Chelsea's Own Laura Damschroder Clinches Prestigious VA Health System Impact Award


Laura Damschroder, MS, MPH. Courtesy Laura Damschroder.

The Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) has announced Laura Damschroder, MS, MPH, as the recipient of the prestigious 2022 Health System Impact Award. This recognition, provided by the Veterans Administration, is bestowed annually to a single researcher whose work has significantly influenced clinical practice or policy within the VA healthcare system– and that has been successfully translated into VA's policy or operations.

Within HSR&D's Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), Damschroder has led several key Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) programs and collaborations. These include the Maintaining Implementation through Dynamic Adaptations (MIDAS) QUERI Program and the QUERI SHAARK Partnered Evaluation Initiative.

The MIDAS QUERI Program aims to further the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) vision of preventing veteran harm by promoting strategies to help providers optimize the use of evidence-based treatments and reduce unsafe or ineffective use of targeted, evidence-based treatments.

Simultaneously, the QUERI SHAARK initiative seeks to amplify the impact of the VHA's Diffusion of Excellence (DoE) program, which provides a national infrastructure for eliciting, implementing, and diffusing promising VA practices.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs praised Damschroder's work, saying, "Ms. Damschroder earned the Impact Award because of her research impact related to effective, system-wide implementations with demonstrated improvements in Veterans' health. Her work has also changed how researchers conduct health services research, nationally and internationally."

A significant contribution by Damschroder has been her development of The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). The CFIR helps in planning, conducting, and evaluating implementations in healthcare. The CFIR helps people do this. It has been listed in the top five most accessed articles within the flagship journal, Implementation Science, since its publication in 2009. The CFIR is a public resource and common good—free and open to all.

In addition to her contributions to implementation science, Damschroder has been instrumental in combating the rising obesity rates among veterans. She has developed and implemented multiple interventions addressing this crucial issue.

"Laura has been a leader in developing and implementing interventions to address the rising rate of obesity among Veterans, a high-priority area not only for my Program Office, but also for VHA, for HSR&D, and for the nation," stated Jane Kim, MD, MPH, Executive Director for Preventive Medicine, VA's National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

Under Damschroder's guidance, changes have been made in implementation guidelines for the MOVE! Weight Management Program. Damschroder has also provided algorithms for optimization and integration of weight management across disciplines and has advocated for integrating quality improvement into the daily activities of 51 MOVE! teams.

The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs adds, "HSR&D and QUERI are very pleased to honor Ms. Damschroder's research that continues to help VA provide Veterans with evidence-based care better and faster through advancements in implementation science, thanks, in part, to her valuable work."

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