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Research and Development Website

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ORD Field Conference Call Notes

Monday, June 20, 2011

  1. Welcome – Joel Kupersmith, M.D.

  1. Finance Update – Maureen Carroll

Stations should have received their IT funding last week. Dr. O’Leary has been in discussion with IT regarding their proposal to sweep IT funds at the end of this quarter. It appears we might be given more opportunity to expend these funds. However, if you cannot spend what you received, please send an e-mail to Maureen Carroll and Darryl McGraw as soon as possible. Give them your station number, station name, and the amount you will NOT be able to spend.

Carryover for this year will be 1%. No exemptions will be given.

  1. Communications Update – Gina Clemons

Research Week:

Date planning for Research Week 2012 has begun. Please let us know by July 10 of any conferences or other important events occurring on the following dates:

March 26-30, April 23-27, or May 14-18, 2012 by sending an e-mail to

^ Research and Development Website: ORD Communications has been tasked with redesigning the ORD public web presence. The new web presence will be more Veteran-centric—targeting Veterans, their family members, caregivers, and advocates—as well as promote information and resources for members of the scientific, academic, and health communities. It will also have a more updated look and feel and have a larger presence for social media. Information from the field research offices and ORD programs will be integral in this redesign. As described below, we will be collecting information from the ORD SharePoint site, publications, etc., to populate the web with information for each research facility and ORD program. The new site will fall in line with VHA and use Team Site.

We are always looking to the field for wants, needs, and suggestions. A draft design is attached. As the website is developed, there will be opportunities for beta testers. If you have comments or are interested in being a beta tester, please contact David Rosen at

^ Research and Development SharePoint Site: ORD Communications is further refining the SharePoint site for ORD. The SharePoint site was created as an avenue for two-way communication between the field, VISNs, and ORD headquarters. The site is designed not only to facilitate information disseminated from ORD out, but also to allow field offices to provide updates in standardized formats.

One of the new projects underway is the Publication Tracking System roll-out to all HSR&D sites. This system will replace the current email notification system. The roll-out is being coordinated through CIDER in Boston. Once all HSRD sites are comfortably using the system, system use will be expanded to all other research offices. The Publication Tracking System allows field offices to alert headquarters of all publications, presentations, media interviews, and other professional activities where research results are being publicized, presented, recognized, or discussed. This system has an early-alert function that will allow ORD and VHA sufficient time to promote the activity or prepare for any controversy that may arise.

The SharePoint site can be accessed at: We encourage you to visit the site frequently, and provide us feedback and suggestions for the site, as well as content you would like featured. Please contact David Rosen at with your input.

^ Research Facility Profiles:

ORD Communications is putting together “Research Profiles” on each VAMC where research is conducted. These research profiles will be posted on the ORD SharePoint site ( ) and provide information on the research program at your facility as a whole, highlighting standout features of the program. Information from the SharePoint site will be used to populate the research facility pages being created for the web.

The benefits of the Research Profiles for each VAMC include:

• Opportunity for inclusion in national level marketing collateral

• Benchmarking opportunities

• Reduction in last-minute information requests

• Consistency

• Increased exposure to internal programs at Central Office

• Ability to link with other VA websites

A pilot request for targeted data was sent directly to 10 VAMCs in October 2010 that yielded very little response. A second request for existing information was sent out on the AO and ACOS for Research listserve on June 6th with more than 40 responses received (thank you). Those responses are currently being reviewed and will be used to generate a field office template. Once complete, the template will be shared with the field and other stakeholders (including SharePoint POC) for feedback. Feedback will be incorporated and a final template will be shared with all. Templates will be posted on SharePoint then moved to the Internet in Phase 2.

  1. ^ Talk about SMEs for the DEU - Margaret Hannon

Thanks to those of you who have forwarded nominees to be our subject matter experts for the DEU. We have 9 volunteers for the administrative area. We could use more clinical science, basic science, HSR&D and Rehab. By the way, it would help to know what your area of expertise is. For example, if you’re doing spinal cord injury, it’s a little different from hearing loss. We recommend you nominate your career scientists.

  1. ^ Service Updates:

  • HSR&D Update – Dr. Seth Eisen

The CREATE (Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence) program is 3-5 coordinated research projects that focus on a research area targeting a high-priority health system issue that has the interest and commitment of a VHA partner or partners (e.g., operations or program office at a local, regional and/or VACO level). The overall goal of the CREATE group of projects is move the issue being addressed measurably forward in a manner that is important to the partners, and significantly impacts Veteran health. For this first solicitation, only current HSR&D REAPs and CoE’s were eligible to apply.

Because of the innovative nature of the CREATE, 3 review / approval steps are involved: an initial 5 page LOI, a subsequent 10 to 15 page Concept Proposal, and (for those investigator teams that are approved) a full proposal.

25 of the 27 eligible REAPs and CoEs submitted an LOI. The outcome of the LOI review will be released on July 1.

^ Under Secretary’s Award - Nominations for the Under Secretary’s Award in Health Services Research are due July 1, 2011.  Submissions are strongly encouraged.  Note that individuals who were previously nominated but not selected will be re-considered automatically in this cycle.  Questions may be directed to Carmen Corsetti at 202-443-5730 or or you may refer to the website:

AcademyHealth – The 2011 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting convened last week in Seattle. AcademyHealth is the premier health services research meeting. Over 2200 researchers attended. HSR&D investigators lead or participated in over 30 sessions, and sponsored two: Risk and Resiliency for Post Deployment Disorders, and Veteran Homelessness. HSR&D investigators made over 30 competitively selected presentations. Three VA HSR&D abstracts were selected as award winners: Matthew Maciejewski, Ph.D. and his team at the Durham VA for their abstract related to bariatric surgery; Jean Yoon and her team at the Palo Alto VA for their abstract on trends in diagnoses & condition-attributable costs among women VA patients; and Alexander Young and his team at the LAVAMC for their abstract on implementation of evidence-based weight practices in specialty mental health.

It was particularly gratifying to overhear a conversation between two non-VA attendees while riding the escalator. One said to the other, “Wow, VA research is being mentioned everywhere at this meeting!”

  • ^ RR&D – Dr. Stuart Hoffman

Researcher Recognition

1) Matthew Harper, PhD won the New Investigator Award for Best Presentation at the 3rd Federal Interagency Conference on TBI held June 13-15, 2011. The presentation was "Retinal Ganglian Cell and Optic Nerve Structural and Functional Loss are Key Features of Experimental Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury." Congratulations to. Dr. Harper.


^ Scientific Review

2) We have received a total of 292 application for review during the August 2011 review sessions. This breaks out to 169 merit, 76 pilot, 12 CDA-1, 31 CDA-2 and 4 RCS applications. This is a record number for RR&D (267 applications the previous round).

^ Magnuson Award

3) Reminder that nomination packets for the Paul B. Magnuson 2011 award are being accepted through August, 1, 2011. This is the highest award that RR&D bestows upon a rehabilitation researcher.

    • ^ BLR&D / CSR&D – Dr. LeRoy Frey

I would like to provide an update of the Spring 2011 review cycle for BLR&D and CSR&D. Review Panel meetings will be completed this week for the 502 Merit Review, 79 CDA-2 Career Development, 29 Program Projects, and 7 Pilot Projects received. We expect that all remaining scores will be released this week. Scores are or will be available to applicants in the Commons PI View of their eRA Commons account. Note that “Not Discussed” means that an application was not discussed or scored at the Review Panel meeting because the Panel judged the application to be non-competitive based on initial scoring. As always, “Not Discussed” applications will receive a summary statement that includes the critiques of the application.

Based on anticipated budget constraints, we expect to fund overall—that is across all Review Panels, 20% or less of the Merit review proposals. No percentiles are being calculated for Career Development, Program Projects, or Pilot Projects. Funding will be based on the quality of the proposals received and overall budget considerations. Please do not call to ask what priority scores or percentiles mean in terms of likelihood of funding. We expect funding decisions to be released by mid to late July.

I’d like to remind everyone about the new letter of intent (LOI) requirement for clinical trials. Starting with the Fall 2011 review cycle, an approved LOI is required prior to a new application for a clinical trial as a Merit Review or a Pilot Project. LOIs for clinical trials for the Fall 2011 cycle are due July 15, 2011. Any questions about the clinical trial LOI process should be directed to the mailbox:

Also, I would like to announce that we are extending the submission date for 2011 Middleton and Barnwell Award applications to August 1, 2011.

    • MVP Update - Dr. Suma Muralidhar

The Chief of Staff, John Gingrich announced the national launch of The Million Veteran Program at Research Week in May 2011. The program was announced on VA Facebook, Twitter and via a VHA blog. MVP was also announced on billboards at Times Square and Las Vegas. This marked expansion from 9 Vanguard sites to 19 additional sites bringing the total number of sites in FY11 to 28. Minneapolis was launched on June 15th.  Birmingham will launch on June 22nd ; Bay Pines and Tuscaloosa will launch on June 29th ; and Albany and Houston on July 6th. The remaining sites will be launched over the next 4-6 weeks.  As sites launch, they will be announced on the MVP website at

  • PRIDE – Dr. Lynn Cates

The 2011 VA Local Accountability for Research Meeting was held June 1-2, 2011, in Washington, DC.  The meeting was a collaborative effort among ORD, ORO, OI&T, and the VHA Privacy Office.  There were 656 participants including ACOS/R&D, AO/R&D, IRB Administrators, ISOs, Privacy Officers, and RCOs.  This was a good opportunity for people from local facilities to spend some time together, as well as an opportunity to network with others with similar responsibilities.   There were many good questions and suggestions from the field.

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