The Health Services Research and Development Service Center of Innovation is focused on optimizing outcomes for veterans by conducting research to improve access to and utilization of mental health and substance use care. Its focus is developing and testing interventions to improve care for patients with depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders. Additionally, investigators with the Division of Health Services research are part of the Health Services Research and Development Service Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence (CREATE) Initiative. The North Little Rock site of this CREATE Initiative is focused on improving rural veterans’ access/engagement in evidence-based mental healthcare.
When interventions are found to be effective, investigators develop and test implementation strategies to facilitate their adoption in routine care through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Current priority areas for research include collaborative care interventions for mental health in primary care settings, adherence to treatment, interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder, engaging Operation Enduring Freedom / Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans with mental health needs, and improving access to and engagement in mental health care among rural veterans. Center of Innovation infrastructure consists of 11 core investigators; research and support staff; an external steering committee that functions as a policy and operational advisory board; an internal advisory committee; as well as many UAMS and Veterans Affairs collaborators.
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