Main Day One

9:00 am - 10:50 am Morning Registration & Meeting Setting

10:50 am - 11:00 am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Morning Keynotes

11:00 am - 11:30 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

11:30 am - 12:00 pm Spotlight on Recently Diagnosed Patients – A 24-Month International Study of Adults Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Within 1-5 Years

Sanjai Rao, MD, DFAPA - Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Associate Residency Training Director University of California, San Diego, Site Director, Residency Training VA Medical Center San Diego, California
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Sanjai Rao, MD, DFAPA

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Associate Residency Training Director University of California, San Diego
Site Director, Residency Training VA Medical Center San Diego, California

COVID-19 has rapidly altered the course of everyday life for nearly every American and nation worldwide, and few entities have felt the impact more so than the healthcare industry. This unprecedented situation has prompted the VA to take immediate enterprise-level action to ensuring their ability to deliver high-quality healthcare via next-generation training capability. 


  • Enterprise approach to training for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 training and development distribution 
  • Measuring overall effectiveness
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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

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Cheryl Ludwa

Associate Director EES eLearning Division
VHA Employee Education System

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Medication Assisted Treatment & Our Veteran Population - The Current Trends

Melissa Callahan, AGPCNP-BC,APRN - Chief Nursing Officer, Retreat Behavioral Health
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Melissa Callahan, AGPCNP-BC,APRN

Chief Nursing Officer
Retreat Behavioral Health

Morning Keynotes

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm Afternoon Networking Break

Track Sessions

Track A: Driving Innovation to Deliver High Quality of Care

1:30 pm - 2:00 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

2:00 pm - 2:30 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

  • Background and current state of WHS implementation
  • Development of the infrastructure for Whole Health and complementary and integrative health (CIH) service delivery
  • Tele-Whole Health and Virtual care 
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Alison M. Whitehead, MPH, RYT, PMP

Acting Director Integrative Health Coordinating Center (IHCC)
VHA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Track B: Enabling Initiatives

2:00 pm - 2:30 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

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm Making Continuous Glucose Monitoring Mission Critical for Veterans with Diabetes

Dr. Nicholas Argento, MD FACE - Diabetes Technology Director, Maryland Endocrine and Diabetes Center
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Dr. Nicholas Argento, MD FACE

Diabetes Technology Director
Maryland Endocrine and Diabetes Center

  • COVID-19 related research & future directions
  • Enrollment and data collected/generated
  • Scientific advances in mental health and other chronic diseases
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Dr. Sumitra Muralidhar

Program Director, Million Veteran Program
Office of Research and Development, 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, MSN, RN

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

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Joseph Vitti, MBA, US Army Veteran

Director, Veterans Program
Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice and Palliative Care

Leidos’ breakout room offers the unique opportunity to join an intimate discussion led by one of their Healthcare SMEs focusing on critical technology-focused topics across the US Dept. of VA.

Leidos’ Interactive Discussion Group Breakouts

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm Concepts for Operational Whole Veteran Care in an Era of Unprecedented Care transformation

Tony Kurta - Health and Human Performance, Strategic Account Executive, Leidos
Rob Thomas - Strategic Account Executive, Leidos
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Tony Kurta

Health and Human Performance, Strategic Account Executive
Leidos

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Rob Thomas

Strategic Account Executive
Leidos

4:45 pm - 4:55 pm Chairperson Closing Remarks

4:55 pm - 7:30 pm Continued Networking Opportunities

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!

7:30 pm - 7:30 pm End of Digital Day One