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

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January 12, 2017

A Happy New Year Message from the Office of Health Equity

Dr. Uchendu Headshot

We in the Office of Health Equity are excited about 2017. A new year is another reminder of a great opportunity we have – to serve our Nation’s Veterans as we champion equitable health issues. Together, with the support of Veterans and stakeholders, we have made great strides in the goals of improving access and care for Veterans that is equitable and fair. Thank you for making Veteran health equity your business.

Here is a snapshot of some of last year’s accomplishments:

  • Solicited and Supported facilities to participate in the USH VA Priorities Best Practices Consortium by submitting health equity efforts.
  • Responded to the Commission on Care recommendations in support of health equity.
  • Launched new communication tools, including external website and listserv to raise awareness of health equity.
  • Contributed to the Presidential Open Data Initiative with the public release of hepatitis C virus disparities data and dashboard.
  • Participated in engagement meetings and partnered with stakeholders to further health equity issues for Veterans.
  • Leveraged online training options with virtual trainings through the Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar series and virtual patient cultural competency training modules.
  • Authored new manuscripts highlighting best practices for ending homelessness and improving care for vulnerable Veterans.
  • Participated in the National Access Stand Down efforts to reduce Veteran wait times.
  • Published the first-ever comprehensive National Veteran Health Equity Report.

Visit http://www.va.gov/HEALTHEQUITY/docs/OHE_FY16_Accomplishments_12022016.pdf for a list of FY16 accomplishments.

Panelist to Discuss State of VHA Care for Vulnerable Veterans at January FHEA Cyberseminar

The January Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar takes place Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM EST. Please plan to attend and register by visiting the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5346690129713902082.

Event Description

Some vulnerable Veterans may experience disparities in health and healthcare outcomes. These disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health and/or a clean environment. The current roundtable discussion will feature subject matter experts who served as chapter leads for VA’s first ever National Veteran Health Equity Report. Panelist will explore the state of health and healthcare, trends, best and promising practices, and other pertinent health equity issues that should be considered for improving the health for racial/ethnic, women, rural and other Veterans.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD
    Chief Officer, Officer of Health Equity
  • Elizabeth M. Yano, PhD, MSPH
    VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
  • Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH
    VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
  • Susan Frayne, MD, MPH
    VA Palo Alto Health Care System 

  • Ashley Cozad, MPH
    Iowa City VA Medical Center 

  • Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, AGSF
    VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
  • Fay Saechao, MPH
    VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Background Reading

VA Office of Health Equity. 2016. National Veteran Health Equity Report—FY2013. US Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC. Available online at http://www.va.gov/healthequity/NVHER.asp.

Register Now for February’s FHEA Cyberseminar – Using Veterans’ Stories to Promote Health Equity and Reduce Disparities

Using Veterans’ Stories to Promote Health Equity and Reduce Disparities

Thursday, February 23, 2017
3:00 – 4:00 PM EST

Thomas K. Houston, MD
Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, Bedford, MA

Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD
Chief Officer, Officer of Health Equity, Washington, DC

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6757910006026241027


Event Description

The current session will highlight actions that the Office of Health Equity is undertaking with partners and stakeholders to advance tools to promote health equity and reduce disparities for vulnerable Veterans. Speakers will discuss the development of a series of patient stories to reduce hypertension related disparities and highlights from the intervention study on using the veteran experiences to change behavior.  Also, speakers will discuss the development and use of virtual patient cases to assist clinicians, non-clinicians, Veterans, and stakeholders in understanding the importance of assessing, and increasing competency, of health equity issues for Veterans.

Register by visiting https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6757910006026241027. Visit http://www.va.gov/HEALTHEQUITY/Tools.asp for more information on health equity related tools to reduce health disparities for vulnerable Veterans.

Join OHE Chief Officer as She Discusses Patient Centered Medical Home and Health Equity at the Defense Health Agency’s Military Health System Speaker Series, January 25, 2017

MHS Series

Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD, Chief Officer of the VA Office of Health Equity, will discuss the patient centered medical home and health equity at the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Military Health System (MHS) Speaker Series on January 25, 2017 (10:10am – 2:30 pm EST).

The learning objectives of her talk follow:  

  • Summarize the key elements of the VA Patient Centered Medical Home model - the Patient Aligned Care Team
  • Highlight the connection between Veteran- Centric Care and the Social Determinants of Health
  • Illustrate How to Cast the Health Equity Lens on a Routine Check-up visit in Primary Care

The 2017 MHS Speaker Series is intended to drive performance higher by sharing knowledge and best practices across the MHS. Attendees will be able to apply the information learned during the speaker series to the work they do.  Target Audience includes everyone who provides care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and their families.


Sign up for the webinar at: https://ldd.adobeconnect.com/mhsjanuary2017/event/event_info.html


Continuing Education (CE)/Continuing Medical Education (CME)

You must register by 6 p.m. ET on January 25, 2016, to earn up to 3.0 hours of CE/CME credits. This continuing education activity is provided through collaboration between Defense Health Agency and Defense Centers of Excellence, and issued by Professional Education Services Group.

If you have questions or need assistance, please email: usarmy.ncr.medcom-usamrmc-dcoe.mbx.dcoe-mhs-speaker-series@mail.mil