Updates from the VA Office of Health Equity

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August 16, 2017

Register for September 2017’s Focus on Health Equity and Action: Promoting Health Equity with the Virtual Medical Center

Join the VA Office of Health Equity for September’s Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar session.  The session includes the use of the VA Virtual Medical Center to promote health equity for Veterans. Presenters will focus on the use of flipped classroom methodologies to transform traditional training approaches and how virtual training modalities can advance Veteran selfcare and health promotion for achieving health equity.

VA Virtual Medical Center

Promoting Health Equity with the Virtual Medical Center

Thursday, September 28, 2017
3:00 – 4:00pm EST


Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how flipped classroom methodologies can transform traditional training approaches in VA for staff and Veterans;

  2. Learn how to advance Veteran self-care and health promotion using a 3D virtual environment; and

  3. Increase awareness of VA examples of these approaches to tackle areas of disparities among Veterans.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Rosalyn P. Scott, MD
    Regional Director Specialty Care Center of Innovation (WEST), Long Beach VA Medical Center

  • Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD
    Chief Officer, Office of Health Equity, VA Central Office, Washington, DC

Background Resources

  • VA Virtual Medical Center. Available online at https://vavmc.com/.

  • Scott RP, Uchendu US, Dominquez M. Spectrum of Virtual Patient-Based Decision-Making Simulations Implemented in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Annual Conference, Helsinki, Finland, August 26-30, 2017. Available online - see page 306.

  • McLaughlin JE, Roth MT, Glatt DM, Gharkholonarehe N, Davidson CA, Griffin LM, et al. (2014). The Flipped Classroom: A Course Redesign to Foster Learning and Engagement in a Health Professions School. Academic Medicine, 89(2), 236-243. Available online.

Intended Audiences

Researchers, clinicians, care coordinators, policy makers, educators, Veteran stakeholders and representatives of vulnerable Veteran groups who are interested in understanding and/or promoting equitable health among all Veterans.


Newly Released AHRQ 2016 Quality and Disparities Report Mentions National Veteran Health Equity Report

AHRQ 2016 Quality and Disparities Report

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has just released their annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). This annual report, which is mandated by Congress, provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial and socioeconomic groups. The report assesses the performance of health care system and identifies areas of strengths and weaknesses, as well as disparities, for access to health care and quality of health care.

While the QDR does not specifically address health care quality and disparities for Veterans, the Looking Forward section of the QDR mentions the National Veteran Health Equity Report (NVHER) developed by the VA Office of Health Equity. As reported in the QDR, “Although the QDR does not include data on veterans, data are available from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Office of Health Equity has conducted research and published the National Veteran Health Equity Report, which showed burden of diseases for veterans.”

The NVHER 1) details patterns and provides comparative rates of health conditions for vulnerable Veteran groups and 2) allows the VA, Veterans, and stakeholders to monitor the care vulnerable Veterans receive and set goals for improving their care. Together, the QDR and NVHER are important tools for monitoring and improving health care and wellbeing for Veterans and the general population.

Read 2016 AQHR Report

New VHA Video Resource to Raise Awareness – REACH for Diversity and Inclusion Pilot

REACH Youtube Screengrab

In 2015, VHA’s National Leadership Council Workforce subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion took action to design a video to raise awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion The Respect, Education, Awareness, Collaboration, and Honesty (REACH) video is a collection of stories from Veterans and employees from across the VA.

The purpose of the REACH video is to:

  • Increase individuals’ basic knowledge of diversity and inclusion;
  • Bring awareness to VA’s goal of becoming a diverse and inclusive healthcare system, employer, and a safe space for all Veterans; and
  • Increase collaboration between VA and other federal agencies to address diversity and inclusion.

The REACH video aligns with the VHA Health Equity Action Plan (HEAP). For example, improving cultural and linguistic competency and the diversity of the health-related workforce is the fourth goal of the HEAP, which is VA’s strategic roadmap to achieving health equity.

The REACH video takes special interest in identifying stories which focus on rural healthcare equity; homelessness; lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; and military service (e.g., Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Vietnam). 

A diverse and inclusive workforce is essential to health equity by ensuring a workforce that is reflective of our Veteran population and has the cultural competency to serve everyone regardless of Veteran’s race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, social economic status, religion, military era, etc. 

Watch REACH Video

New FDA videos - Latinos Can Make a Difference in Clinical Trials

FDA Latinos Clinical Trials

The VA Office of Health Equity (OHE) is pleased to share a new resource from our partners at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Minority Health.  The FDA has launched a series of educational videos and materials to raise awareness of the importance of participation by Latinos and other minorities in clinical trials. These videos highlight the importance of why diversity is needed to help ensure that medical products are safe and effective for everyone.

The OHE supports and strongly encourages the participation of Veterans in clinical trials. As the FDA reminds us, participation in clinical trials is voluntary and confidential.

The current video, Latinos Can Make a Difference in Clinical Trials, is available at the link below and by visiting the OHE Tools Webpage for Veterans, health professionals, and stakeholders.

Watch FDA Video