Healthcare innovation

Jesse Award recognizes transformational VA innovators

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Jesse Award recognizes transformational VA innovators

Each year, VA’s Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning honors three categories of innovators with the Under Secretary for Health’s Dr. Robert L. Jesse Award for Excellence in Innovation. This award was established in 2019 to honor Dr. Robert L. Jesse, principal deputy under secretary for Health, July 2010.

The award gives distinction to VA employees who have demonstrated brilliance enabling the discovery and spread of health care innovation that exceeds expectations, restores hope and builds trust within VA.

This year’s awards fall into three categories. The Clinical Award is for innovators leading clinical care efforts. The Non-Clinical Award is for IT and other non-health care related innovators. The Team Award is for innovative teams or organizations within VA.

Clinical Award: Dr. Adam Bock, CPRS booster

Dr. Adam Bock is the chief of Informatics and a practicing primary care doctor at Minneapolis VA. Two years ago, he started on a mission to improve the ease of use and efficiency of VA clinical computer systems.

Driven by what was quite literally an obsession to reduce burnout among health care professionals, he saw a way to create his own software. When run together with VA computer systems, the software dramatically increases efficiency and reduces the workload required to perform a wide range of computer tasks.

He called this product CPRS Booster after CPRS, the current VA electronic medical system. In a survey of Booster users: Employees ranging from physicians to pharmacists to medical clerks to nurses all rated this product as the single most useful enhancement to VA computer efficiency ever. Well over 30,000 VA employees use his freely available software.

Non-Clinical Award: Charles Franklin, VA Rideshare

Charles Franklin is an Innovation Project Manager and VA Rideshare innovator with VISN 1 New England Center for Innovation Excellence. VA Rideshare began as a pilot with 10 Veterans at Boston VA in 2018. Since August 2021, it has facilitated more than 250,000 rides across 2.5 million miles for Veterans, an average of over 12,000 rides weekly.

These miles translate to life-altering access to care for over 105,000 medical appointments, 20,000 for housing, 15,000 for food and critical community services for Veterans, and 25,000 for employment. Under Franklin’s leadership, VA Rideshare now operates nationally to support the VA Homeless Program Office across more than 165 VA Medical Centers.

Team Award: Eli Kaufman and Daniel Abrahamson, Mobile Prosthetic and Orthotic Care Program

Eli Kaufman and Daniel Abrahamson are the national program leaders for the Mobile Orthotic and Prosthetic Care Program of VISN 20. The MoPOC care model incorporates teams of mobile prosthetic and orthotic clinicians who are equipped with specialty vehicles and tools to provide care at small VA clinics in rural communities and at the homes of Veterans.

After piloting their mobile program locally, they forged a path for national implementation by becoming an Enterprise-Wide Initiative through the VHA Office of Rural Health.

Currently at five sites nationwide, this year MoPOC is expanding to five additional sites: Columbia, SC; Syracuse, NY; Sioux Falls, SD; Fargo, ND; and Guam.

MoPOC is achieving its vision to provide world-class multidisciplinary VA-based care that is accessible to all Veterans with prosthetic and orthotic needs, enabling Veterans to Choose VA. MoPOC was initially supported by VHA iNET.

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