Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center - Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My HealtheVet badge

Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center


HEROIC Overview

The Charleston VA Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC) is one of 19 nationally funded VA HSR&D Centers of Innovation (COIN) aimed at increasing the impact of health services research on the health and health care of Veterans. HEROIC's mission is to improve access and equity in healthcare for all Veterans by eliminating geographic, racial/ethnic, and gender-based disparities. To accomplish this, HEROIC focuses on three areas of research:

  • Health Equity
  • Access to Care
  • Rural Health

As health services researchers, HEROIC conducts research on the delivery and cost of care, focusing on how best to ensure every Veteran recieves the same quality of care. This is often done through developing interventions that take geographic, financial, and cultural differences into account, and through developing resources to access high-quality care and strategies to implement telehealth interventions.

Learn more about Our History and Partners >>

About Our Research

Our HSR&D studies are aligned with our focus on improving access and equity in healthcare fro all Veterans by eliminating disparities. HEROIC researchers lead numerous studies relating to health equity, access to care, and rural health that is supported by the VA, National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Defence (DoD), Department of Homeland Security, private foundations and other agencies. Currently we are enrolling Veterans for studies investigating questions related to delivery of PTSD treatment, care for Veterans with heart failure, use of My HealtheVet for Veterans with diabetes, mobile application for caregivers of Veterans with dementia, housing stability for homeless Veterans with substance use disorders, screening for lung cancer in Veterans, and perspectives on collection of race/ethnicity data by the VA. 

Learn more about our Research Projects >>

About Our Investigators

As a center, our greatest asset has been the dynamic group of junior and midlevel researchers dedicated to eliminating disparities and improving Veterans' access to care. Our team is diverse in terms of personal characteristicis such as gender, age, and race/ethnicity; but also in terms of clinical and research skill sets, including biostatistics, epidemiology, economics, psychology, sociology, and disparities research. Physician and nurse researchers provide clinical expertise and insight into medical decision-making, communication, and translating guidelines into practice.

Learn more about our Investigators >> 

About Our Service

HEROIC investigators provide key services as the local, regional and national levels, including dissemination of research products, serving on scientific review committees, offering health services research support, developing partnered research initiatives with our partners, overseeing demonstration projects, and supporting women's health initiatives in the VA.

Learn more about our Leadership and Service >>

Contact Us

For more information Contact Us at 843-789-6875. Contact numbers for interest in specific studies are located with the list of our Research Projects.

Upcoming and Recent Events

Contact Info


  • Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Contact Number(s)

  • 843-577-5011 Ext. 6875
  • 843-577-5011 Ext. 7587

Hours of Operation

  • Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm