researchers/cyber_seminars/archives/video_archive.cfm?SessionID=1169.

"Year of Clinical Trial Diversity" Educational Series

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a series of educational videos and materials to raise awareness about the importance of minorities participating in clinical trials. These videos stress the importance of why diversity is needed to help ensure medical products are safe and effective for everyone.  

Visit http://www.va.gov/HEALTHEQUITY/Tools.asp#fda for more information.