Updates from the VA Office of Health Equity

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December 1, 2017

Join VA Chief Health Equity Officer as She Discusses the Role of Dissemination & Implementation Research in Achieving Health Equity for Veterans

D&I Conference

Bridge the gap between research, practice, and policy in health and health care by joining over 1,000 of your peers at the 10th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, December 4-6, 2017, in Arlington, VA.

VA Chief Health Officer Equity Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD and panel of esteemed speakers will discuss Achieving Health Equity: The Role of D&I Research on Tuesday, December 5 from 11:30 – 12:45 PM EST. 

The Annual D&I conference addresses priorities in the field, grows the research base, and ensures that evidence is used to inform decisions that will improve health and health care.

This year, in an extended two and half day conference, organizers will be celebrating both the 10-year milestone of the conference series, and the contributions of all attendees in the field, working each day to improve the health of individuals and communities.

Register Today!

Register for December’s Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar -- Using Quality Improvement Projects to Demonstrate Health Equity in Action for Vulnerable Veterans

Veteran Faces

The VA Office of Health Equity (OHE) launched the VA Health Equity Themed Quality Improvement Projects Initiative during fiscal year 2014. This initiative was launched to support local and field-based efforts to implement quality improvement efforts that have been designed or identified through existing literature and that are expected to achieve health equity and/or reduce health disparities among vulnerable Veteran groups. The purpose of the current session is to describe quality improvement projects and findings for projects funded by OHE during fiscal year 2017 and discuss lessons learned and actionable steps that can be used by VA facilities, researchers, and stakeholders to inform local and national efforts that advance health equity for vulnerable Veterans. 

** Please note, event will take place on a Monday. 


Using Quality Improvement Projects to Demonstrate Health Equity in Action for Vulnerable Veterans

Monday, December 18, 2017

3:00 – 4:00 PM EST


Learning Objectives

  1. Identify quality improvement strategies and other actions that can be used to advance health equity; 

  2. Understand disparities in hysterectomy care in VA and how individual and system level determinants may contribute to disparities;

  3. Recognize differences in patient experience with surgical processes and outcomes; and  

  4. Describe VISN-wide implementation of the MOVE! program as a quality improvement strategy to narrow the equity gap among Hispanic/Latino and Non-Hispanic/Latino Veterans with respect to uncontrolled HbA1c.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Wendell Jones, MD
    Chief Medical Officer, VISN 17 Central Texas, Dallas, Texas

  • Jodie Katon, PhD
    Scientist, VA Health Services Research and Development, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington

  • Sara Knight, PhD
    Director, Health Services Research Program, Birmingham VA Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama 

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

Background Resources



Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health

Immigration SDH

On November 28, 2017, the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity hosted a workshop in Oakland, California, entitled Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health. This public workshop featured invited speaker presentations and discussions that considered the history of immigration laws and policies and how these laws and policies affect not only immigrant health, but population health more broadly.

VA Chief Health Equity Officer Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD, a member of the Roundtable and served on the planning committee, recommended a panel to incorporate the voices of immigrants, including Veterans and Military Service Members. Dr. Uchendu moderated the panel, which featured voices, faces, and stories of military service members represented by Veterans for New Americans.

Service Members and Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents may be eligible for citizenship under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.