VA Innovation Ecosystem’s (VHA IE) Diffusion of Excellence launched in 2015 to discover, support and spread innovative practices throughout VA. The catalyst for this goal is providing more frontline employees with knowledge and experience to propel their practices. From this challenge, the VHA Diffusion Academy was born.

Diffusion academy

VHA Diffusion Academy is a three-day training that provides 10 teams with tools and resources needed to sustain and scale their practices over the next 2-3 years. Diffusion of Excellence helps these frontline employees build a business case with a focus on resourcing, stakeholders and presenting metrics. This year’s event included 27 innovators and nearly 50 attendees.

“I was so grateful for the opportunity to work with Diffusion Academy’s third cohort of innovators. Each team brought impressive skillsets with an eagerness to progress and sustain their projects. These innovations will undoubtedly have positive implications on Veterans, families, caregivers, and employees across the country.”

Blaine Fitzgerald, diffusion specialist, Diffusion of Excellence

Academy process

The academy is uniquely designed to deliver continued engagement with teams through workshops and community mentorship. The curriculum focuses on specific knowledge and project management gaps.

From March to April, teams developed their business case, refined their visions, and formed stakeholder coalitions. The main three-day event took place in April to identify required resources, report metrics to scale, and communicate across VHA channels. Finally, the teams pitched their innovative practices and participated in a Diffusion Academy Graduation in May.

2022 innovation teams

This year’s innovations are featured on Diffusion Marketplace ( through these links:

Teaching the Teacher (TTT): A discussion-based series to augment teaching quality, efficiency and confidence for VA clinician educators.

Want to get involved?

Want to support VHA IE’s innovation revolution? Visit our website to learn about opportunities to become involved in innovation at VA.

By Kalyn Essex is a communications officer at the VHA Innovation Ecosystem. She is an OEF Air Force Veteran.

Share this story

Published on Jun. 20, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

Views to date: 285

More Stories

  • Clinical Resource Hubs telecardiology team ensure Veterans needing cardiology services receive continued, uninterrupted, even same-day care.

  • Ebony Dillard saw that patients who experience falls often have limited strength in their lower extremities. She designed a “Device for gait, Efficiency, and Balance.”

  • The SLICE & Simulation Showcase brought together simulation experts from across VA to share how their practices are improving Veteran care.