News
December 16, 2021

Regenstrief to co-lead new VA fellowship program with focus on learning health systems

Dr. Marianne Matthias and Dr. Teresa Damush
Dr. Marianne Matthias (left) and Dr. Teresa Damush (right)

The Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development (VA HSR&D) Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC) and Regenstrief Institute have been awarded a new VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research and Development, with an orientation to the Learning Health System.

The VA HSR&D Office of Academic Affiliations Advance Fellowship — in collaboration with AcademyHealth — provides two years of post-residency, post-doctoral research, education and clinical learning opportunities and will be led by Teresa Damush, PhD and Marianne Matthias, PhD, who are both Regenstrief research scientists and investigators with the VA HSR&D CHIC.

This program leverages the local leadership support at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center and the expertise, mentorship and educational infrastructure at the VA HSR&D CHIC and Regenstrief Center for Health Services Research to provide advanced interprofessional training opportunities in health services research, implementation science, healthcare system improvement, bioethics, and data analytics — all of which are crucial to creating learning health systems (LHS). These systems utilize data science to identify organizational opportunities, engage leadership and employ quality improvement methods to enhance patient care and sustain best practices in a healthcare organization.

“Our new LHS fellowship aligns well with the Veterans Health Administration’s aim to transform into a high reliability organization,” said Dr. Damush. “Through this program, we plan to develop the critical skills of the next generation of health services researchers within the Veteran Health Administration, an integrated, national Learning Health System.”

“Regenstrief and CHIC have an excellent combination of experienced mentors and expertise, making this an ideal setting for this program,” said Dr. Matthias. “The fellows will receive rigorous scientific methods training and practical application of LHS concepts in healthcare.”

The program will recruit two fellows to begin training in July of 2022. Linda Collins, the CHIC administrative officer, will be the program coordinator. A number of Regenstrief research scientists were involved in the creation of the proposal and will serve as mentors.

About Teresa M. Damush, PhD

In addition to her role as a research scientist at Regenstrief, Teresa M. Damush, PhD, is a senior research professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. She also serves as a senior investigator for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.

About Marianne S. Matthias, PhD

In addition to her role as a research scientist at Regenstrief, Marianne S. Matthias, PhD, is a core investigator for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Health Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. She is also an associate research professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

About Veteran Health Indiana and CHIC

The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center is the flagship medical center for Veteran Health Indiana, the VA’s healthcare system in central and southern Indiana.  The medical center is located in downtown Indianapolis, and is collocated with three large community hospitals and the campus of the Indiana University Schools of Medicine and Nursing.  The health system has been serving Hoosier Veterans since 1932. As Indiana’s Level 1a, tertiary care Veteran facility, the medical center serves as home base for a system of inpatient and outpatient care locations serving more than 62,000 Veterans.

The VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC) group is a diverse cadre of researchers based at Roudebush VA Medical Center who work together to transform the healthcare system, both within and outside the VA so every patient receives consistent, high-quality care.

About Regenstrief Institute

Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.

Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.

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