Main Day One

8:00 am - 8:50 am Registration & Coffee

8:50 am - 9:00 am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Morning Keynotes

9:00 am - 9:30 am VA Innovation and Vision for 21st Century Care: Meeting the VA’s FY 2018-2024 Strategic Plan

Deborah Lafer Scher - Executive Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

In 2018, Secretary Wilkie of the Department of Veterans Affairs enacted a strategic plan highlighting major aims across the VA over the course of five years. This session will highlight the ongoing efforts to meet these aims, and the efforts that have been made thus far.


  • Update on the FY 2018 – FY 2024 strategic plan and aims
  • Efforts to ensure our Nation’s Veterans receive high-quality care
  • Strategies for improving process management with private sector and community support
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Deborah Lafer Scher

Executive Advisor to the Secretary
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

9:30 am - 10:00 am Johnson and Johnson Sponsored Session

10:00 am - 10:30 am Networking Break and Technology Demonstrations

Morning Keynotes

10:30 am - 11:00 am Event Keynote Remarks: Preventing Suicide for All Americans through PREVENTS

Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D. - Executive Director PREVENTS Task Force, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

On March 5, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13861, The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). This Executive Order created a dedicated Task Force to coordinate efforts across the Government and to build a national strategy focused on improving overall mental health to prevent suicide. To lead this multi-agency national effort, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, was selected as Executive Director of the PREVENTS Task Force.


  • The President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide
  • Purpose, goals, and work: near-term initiatives
  • Partnership efforts to prevent suicide rates for Veterans & Americans 
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Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

Executive Director PREVENTS Task Force
Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

11:00 am - 11:30 am Retreat Sponsored Session

11:30 am - 12:00 pm Coffee Break

Track Sessions

Track A: Driving Innovation to Deliver High Quality of Care

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Changing and Saving Veterans Lives through Mission Driven VHA Innovation
Ryan Vega - Executive Director, VHA Innovation Ecosystem, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Opportunities to leverage AI and telehealth
  • Changing the way health providers interact with patients
  • Translating innovation into practice: how to operationalize innovation
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Ryan Vega

Executive Director, VHA Innovation Ecosystem
Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Track A: Driving Innovation to Deliver High Quality of Care

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Driving Collaboration across VA Healthcare Systems for Improved Healthcare Results
Thomas Osborne, MD - Director of VA National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation, CMIO of VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Efforts to spur innovation across U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
  • Partnership development efforts to enhance Veteran care
  • Collaborating with industry, Government, and academics in the development of cutting-edge healthcare solutions
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Thomas Osborne, MD

Director of VA National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation
CMIO of VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Track B: Enabling Initiatives

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Developing Lines of Effort to Curb Veterans Homelessness in the US
Anne Dunn - Deputy Director VHA Homeless Programs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Current initiatives supporting the integrated national system of VHA Homeless Programs
  • Efforts to review and approve new program requirements
  • Updates on the Veterans Justice Outreach programs
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Anne Dunn

Deputy Director VHA Homeless Programs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Track B: Enabling Initiatives

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Ensure All Veterans Receive Equal Service Regardless of Race, Origin, Religion, or Gender: Center for Minority Veterans
Dennis O. May, Colonel, USAF (Retired) - Deputy Director Center for Minority Veterans, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Customer-centric efforts to deliver greater healthcare results
  • 23 percent of the Veteran population FY2020 Vs. Expected 36 percent in 2043: meeting this expected growth
  • Process improvement efforts and technological needs
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Dennis O. May, Colonel, USAF (Retired)

Deputy Director Center for Minority Veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Track C: Workforce Priorities

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Semper Disco: VA’s Culture of Learning
Amy Parker - Chief Learning Officer / Executive Director, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Developing workforce skills and capabilities at the VA: Necessary next steps
  • Engaging employees around Leadership Development
  • Preparing supervisors to lead 
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Amy Parker

Chief Learning Officer / Executive Director
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Track C: Workforce Priorities

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Implementing Nurse Workforce Initiatives to Advance Healthcare Delivery
Kathleen Barry, MHA, RN, NEA-BC - Director Workforce and Leadership Development & Acting Deputy Chief Nurse, Office of Nursing Service, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Developing, implementing, and directing National nursing policies and programs for a workforce of over 105,000 nursing personnel
  • Workforce recruitment & training initiatives
  • Near-term policy efforts
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Kathleen Barry, MHA, RN, NEA-BC

Director Workforce and Leadership Development & Acting Deputy Chief Nurse
Office of Nursing Service, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm Networking Luncheon

IDGA’s consultations provide you the opportunity to join an intimate discussion led by one of our subject matter experts focusing on emerging topics in the Government Healthcare arena. With a selection of topic areas quite relevant across the VA space, our leaders will provide key insight across a wide array of pertinent and timely topic areas.

Consultations

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm Medigate Sponsored Session

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Supporting the VA’s Continued Digital Outreach to our Nation’s Veterans

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm Sotera Wireless Sponsored Session

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Driving EHR Security & Information Exchange

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm Driving Health System Transformation and Innovation to Advance VA Daily Operations

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Connecting Research to Hospitals and External Partners for Improved Healthcare Delivery

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm Supporting Veterans in the Face of a Global Health Crisis

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Supporting VA Appeals Modernization Efforts

2:45 pm - 3:15 pm Afternoon Refreshment Break

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Promedtek Sponsored Session

  • Enterprise approach to training for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 training and development distribution 
  • Measuring overall effectiveness
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Volney (Jim) Warner, SES

Chief Learning Officer
Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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Dr. Chad Kessler

National Director for Emergency Medicine for VHA & Lead, Clinical Coordination Cell for VHA COVID-19 Clinical Response
Durham VA Medical Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The landmark legislation of the Mission Act will fundamentally change VA healthcare; this will allow the VA to combine VA and locally offered services to best meet the health needs of the Veteran wherever they might be. Understanding the implementation and integration across VA operations will be of critical importance to the Military health paradigm.  


  • How has the Mission Act most drastically altered the delivery of healthcare
  • Mission Act effect on care for Veterans
  • Efforts to update staff and facility to enable
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Rosemary Baughn

Senior Vice President of Hospice and Palliative Care
Visiting Nurse Service of New York

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Joseph Vitti

Supervisor, VNSNY Hospice’s Veterans
Visiting Nurse Service of NY

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm Chairperson Closing Remarks

5:00 pm - 5:00 pm End of Conference Main Day One

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm Grad Fair Drinks Reception

The VA’s recent focus on retention and recruitment initiatives has prompted IDGA to turn our drinks reception into a Grad Fair! We invite all graduating medical professionals to attend for a mixer with leadership across our senior-led VA delegation in order to directly support the Department’s goals!

 

Join us for a drink, and don’t forget your resume!