CeMHOR/HSR&D

 North Little Rock VA

Department of Veterans Affairs Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
North Little Rock, Arkansas

The Center for Mental Healthcare & Outcomes Research (CeMHOR) at CAVHS offers a two-year Fellowship Training Program in Health Services Research. This interdisciplinary program aims to train physicians, psychologists, doctoral-level allied health professionals, and doctoral-level social scientists to become outstanding leaders in research and clinical care for Veterans. This fellowship will emphasize health services research while offering clinical research opportunities.

 


Focus areas may include:

1. Improve quality of specialty care for Veterans with serious and persistent mental health disorders and substance use disorders by:

  • understanding the extent and impact of side effects and other risk factors for treatment resistance;

  • developing and testing interventions to improve delivery of evidence-based practices to Veterans in specialty mental health/substance use care; and

  • developing and testing strategies for widespread implementation of effective interventions to optimize outcomes of Veterans with mental health and substance use disorders in specialty care.

2. Improve quality of mental health care provided in primary care settings by:

  • understanding the capacity of primary care clinics for managing Veterans with mental health disorders and determining what levels of complexity/comorbidity can be addressed in these settings;

  • developing and testing stepped-care interventions for primary care patients with uncomplicated conditions, as well as more complex patients with comorbid illnesses; and

  • developing and testing strategies for widespread implementation of evidence-based, stepped-care models in primary care settings to improve outcomes for Veterans with mental health disorders.

3. Improve access to and engagement in care for Veterans with untreated mental health and substance use disorders in the community by:

  • understanding needs and decisions about treatment seeking for OEF/OIF veterans, rural Veterans, and their families;

  • developing and testing interventions to link and engage OEF/OIF Veterans and rural Veterans with VA care; and

  • developing and testing strategies for implementation of evidence-based interventions that link Veterans in the community to appropriate mental health services.

Individualized, mentored research is combined with a state-of-the-art curriculum that emphasizes research methods, statistics, epidemiology, mental health systems, quality improvement methods, education, and service delivery. If applicable, fellows may also be offered opportunities to increase their experience and knowledge in the clinical treatment of mental health disorders.

 
Outstanding didactic research training is coordinated through the Palo Alto VAMC while research mentors are typically located at the training site. Fellows will dedicate 100% time to research and educational activities. If applicable, fellows may alternatively devote 75% of their time to research and education activities and 25% to clinical training. In collaboration with their mentors, fellows will develop and implement a research project, publish and present findings, participate in grant writing, and utilize the latest technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery.


Training Site: The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) is a large and complex VA Medical System within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that is academically affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). CAVHS is located in a metropolitan area of approximately 580,000 people and draws from a primary service area of 275,000 veterans. Some family members of veterans are also served by CAVHS providers. The two-division, consolidated, tertiary care medical center contains medical, surgical, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and nursing home services, as well as a wide variety of outpatient specialty and primary care programs. Serving as a training site for numerous clinical training programs based jointly at CAVHS-UAMS, CAVHS also offers a wide range of clinical training opportunities in mental health.


CAVHS offers a very rich environment for research training. In addition to CeMHOR, CAVHS serves as an anchor site for the South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), as well as the national VA program for Quality Improvement in Mental Health (MH QUERI). CAVHS also maintains a close relationship to the UAMS Division of Health Services Research. The researchers working in these settings represent one the largest and most successful groups of mental health services researchers in the United States. CeMHOR also often collaborates with investigators at other VA Health Services Research and Development sites. These resources create an ideal environment for trainees interested in becoming independent research investigators.


Arkansas offers a multitude of scenic landscapes and natural and cultural resources and programs. Little Rock, the state capitol, has many excellent restaurants, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, a thriving cultural community, symphony, repertory theater, museums, public golf courses, the Clinton School of Public Service’s renowned public lecture series, Pinnacle Mountain state park, and the 17-mile Arkansas River Trail for walking, jogging, and cycling. Arkansas has a large state park system with campsites, hiking trails, mountain lodges, interpretive events, fall foliage programs, and activities for all seasons.


Fellowship Training Goals: The CAVHS health services research fellowship program aims to produce graduates with a strong sense of professional identity, confidence in their research and clinical skills, and the ability to be leaders in mental health locally and nationally. The goals of the fellowship program are to:
1. Provide fellows with excellent training in research (100% time). This training will consist of formal didactics in research design and methods and hands-on research mentoring by VA faculty, most of whom have appointments at the UAMS Department of Psychiatry and the College of Public Health. Each fellow will initiate and complete at least one research project of her/his own, including publishing results.

2. If applicable, place fellows in clinical settings appropriate to their research interests such that their clinical practice (25% time clinical, 75% research and education) will complement and enhance their research training. Opportunities to teach in clinical settings may also be available. If clinical opportunities are available, fellows will use an evidence-based approach to care, treatment planning, and service delivery.

3. Offer fellows other opportunities to optimize their success in academic settings, such as career mentoring, exposure to grant writing and grantsmanship, technical writing, training in research ethics and IRB procedures, and opportunities to provide research and/or clinical (if applicable) supervision in their area of focus.


Qualifications for Fellowship include: To qualify for the special fellowship training program, applicants must have: 1) U.S. citizenship; 2) earned a medical degree or doctorate by fellowship start date, and 3) have the desire to pursue a professional career with a focus on health services research. Doctoral-level applied health professionals, other doctoral-level scientists, and graduates of residency programs from any area of medicine who are interested in conducting health services research are invited to apply.


Stipends & Benefits: Stipends are competitive and are based on location and discipline. Fellows are eligible for health insurance, earn annual and sick leave, and are entitled to all federal holidays.


How to Apply: For application materials and information on deadlines and requirements, please contact:
Kristin Ward

South Central MIRECC

2200 Fort Roots Drive, 16MIR

N. Little Rock, AR 72114-1706

501-257-1236

Kristin.Ward2@va.gov