The Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) program is located in the Health Services Research & Development service in the VA Office of Research & Development. QUERI funds VA investigators across the US to work with key stakeholders, including providers, managers, policymakers, and researchers, to transform care delivered to Veterans. To learn more about our program or partner with us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH
Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, QUERI Director
As Director of QUERI, Dr. Kilbourne leads over 40 centers devoted to implementing evidence-based research into clinical practice that improves the health and healthcare of Veterans. She is a national expert in implementation science, partnered-oriented research, and evidence-based policy. Dr. Kilbourne has been widely recognized for her research in multisite implementation intervention trials, integrated physical and mental health care strategies, and evidence-based policy. Moreover, Dr. Kilbourne brings to QUERI an extensive working knowledge of VA operations and policy, through her previous national roles as Associate Director of the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC), and as Director of the VA Homelessness Health Services Research Initiative, in partnership with the National Center on Veteran Homelessness.
In addition, Dr. Kilbourne has initiated several VA studies in priority areas that include mental health, care coordination, health disparities, and women's health. Her research has led to a number of VA national initiatives, including a VA directive on re-engaging Veterans with serious mental illness into care, a health disparities research roadmap, and a mental health patient-aligned care team (PACT) model. She is a prolific author, with more than 220 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Dr. Kilbourne also is the recipient of several awards including the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the Gerald L. Klerman Research Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).
Dr. Kilbourne received her bachelors of arts at the University of California at Berkeley (double major in molecular biology and rhetoric), and her masters in epidemiology and PhD in health services from the University of California Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Kilbourne is Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan (UM) Medical School. She is also a member of the NIMH National Mental Health Advisory Council and a Senior Fellow with the Partnership for Public Service.
Melissa Braganza, MPH
Melissa Braganza, MPH, QUERI Deputy Director
As QUERI Deputy Director, Melissa serves as the lead for QUERI strategic planning and program communications and helps support VHA’s implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act, ensuring QUERI initiatives align with VA national priorities. From August 2016 – May 2022, Melissa served as QUERI’s Scientific Program Manager, where she led several national initiatives, including the systematic prioritization, scientific review, and reporting of impacts to help fulfill QUERI’s goal of accelerating the implementation of evidence-based practices and policies to improve Veteran health.
Prior to joining the VA, Melissa led health services research at the Health Management Academy, working with leading US health systems to create a knowledge network and peer learning forum to support best practices in healthcare. Melissa received her Master of Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a two-year Cancer Research Training fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Melissa has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. She is also a graduate of the Partnership for Public Service’s Excellence in Government Fellows Program.
Kara Beck, PhD
Kara Beck, PhD, Program Manager
As QUERI Program Manager, Kara serves as the lead for QUERI funding announcements and application review, project requirements and reporting, financial planning, and contracting. As a clinical psychologist, Kara brings clinical, research, and program evaluation experience to her role in QUERI. Kara joined Federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2018, serving in the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health and completing a detail with the General Services Administration Office of Evaluation Sciences before transitioning to the Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women's Health where she led communications and outreach. Kara received a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Central Michigan University in 2017 and completed post-doctoral training as a clinician and associate faculty of the Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Center at La Frontera Center in Tucson, AZ. Kara has a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Communications from North Park University. Kara continues to provide part-time clinical services in her free time.
Stefanie Gidmark, MPH
Stefanie Gidmark, MPH, QUERI Program Specialist
As QUERI Program Specialist, Stefanie supports QUERI and its funded centers on items related to application submission and review, funding, communications, meeting planning, and administrative guidance. Prior to joining QUERI, Stefanie served as a manager of grants at a regional non-profit healthcare system with a focus on provision of community mental health services. In this role, she was responsible for securing funding, leading implementation efforts, and ensuring state and regulatory award compliance. Prior to that position, Stefanie spent over 8 years as a research project manager based out of the Providence VAMC and worked on several HSR&D research projects and operationally funded evaluation efforts related to long term care services and supports. Stefanie received her Master of Public Health degree from Brown University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colorado College. She completed a summer fellowship at AHRQ within the Evidence-Based Practice Division and is currently a part-time PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at Northern Illinois University.