During the Sept. 6 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Research Advisory Council (NRAC) meeting, Acting Under Secretary for Health Poonam L. Alaigh, MD, updated council members about the VA’s current priorities. She highlighted the VA’s effort to identify best practices in health system modernization in order to recognize areas of opportunity. For example, the VA is reaching out to countries with single-payer health care systems to learn from their progress and identify areas of efficiency.
Also during the meeting, Acting Director of the Clinical Science Research and Development Service Miriam J. Smyth, PhD, updated council members on current research related to suicide prevention, which is one of core VA priority areas. Dr. Smyth provided an overview of the Getting to Zero: Suicide Prevention VA Breakthrough Initiative and the current tasks of identifying gaps in the VA research portfolio on Veterans’ suicide, translating current research findings into future practice, and working with other federal agencies and external partners to identify additional suicide prevention research.
Additionally, Director of Health Services Research and Development David Atkins, MD, presented on how the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) model of implementation is being used to identify suicide prevention research priorities.
The role of the NRAC is to provide advice to the Under Secretary for Health and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on research and development sponsored and/or conducted by the Veterans Health Administration, to include policies and programs of the Research and Development Office.