HEROIC Research - Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


HEROIC Research

Learn more about HEROIC's studies below. Contact information for studies recruiting Veterans are included after each project.

Current Research Projects (recruiting patients):

  • HSR&D Merit: Improving PTSD Service Delivery for Veterans with Severe Mental Illness: This study will provide important information on how to effectively deliver and improve the delivery of PTSD mental health services to Veterans with severe and persistent forms of mental illness. (PI: Grubaugh, Contact: Stephanie Youngerman 789-6874)
  • HSR&D Merit: Understanding Dual Use and Other Potential Determinants of Heart Failure Outcomes: This study will lead directly to the development of systems-level interventions to improve care quality for Veterans with HF, while focusing on priority VA research areas of access to care and chronic disease management in an operationally relevant manner. (PI: Axon, Contact: Letitia Wine 789-6719)
  • HSR&D Merit: Motivating Providers to Reduce Racial Disparities in Their Own Practice: This multi-site study will be developing and testing an intervention with primary care providers to address racial disparities in health services and strategies to promote health equity in the VA. (site PI: Pope, Contact Bertha North-Lee 789-6634)
  • HSR&D Merit: DVDs for Hypertension: Veterans Stories to Improve the Control of Hypertension: The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center serves as a site for this multi-site study of a narrative communication intervention to improve hypertension outcomes and eliminate disparities for African Americans. (site PI: Pope, Contact Bertha North-Lee 789-6634)  
  • HSR&D Merit: Story-Call: E-Mobile Support For Community Caregivers Of Veterans With Dementia: This proposed mixed methods study using a crossover design will develop and use a mobile application to enhance the wellbeing of working caregivers, particularly minority working CG. It is expected to decrease their perceived CG burden, increase their use of community resources and services, and potentially decrease CG costs through delay in institutionalization. The expected outcomes will examine if CG will find that the APP-recorded stories are easily accessible, increase knowledge about dementia and common problems in dementia care, decrease perceived CG burden, and increase awareness and access to community resources ranging from support groups to case management and in-home care.   (PI: Pope, Contact Bertha North-Lee 789-6634)
  • HSR&D Merit: Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) For Homeless Veterans in VA Services: The proposed study will investigate the effectiveness, implementation process, and cost estimate of Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) in Veterans with SUDs. (PI: Santa Ana, Contact Katherine Beavis 789-5634)
  • HSR&D Pilot: Pilot Evaluation of AboutFace: A Novel Peer Education Resource for Veterans: The feedback we receive in this pilot will be used to strengthen the quality of AboutFace in preparation for large-scale evaluation that will evaluate its reach and effectiveness. If AboutFace is found to increase access to services, data would have broad and significant implications for overcoming barriers to care for Veterans with stigmatized conditions. (PI: Ruggiero, Contact Tatiana Davidson 789-7587)
  • Locally Initiated Project:Veterans Perspectives and Likely Impact of the Veterans Choice Program:  Through a sercies of semi-structured interviews, this pilot study will provide critical data concerning the developing Veterans Choice Program and its likely impacts on access to care, satisfaction, healthcare costs, and health outcomes for rural Veterans affected by this program. The study will characterize rural Veterans' perceptions of evolving VA access initiatives, determine Veterans' knowledge of and preferences for future care access based on the Veterans Choice Program, and identify barriers and facilitators for implementation. (PI: Axon, Contact: Letitia Wine 789-6719)

Current Facility Partnered/Operations Projects:

  • Office of Rural Health: Identifying Rural-Urban Disparities in Chronic Disease Burden and Care: This quantitative project will inform the Office of Rural Health (ORH) about rural-urban disparities in chronic disease burden and care.  The project will create a 10 year cohort to provide information at the national level on chronic disease burden and care in relationship to rural, highly rural and urban residence.  (PI: Hunt)
  • Office of Health Equity: Race/Ethnicity Data Collection in the Veterans Health Administration: This mixed methods project will inform the Office of Health Equity (OHE) about how to improve the process of obtaining information on racial and ethnic background in the VA, and how to address missing race/ethnicity data in current databases when investigating disparities in care. (PI: Hughes-Halbert/Egede)
  • Efforts to Lower A1c <8.0% in Ralph H. Johnson Veterans with Diabetes: This project utilizes a multi-prong approach to identifying and solving barriers to ensuring Veterans lower their mean A1c and as a result improve their outcomes. The project will focus on effective intervention delivery and feasibility of roll out at other sites.  (PI: Hermayer/Egede)
  • Nursing Turnover Rates: The objective of this project is to work with the Nursing Service to identify reasons for high nurse turnover rate and low nurse retention. Focus groups, surveys, and an economic analysis of the cost of turnover will be completed. Results of focus groups will continuously inform quality improvement efforts and a final report will provide recommendations for future efforts based on local perspectives and opinions as well as a review of national recommendations. (PI: Pope/Egede)

Recently Completed/Working on Analysis (no longer recruiting patients):

  • HSR&D Merit: Telepsychology Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans: To evaluate the effectiveness of in-home telepsychology to deliver Behavioral Activation therapy to depressed elderly veterans. (PI: Egede)         
  • HSR&D Merit: Racial Variations in Communication, Decision-Making, and Diabetes Outcomes: The Racial Variations in Communication, Decision Making, & Diabetes Outcomes grant will improve the quality or case and outcomes and reduce disparities for Black and White veterans with Type 2 diabetes. (PI: Pope/Egede)
  • HSR&D Merit: Ethnic Differences in Medication Adherence & Cost for Elderly Veterans with Type-II Diabetes Mellitus: The goals of this project are to characterize medication non-adherence (MNA) across racial/ethnic groups of elderly (age ≥ 65) diabetic veterans, to determine the longitudinal effect of MNA on health care costs to the VA and Medicare (federal payer) and mortality across racial/ethnic groups, and to determine whether racial/ethnic variations in MNA explain racial/ethnic disparities in health care cost and mortality among elderly veterans with diabetes. (PI: Egede)
  • HSR&D Merit: Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD: Telemedicine vs. In Person: The major objective of this study is to determine if PE delivered via Telemedicine is as effective as In Person PE in terms of (1) clinical; (2) process; and (3) economic outcomes.  (PI: Acierno)
  • Locally Initiated Project: Identifying facilitators and barriers to lung cancer screening in Veterans: The objectives of this study are to: (a) identify the best method with which to approach an eligible high-risk Veteran to discuss and offer LC screening; (b) in those eligible Veterans who refuse lung cancer (LC) screening understand and identify barriers to screening; (c) identify barriers and facilitators among PCPs to offering LC screening to high-risk Veterans; and (d) integrate these findings to develop interventions that promote patient centered decision making in LC screening. By examining and developing methods to facilitate acceptance of lung cancer (LC) screening and identifying barriers to LC screening in high risk Veterans, the VA may better understand the best way to recruit eligible Veterans to undergo recommended LC screening. Identification of barriers to screening may contribute to future interventions that limit these barriers and increase the number of eligible Veterans screened for LC.  (PI: Tanner)
  • HSR&D Pilot:Personal Health Record-Facilitated Diabetes Self-Management among Rural Veterans: The objectives of this study are to: (a) refine a brief My HealtheVet (MHV) intervention that takes advantage of MHV features that support development of DSM skills; (b) test feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of the brief MHV intervention on DSM skills; and (c) evaluate Veterans’ experience with the brief MHV intervention and identify perceived barriers, facilitators, and enablers, and assess the potential for wider dissemination among rural AA Veterans. (PI: Lynch)

Finding Other Research Projects:

  • scresearch.org* – directory to help locate research studies in South Carolina - search by keyword such as disease type, institution or investigator name
  • clinicaltrials.gov* – directory of publicly and privately supported clinical studies - search for studies in local area or by disease
  • researchmatch.org* – registry to sign up for research - will be contacted by investigators if you match eligibility criteria

* These links are not affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and will take you to an external website.