Fast Company Innovation Award

Bringing innovative people together and supporting them so they can improve Veteran care. That’s the goal of the Veterans Health Administration Innovation Ecosystem (VHA IE), and it has delivered. VHA IE is supporting innovators from across VHA, creating a culture of innovation that positively impacts as many Veterans’ lives as possible. Now, that effort has been recognized by the prestigious Fast Company Best Workplaces for Innovators award.

VHA IE has created a collection of innovative portfolios with the goal of enabling the discovery and advancement of mission-driven health care innovation to break the boundaries of health care and forge the future of Veteran care. To do this, VHA IE had to shift the culture of VHA to one where innovation thrives and frontline employees, who work closely with Veterans every day and see the challenges they face and understand how to best address them, are given the space and support to elevate their work. That’s why VHA IE created a place where innovation thrives, employees can take risks, and failure is seen as a stepping stone to success. This evolution in workplace culture means that leaders in health care innovation are finding a home at VA and building a better health care system for Veterans.

The impact of building one of the best places for innovators to work is astounding. From growing an industry-leading 3D printing network to creating a life-saving tooth-brushing program that is now being implemented in health care systems across the country, VHA IE has found the solution to improving Veteran care in frontline employees and the Veterans themselves. Through VHA IE programs, innovative solutions have positively impacted more than five million Veterans and caregivers and resulted in at least $75 million in cost avoidance for VA. More than 150 VA sites are currently involved in innovation efforts and more than 25,000 employees have actively participated in reshaping the culture of VHA into one of innovation. This is why, out of the nearly 900 companies and organizations that applied, VHA IE was recognized with this award.

“VA is honored to be recognized by Fast Company and to be in the accomplished company as those making huge strides in innovation,” said Dr. Ryan Vega, Chief Officer, Healthcare Innovation and Learning at VHA’s Office of Discovery, Education, and Affiliate Networks. “Central to VHA IE, is fostering a culture that empowers front line employees to drive innovation that enhances the quality of services for our nation’s Veterans.  This recognition is a testament to the thousands of employees and leaders who recognize our greatest innovation asset is our staff and those we serve.”

And VHA IE isn’t stopping now. As the driver of this incredible cultural shift, VA is making sure that all Veterans continue to receive cutting-edge care and services. If you’re interested in learning about these and other innovative solutions, the people creating them, or getting a closer look at VHA IE as a possible place to work, join us for this year’s VHA Innovation Experience (iEX) virtual series of events. Registration is open now. Register once and attend any or all the four events over the next three months.

By Allison Amrhein is the director of operations for the VHA Innovators Network and communications lead for the VHA Innovation Ecosystem

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Published on Aug. 15, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.7 min.

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One Comment

  1. Scott August 16, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Whoever wrote this article should be fired immediately.

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