HEROIC Investigators - Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System
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Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System

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HEROIC Investigators

HEROIC brings together unique talent and expertise from a multidisciplinary group of investigators including specialized expertise in (1) management of chronic diseases (i.e., diabetes, hypertension, severe mental illnesses) and comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions; (2) novel intervention development for a range of medical and psychiatric conditions, most notably diabetes, stroke, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression; (3) use of technology to facilitate access to care (i.e., telehealth applications, web interventions); and (4) novel intervention development to reduce disparities across the full continuum of care (i.e., primary care, inpatient hospitalization, transitional care).

Download a printable HEROIC Directory


  • R. Neal Axon, MD, - Director
  • Elizabeth Santa Ana, PhD- Associate Director
  • Anouk Grubaugh, PhD – Access/Telemedicine Core Leader for HEROIC
  • Mulugeta Gebregziabher, PhD - Biostatistics Core Co-Leader for HEROIC
  • Chanita Hughes-Halbert, PhD – Health Equity/Rural Health Core Leader for HEROIC
  • Flo Hutchison, MD – VISN Collaboration Core Leader for HEROIC
  • Rebecca Knapp, PhD – Biostatistics Core Co-Leader for HEROIC
  • Charlene Pope, PhD, MPH – Implementation/Partner Research Core Leader for HEROIC

Core investigators

  • Neal Axon, MD, MSCR
  • Boyd Davis, PhD
  • Libby Dismuke, PhD
  • Lewis Frey, PhD
  • Mulugeta Gebregziabher, PhD
  • Anouk Grubaugh, PhD
  • Kathie Hermayer, MD
  • Kelly Hunt, PhD
  • Brian Neelon, PhD
  • Liz Santa Ana, PhD
  • David Taber, PharmD
  • Nichole Tanner, MD

Affiliate investigators

  • Donald Courtney, MD
  • Jyotika Fernandes, MD
  • Valerian Fernandes, MD
  • Chris Frueh, PhD
  • Daniel Gros, PhD
  • Johann Herberth, MD
  • Michael Horner, PhD
  • Ronnie Horner, PhD
  • Leslie Lenert, MD
  • Carl Lejuez, PhD
  • Hugh Myrick, MD
  • Sandip Prasad, MD
  • Lisa Sternke, PhD
  • Peter Tuerk, PhD
  • Janet York, PhD

Mentorship and Career Development

HEROIC brings together unique mentorship and career development opportunities from a multidisciplinary group of investigators with strong portfolios in health services research. Our investigators have provided extensive mentorship opportunities to students, general internal medicine fellows, interns, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty members. Mentoring of junior COIN investigators include: formal research training, access to resources and pilot funding, and mentoring in writing and grantsmanship. Investigators interested in working with the COIN should contact our  Director at 789-6670.