Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

QUERI E-news
Summer 2023

» Table of Contents

Director's Letter

Change Presents Opportunity

Amy Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director of QUERI

Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, Director of QUERI

Many Thanks to HSR&D Director, David Atkins, MD, MPH, for his Support of QUERI!

It is with mixed emotions that we congratulate David Atkins, MD, MPH, on his retirement this October. He will be greatly missed as our champion for QUERI, health services research, early-career investigators, and adoption of evidence-based practice in the VA healthcare system and beyond.

Prior to his tenure as Director of HSR&D, Dr. Atkins led QUERI from 2008 to 2012. During this time, he championed partnerships with clinical programs, notably through the Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) as well as the launching of the Partnered Evaluation Centers, which used a mixture of QUERI and partner funding to meet the evaluation needs of specific clinical partners. As HSR&D Director, Dr. Atkins has continued to advocate for QUERI and has helped guide its growth.

Upon his retirement, I will have big shoes to fill as Acting Director of HSR&D. Nonetheless, as VA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) undergoes one of the most significant reorganizations in 20 years, Dr. Atkins has positioned HSR&D to be a national thought leader in learning health systems research that will be essential to ORD’s long-term goal of enhancing the real-world impact of research. This is particularly important in areas such as: access to care, health equity, rural health, Veteran engagement, health informatics, complex chronic care, implementation science, patient safety, homelessness, mental health/suicide prevention, women’s health, and pain and opioid use. On a personal level, David has been an outstanding boss and mentor who has always provided thorough and perceptive guidance in QUERI’s strategic direction and integration across VA and beyond, ensuring that Veterans receive the best care through our funded initiatives.

As I transition to the Acting HSR&D Director role, I am delighted that Melissa Braganza, MPH, will become the Acting QUERI Director. As QUERI Deputy Director, Melissa has led QUERI strategic planning and program communications. Prior to this role, she served as QUERI’s Scientific Program Manager, where she led several national initiatives, including the implementation of evidence-based practices and policies to improve Veterans’ health. Before joining VA, Melissa led health services research at The Health Management Academy, working with leading U.S. health systems to create a knowledge network and peer-learning forum to support best practices in healthcare. Melissa received her Master of Public Health degree from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a two-year Cancer Research Training fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. She is also a graduate of the Partnership for Public Service’s Excellence in Government Fellows Program. QUERI will be in excellent hands with Melissa at the helm!

We look forward to working with you in our new roles this coming fall.

Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH
QUERI Director

Melissa Braganza, MPH
QUERI Deputy Director

» Next