Innovation is at the forefront of all VA care. As the largest integrated health care system in the country, VA not only cares for our nation’s Veterans, but is in a unique position to advance, change, and disrupt the way America delivers health care. VHA Innovators Network and Diffusion of Excellence are the leaders in this effort, tasked with taking frontline employees best practices and diffusing them across the entire system to provide better care, experiences, and support for Veterans. The programs are extremely successful, but it’s often hard to highlight these efforts in the fast-paced world of health care. That’s where the VHA Innovation Experience (VHA I:E) comes in.

VHA I:E is a two-day event, Aug. 29-30, that shares some of the amazing work VHA is doing with Veterans and the public. Frontline employees from across VA, who work directly with Veterans daily, will present their incredible practices in a variety of ways including demonstrations, talks, and posters, all while the public is invited to ask questions and engage. The event includes of three parts: VHA Innovation Demo Day, a networking and poster session, and VHA I:E Talks. By bringing these fantastic programs together into one engaging and exciting event, VHA Innovators Network and Diffusion of Excellence hope to highlight how VA’s care for Veterans is constantly involving and improving.

Those interested in attending VHA I:E at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, can sign up easily here. Demo Day and the VHA I:E Talks will also be livestreamed on the Veterans Health Administration’s YouTube page for those who can’t attend in person.


The experience begins with VHA Innovation Demo Day on Aug. 29. This celebratory event recognizes employees who drive VA forward with innovative thinking and promising practices. At this culminating occasion for the VHA Innovators Network and Diffusion of Excellence Initiative, frontline employees will discuss their experiences designing, piloting, and implementing innovations, and the notable impact of their practices on Veterans across the VA health care system. Veterans arts organizations will fill the day with lively performances and artwork from the winners of the 2018 VHA I:E Art Competition will be on display.

Those in attendance or watching online will be able to learn about practices as varied as 3D Printing prosthetics for diabetics to automatic email notification systems for consult information. There is even an incredible project that teaches Veterans how to run their own business through a bike share program.


Based on the popular and engaging TED Talks, the VHA I:E Talks showcase the innovative practices and ideas of frontline employees in engaging and thought-provoking ways. The Talks will occur during the second day of VHA I:E, Aug. 30, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Practices from the VHA Innovations Program, VA Innovators Network, and Diffusion of Excellence Initiative will be highlighted through stories, data, and lively commentary that will show exactly how these practices are changing lives and saving lives. Attendees, from both the public and VA, will leave this event feeling moved and inspired to create their own innovations and understand that everyone can be an innovator, regardless of role, position, or location.

With around a dozen practices “talking”, this new and exciting event should present VA in a new light to many who have never heard of this creative and boundary-pushing work.


The incredibly successful VHA Shark Tank returns once again to kick-off the Diffusion of Excellence initiative. The VHA Shark Tank Competition, inspired by the Shark Tank television show, gives VA employees the opportunity to share solutions they developed that address key organizational goals and improve care for the Veteran community. Leadership from across VHA have reviewed hundreds of practices submitted this year and selected the top 20 that address key priorities including suicide prevention and increased access to care. On Aug. 30, from 2-4:30 p.m. those 20 practices go head-to-head pitching their practices to the Sharks (Medical Center Directors) at Shark Tank LIVE!

While this even is not open to the public and won’t be livestreamed, those interested can follow all the exciting action on VHA Innovation’s Twitter account and through the hashtag #VASharkTank.


VHA I:E isn’t some closed door event for VA to celebrate itself. It’s for you, the Veteran, to better see how VA employees from across the country are tackling the challenges that you face and creating a better health care system to serve you. We encourage you to attend in person if possible by registering here.

If you can’t make it in person, don’t worry. We’ll not only be livestreaming from VHA’s YouTube page as mentioned above, but live tweeting through the entire experience using the hashtag #VHAInnovationExperience. You can also check out VHA Innovation Ecosystem’s Facebook page to see live video and some personal stories as the event goes on. We’re excited to share all the amazing work being done at VA with you and look forward to engaging, discussing, and listening to these presentations along with you.

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Published on Aug. 6, 2018

Estimated reading time is 4.3 min.

Views to date: 131


  1. Diana Whitaker August 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    What about mandatory education for Military Sexual Trauma veterans? No one, including my two local Congressmen are listening.

  2. Doug Helliesen August 13, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I am a 90% service connected Vet and have been having knee problems since shortly after discharge but they started slowly and I never complained much. Now years later they have been causing much greater pain. The pain Dr. whom comes down every month did have me on injections where every 3 months I either got a Gel injection or a cortisone and along with a pain med 2x daily and CBD oil the pain had finally subsided. Now the Dr. informed me that new policy I could have 1 or the other, but not both, they (Miami VA) had delayed my last injections 2 months as well and now the pain is back full force again. The shots were a pain ()literally) but seemed to be working, I’m now back to dealing with it again without relief. It often keeps me awake at night and really hinders my activity and ability to work. Any suggestions?? I live in Key West which is a normal 4-5 hour 1 way to the Miami VA (without accidents which are frequent) Thanks, Doug Helliesen

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