Main Day Two

Morning Keynotes

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

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

11:00 am - 11:30 am VBA’s #BestYearEver: Aggressively Pursuing Excellence

Margarita Devlin, MA, CRC - Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Benefits Administration provide a variety of benefits and services to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families across the country. In doing so it requires a culture of innovation, collaboration, and efficiency to ensure these rightfully earned benefits can be delivered at the point of need.


  • Providing Veterans with the benefits they have earned in a manner that honors their service
  • Ensuring strong fiscal stewardship of the money entrusted to us by taxpayers
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration
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Margarita Devlin, MA, CRC

Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) modernization efforts to improve efficiency in care coordination for Veterans, the enactment of Executive Order 13781 made sizable efforts enhance quality care for Veterans by improving coordination of services in the areas of population health; education and training of health care professionals; research, academic affiliations; engineering services; and human resources (HR). 


The Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) and Office of Research and Development (ORD) will realign under the new Discovery, Education and Affiliates Networks (DEAN) office to foster a collaborative environment that will address the most complex health concerns facing Veterans, while improving medical care for all Americans.


-Fostering a collaborative environment that will address the most complex health concerns facing Veterans

-VA MISSION Act Educational Initiatives

-Expanding VA affiliate networks to expand care capabilities for our nation’s Veterans 

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Carolyn Clancy, MD

Deputy Under Secretary for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks (10X), Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Transformation Treatment Center Sponsored Session

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Advancing U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Telehealth Capabilities

Dr. Shawn Norman - Director, Chief Telehealth/Telemedicine, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Telehealth and telemedicine have long since been a priority of the VA over the past decade as their growth into the digital ecosystem continues to grow. This effort has been surging over the past months as a result of the COVID-19 environment, with some telehealth services increasing as much 100% YoY. This session will highlight the VA's efforts across the space, and the way ahead for a digital-enabled healthcare system.


  • VA efforts to expand telehealth and telemedicine capability: near-term initiatives
  • Addressing the massive increase in telehealth utilization as a result of the COVID-19 environment
  • Telehealth and telemedicine priorities for the future: the Department’s future vision & way ahead
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Dr. Shawn Norman

Director, Chief Telehealth/Telemedicine
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Afternoon Networking Breaks & Meetings

Track Sessions

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm Strategic Acquisition Center Procurement Efforts to Support VA Mission Act Implementation
Lori Smith - Director, Procurement Services, Strategic Acquisition Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Supporting Mission Act implementation for delivery of high-quality healthcare
  • Initiatives to streamline customer service
  • Current lines of effort
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Lori Smith

Director, Procurement Services
Strategic Acquisition Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm COPD and Bronchiectasis: Co-Morbid Diseases that Demand Attention Now
Dr. Frederic D. Seifer - Medical Director of Population Health, St. Lawrence Health System, Potsdam, NY

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a primary cause of morbidity and mortality globally, ranking third among causes of mortality with over 100,000 U.S. deaths annually. COPD is four times more prevalent among veterans than in the general population. Recent research has determined that, among patients with moderate to severe COPD, about half also have bronchiectasis. These are patients who make heavy demands, both clinically and financially, on the VA healthcare system while experiencing a significant reduction in quality of life. Dr. Seifer will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of these two co-morbid diseases and why this is of particular importance to America’s veterans.  


  • Each year, the VA provides care for approximately 1.25 million patients with a diagnosis of COPD. 
  • As many as half of these patients also have bronchiectasis.
  • It is these patients, with both COPD and bronchiectasis, who make the heaviest demands both clinically and financially on the VA healthcare system. 
  • Focused case-finding and targeted interventions can help reduce the healthcare burden and improve the lives of America’s veterans.
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Dr. Frederic D. Seifer

Medical Director of Population Health
St. Lawrence Health System, Potsdam, NY

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm Current IT Purchasing Trends and RFI’s of Note from Industry: What does Industry want to know from the VA?
Candace Brandmayr - Director of Engineering Services Division, Technology Acquisition Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Current TAC priorities and trends
  • RFIs from Industry; what does industry want to know
  • Interoperability challenges
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Candace Brandmayr

Director of Engineering Services Division
Technology Acquisition Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm Bitscopic Sponsored Session

Afternoon Keynotes

As the top clinical priority for the VA, one requiring an all of Government approach to enable, preventing Veteran suicides is the top priority. With massive efforts across the Federal Government to prevent Veteran Suicide, our speaker will provide a strategic overview of the planning and oversight of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention programs and policies applied to community and clinically based settings within a public health paradigm. 


  • Implementing and reinforcing evidence-based community and clinical interventions 
  • Veteran suicide prevention emerging lines of effort
  • Collaboration across the Federal Govt and impact of PREVENTS 
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Matthew A. Miller, SES, PhD, MPH

Director, Suicide Prevention Program
Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Whether you are just starting your VA career or an experienced senior leader with hundreds of employees under your direction, we all are in a state of perpetual learning and growth. There are many opportunities across the VHA to help you along your leadership journey. Some of these opportunities emerge as formal leadership development programs at strategic points in your career. Others involve self-directed learning activities or deliberate growth experiences within or outside of your current role. This session explores how these various opportunities are drawn together into a leadership development roadmap for healthcare leaders in VHA. It addresses: 


  • Formal development programs for healthcare leaders in VHA
  • Self-directed and experience-based growth options for building healthcare leadership skills
  • Strengthening the succession pipeline for critical healthcare leadership positions in VHA
  • The critical role of supervisors in growing the healthcare leaders of tomorrow
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Lisa Anne Red, MSHA

Acting Director, Healthcare Leadership Talent Institute (HLTI) Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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Martin Pellum

Program Director, Leadership Talent Management
Healthcare Leadership Talent Institute, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Afternoon Networking Break & Meetings

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Understanding the Demands and Unique Needs of VA Business Partners

Drew Myklegard - Executive Director Demand Management, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The demand management division provides a VA enterprise-wide services that will enable VA to capture business needs, architect, engineer, monitor performance, ensure program alignment, and successfully provide cloud solutions in support of VA IT Modernization. Enabling a defined process for accepting business partner requirements and prioritizing them throughout the VA organization is of critical importance/


  • Understanding where demand currently sits across the VA for its business partners 
  • Technology modernization efforts to meet necessary business needs
  • DMD current priorities
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Drew Myklegard

Executive Director Demand Management
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Afternoon Break

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Genomic Medicine R&D Efforts & Procedure across the VA
Dr. Ronald Przygodzki - Director, Genomic Medicine, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Implementing R&D pharmacogenomics in clinics; lessons learned
  • Genomic medicine R&D aimed at improving mental health
  • Genomic lines of effort across Million Veteran Program
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Dr. Ronald Przygodzki

Director, Genomic Medicine
Office of Research and Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Afternoon Break

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm Lessons Learned from the US Army's Business Process Improvement Program Office
Dr. Charles “Chuck” Brandon - Director, Process Improvement Program Office, Office of Business Transformation, Headquarters US Army
  • Army lessons learned for large-scale agency business process improvements
  • Current lines of effort 
  • Training efforts to contribute to lasting results
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Dr. Charles “Chuck” Brandon

Director, Process Improvement Program Office
Office of Business Transformation, Headquarters US Army

  • 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

  • Identifying vulnerabilities in complex multi-vendor networks of medical devices
  • Medical device strategies for an increasingly digital era
  • Collaborative efforts across US Government & Industry 
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Dr. Dale Nordenberg

Co-Founder & Executive Director
Medical Device Innovation, Safety, and Security Consortium (MDISS)

5:00 pm - 5:10 pm Chairperson’s Closing Remarks

5:10 pm - 7:30 pm Continued Networking Opportunities


7:30 pm - 7:30 pm End of Digital Day 2