Over the summer, the Senate confirmed Dr. Shereef Elnahal as the Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Health, the first formally confirmed VHA undersecretary to serve in the role since 2017. Elnahal tells us about his career in health policy and veterans health care, his goals as VA’s chief health official and his insights on the agency’s next steps for its health care modernization and medical innovation programs.
The use of telehealth has accelerated across the health care landscape, including in treating cancer. But this digital delivery model comes with pros and cons, and more research is needed to determine how to best integrate it. The National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s Robin Vanderpool, who leads health communication and informatics research, highlights the four Telehealth Research Centers of Excellence (TRACE) that aim to help understand and improve telehealth for cancer care delivery.
VA has been overseeing some of America's most compelling research into both the origins of traumatic brain injury as well as its long-term outcomes. Career research scientist Dr. Mary Jo Pugh describes how the agency is using newfound capacities in artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide better outcomes for veterans with a complex and often difficult condition.
NCI has one of the largest Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs in the United States, with $26.1 billion in economic output. NCI’s SBIR center takes a holistic approach to supporting small businesses, including businesses owned by underrepresented groups. SBIR provides mentorship, training, networks and funding opportunities for businesses that are developing transformative cancer care technologies.
With the passage of the PACT Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs is now able to offer an expanded scope of health care for veterans who have suffered health consequences due to exposure to harmful substances during their deployments. VA leaders Dr. Steven Lieberman and Dr. Patricia Hastings explain how VA is working to use these new resources to fulfill its duty to care for and serve America's veterans. This episode includes support from Maximus.
COVID-19 created numerous workforce challenges for the health sector, including staffing shortages and burnout. Antiquated pen-and-paper processes can burden health workers and worsen patient care and health outcomes. Digitization strategies built on a firm data management foundation can help solve these problems by reducing busywork and streamlining rote tasks. This episode is sponsored by Issio Solutions.
In late August, ONC and HRSA announced a new USCDI+ collaboration to support HRSA’s Uniform Data System reporting through the UDS Modernization Initiative. The agencies are aligning the UDS with interoperability standards and transitioning to patient-level reporting requirements with USCDI and other quality reporting efforts. The initiative will help advance health equity and drive data-driven decision-making by streamlining operations and making health systems interoperable.
The term "cancer survivor" refers to any person who has had a cancer diagnosis, and this population is growing. As of January 2022, it is estimated that there are 18.1 million cancer survivors in the U.S. — approximately 5% of the population. This number is expected to increase to 26 million by 2040 due to the aging population, better detection strategies, more effective cancer treatments and improved supportive care. Dr. Emily Tonorezos, director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute, discusses the research her office is facilitating to help address the needs of this community.
Suicide prevention is the Department of Veterans Affairs No. 1 clinical priority. The agency's Executive Director of Suicide Prevention Matthew Miller unpacks new programs and initiatives aimed at reducing veteran suicide, like VA's recently announced Mission Daybreak. He'll also discuss the technologies that are helping VA meet this critical goal.
Cancer innovation has been a longstanding priority in the current administration. But sometimes overlooked is some of the nation's most sophisticated lung cancer research underway at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This includes applying capacities like modernized electronic health records and artificial intelligence to support groundbreaking innovation. Dr. Michael Kelley, director of the National Precision Oncology Program, and Kenute Myrie, portfolio manager at the VA Office of Research and Development, discuss how the agency is advancing understanding of cancer and improving long-term health outcomes for veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is at the forefront of some of America's most advanced brain health research. Ahead of the VA NAII BRAIN Summit in Washington D.C., Dr. Rafael Fricks discusses how VA is applying breaking technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand and treat complex conditions ranging from brain cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
Pediatric cancers are considered rare diseases, which makes them more challenging to study and treat. However, efforts like the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative are helping to advance disease biology understanding and open pathways for community collaboration. In light of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, NCI experts discuss the future of precision medicine and immunotherapy.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is at the forefront of advancing America's health care and using new capacities to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Priya Joshi discusses how the agency is developing a set of rigorous clinical standards to ensure technology is adopted in a safe, effective way to improve the treatment and quality of life for veterans nationwide.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is making considerable advancements in wearable devices and remote patient monitoring to keep track of symptoms and key health metrics in near real time. VA Innovation Specialist Dr. Lindsay Riegler provides a look at how the agency is incorporating these within its broader health care program to improve treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
In June, a study supported by the National Cancer Institute found that for people with HIV, early treatment of precancerous anal lesions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) can cut rates of anal cancer incidence by more than half. These findings from the Anal Cancer/HSIL Outcomes Research (ANCHOR) study are creating secondary prevention options for those at risk for anal cancer who have not received the HPV vaccine. We look into the history of the study and what its work means for those at risk for anal cancer.
The Veterans Health Administration has focused much of its modernization programs on improving access to essential care. Director of the Veterans Transportation Program Ben Williams and VHA Executive Management Fellow Indra Sandal discuss the new VHA-Uber Health Connect pilot helping veterans access the care they need while significantly reducing costs from missed appointments.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been overseeing some of America's most promising and impactful research into the treatment and management of diabetes. Dr. Leonard Pogach, a lifelong diabetes specialist at VA, highlights the agency's critical work in advancing the understanding of one of America's most commonly suffered chronic illnesses.
The Department of Veterans Affairs oversees both America's largest integrated health care network as well as some of the nation's most impactful and wide-reaching health care research projects. VA Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center Dr. Ziyad al-Aly describes how the agency is using a large repository of health care information and expertise treating COVID-19 to oversee research into better addressing the condition's enduring symptoms long term.
The COVID-19 pandemic created ripple effects across all of health care, especially for at-risk populations like cancer patients. Early in the pandemic, the National Cancer Institute initiated a study to examine the intersection of cancer and COVID-19 diagnoses. More than two years later, we discuss with NCI Head of Breast Cancer and Melanoma Therapeutics Dr. Larissa Korde from the Clinical Investigations Branch on the status of the study, some of the preliminary findings and how it's evolved.
As America's largest integrated healthcare network, the Department of Veterans Affairs also oversees a considerable scope of advanced medical and biomedical research programs. Hear from VA Director of Data Analytics and Innovation Amanda Purnell on how the agency is making innovative use of synthetic data like creating algorithms and machine learning models to support and advance health issues for veterans, including suicide prevention, COVID-19 and more.
The Food and Drug Administration released an Enterprise Modernization Action Plan (EMAP), the next installment of the agency’s “stronger data and technology foundational approach,” which follows action plans around technology and data modernization. FDA CIO Vid Desai says the plan will accelerate operational efficiency, data use and cross-agency alignment. Desai dives into FDA’s requested fiscal year 2023 budget and what it means for continued modernization across the agency.
Immunotherapy, or the ability to use a person's own immune system to fight cancer, is rising as a promising treatment option in cancer care. In our first episode of our Cancer HealthCasts miniseries, we talk to one of the fathers of successful immunotherapy, Dr. Steven Rosenberg, about how a study he's leading is unveiling a new form of personalized immunotherapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to combat metastatic breast cancer.
Last year we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act with the NCA Miniseries, but there's still so much to discuss in the field of cancer research. This new miniseries explores how NCI is pushing the ball forward in the fight against cancer. We'll dive into news and program highlights in the cancer space, and dig deeper into how NCI is collaborating with partners to enable new technologies and cutting-edge research. Tune in next week for the first episode interview with NCI Surgery Branch Chief Dr. Steven Rosenberg.
Drug-involved overdose rates and deaths have been increasing at alarming rates across the country, and a majority of those deaths have been attributed to opioids in recent years. Amid the growing crisis, the National Institutes of Health started the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative (HEAL) to study and address the opioid epidemic. HEAL Director Dr. Rebecca Baker discusses the strides NIH has taken to help advance science for pain management, barriers for substance use disorder treatment and other critical pieces to addressing opioid misuse and addiction.
The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains one of the most comprehensive benefits and healthcare services of any institution in the United States. Hear from VA digital services expert John Rahaghi on how the agency is further integrating its various services through the integrated Login.gov portal, and how these developments fit within VA's broader customer experience strategy.
Adm. Rachel Levine is Assistant Secretary for Health, coordinating public health efforts at the federal level. Levine discusses challenges and lessons learned from the pandemic, as well as how she is approaching other public health challenges like mental health, the opioid epidemic and more. We'll also see how innovation, intersectional health, telehealth and other approaches are key for addressing these challenges.
As America's largest civilian agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs manages one of the country's most substantial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) programs to provide federal documents to the public upon request. Hear from VA FOIA Director Michael Sarich on how the agency is using new capacities like process automation to expedite the FOIA process and release documents more quickly and efficiently.
Any IT modernization strategy is most successful when it incorporates human-centered design principles. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, this ensures the veteran is at the center of its products and services. Samara Strauss, VA Product Manager at the U.S. Digital Service, discusses how her team is contributing to VA's enterprise effort to provide veterans with world-class customer service and guidance through their VA experience, focusing on the modernization of va.gov and other innovative digital services.
Senior researchers Melissa Harris and Kate Macri break down the outcomes and observations from our latest virtual event, Infrastructure: Health IT. Topics include harnessing and harmonizing data, cloud infrastructure development, and priorities at various health agencies. Featured perspectives include leadership from NIH, CMS and more.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Healthcare Equity is using the agency's increasingly sophisticated data interoperability and analytics capacities to better address key areas of health care disparity. Executive Director of the Office of Health Equity Dr. Ernest Moy breaks down how VA is leveraging its increasingly modernized health IT system to identify and bridge critical care gaps and improve delivery across both geographic and demographic lines.