Expert & Stakeholder Council - Center for Healthcare Organization & Implementation Research
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Expert & Stakeholder Council

Jeroan Allison, MD, MS
(Chair) is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he also serves as Associate Vice Provost for Health Disparities Research. His research focuses on implementation science with an emphasis on eliminating racial/ethnic disparities.
Richard Barbato 
Richard Barbato, BS, MSW
was appointed as Director of Veterans Services for the City of Gloucester in August of 2012, after serving for the United States Army where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Air-borne Division, Fort Bragg, NC. In February of 2003, he deployed to Kuwait, and subsequently saw combat during the invasion / liberation of Iraq in March. Having served as the Outreach Specialist for the Lowell Vet Center in January of 2014, Barbato went on in August of 2017 to 10RCS in VA central office for the Readjustment Counceling Service until 2018 where he accepted the position of Management & Program Analyst, his current role, in the Office of Planning and Policy, Readjustment Counseling Service.
Jessica Blue Howells

Jessica Blue-Howells, MSW serves as Deputy National Director, Veterans Justice Programs (VJP). She oversees the Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program, VA's national prison outreach effort, which has worked with over 88,000 Veterans in approximately 1,000 U.S. State and Federal prisons. Jessica also served as a co-investigator and operational partner on studies focused on homeless Veterans. She currently serves as a member of two advisory boards, the VHA Domestic Violence Task Force, and Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections Justice Involved Veteran Network authorized in 2014.

John bradley
John Bradley, MD
serves as the Chief of Psychiatry and Deputy Director for Mental Health for the VA Boston Healthcare System. Dr. Bradley joined VA in 2011, after retiring from active duty in the United States Army where he served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair at Uniformed Services University.
 David Carroll

Carroll, PhD
is responsible for the operational integrity of the VHA mental health system ensuring Veterans have access to needed mental health care services including crisis intervention and same-day services for urgent concerns.

  Michael Charness

Michael Charness, MD
is Professor of Neurology and Faculty Associate Dean at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Neurology and Associate Dean at Boston University School of Medicine. He was chief of Neurology at the VA Boston Healthcare System from 1996 until 2003. Since 2003, he has served as Chief of Staff at the VA Boston Healthcare System, where he is responsible for clinical care, education, and research.

 Joan Clifford
Joan Clifford, DNP
was appointed Director of the Bedford VA Healthcare System on March 18, 2018. Prior to this, she served as the Deputy Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Access to Care for the Veterans Health Administration (October 2016 - December 2016). She was detailed to VA Central Office as the Acting Deputy Chief Nursing Officer from May 2016 through September 2016.
 Craig Coldwell Craig Coldwell, MD serves as the acting Chief Medical Officer for the VA New England Healthcare System. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For the past 10 years, he has worked as a member of VISN leadership, initially as Director of the Mental Health Service Line and more recently as Deputy Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Coldwell has been honored to serve on a number of national and regional committees and advisory councils. 
David Coleman

David Coleman, MD, FACP
 is a board-certified internist and infectious disease specialist, is the John Wade Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Coleman is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, as well as a member of the Association of Professors of Medicine.  

 Fran Cunningham   

Francesca (Fran) Cunningham, PharmD
is Associate Chief Consultant, Medication Safety in the Department of Veterans Affairs Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (PBM) and the Director of the VA Center for Medication Safety (VAMedSAFE). Her focus has been on assessing new agents where safety data is lacking and older drugs when a newly emerging danger requires evaluation.
Neil Evans   Neil C. Evans, MD is the Chief Officer for the Office of Connected Care in the Veterans Health Administration, as well as a board-certified, practicing primary care internist at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center. He holds faculty appointments in Medicine at George Washington University and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
  Ben klingler
Benjamin Klingler, MD, MPH
is National Director of the Integrative Health Coordinating Center at the Veterans Health Administration and former Vice Chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Israel. He is a Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  Vincent Ng
Vincent W. Ng, MBA
was appointed to the position of Acting Medical Center Director of VA Boston Healthcare System on May 13, 2013 and officially appointed as Director on September 8, 2013. An accomplished health care executive, Mr. Ng has a long history of serving Veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a graduate of Leadership VA, and has served on many VHA boards, committees, and special task forces.
      Laura Petersen

Laura A. Petersen, MD, MPH, FACP
is a Board certified internist, a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Health Services Research at Baylor College of Medicine. She is the Director of the Houston Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt) one of the nation's 19 competitively funded VA Health Services Research and Development Centers of Innovation, and Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

 Shilpa Rungta

Shilpa Rungta, MD, MBA was appointed as Chief of Staff of Bedford VA Medical Center (Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital) in May 2020. Dr. Rungta has served in key leadership roles at Cincinnati VAMC including Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Residency Program Director for Surgical Pathology, and Medical Director rotations. She was the Affiliate Clinical Associate Professor for the Department of Pathology at University of Cincinnati and before moving to Cincinnati VAMC, served as the Lab Director for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for VA Battle Creek Healthcare System, and Staff Pathologist at Ann Arbor VAMC.

     Dr Stein

Michael Stein, MD
is Professor and Chair of the Health Law, Policy & Management Department at Boston University School of Public Health. He is an internationally known researcher in behavioral medicine, working at the intersection of primary care, mental health, and addiction to affect health policy.

CHOIR Executive Leadership Team

Dr Bokhour Barbara G. Bokhour, PhD, is the Director, and a Senior Investigator at VA Bedford CHOIR. Since 2012, she has been the Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Evaluating Patient-Centered Care in VA (EPCC-VA). Dr. Bokhour is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at Boston University School of Public Health. She teaches a doctoral program in health services research, and has led projects focusing on patient perspectives and patient-provider communication surrounding hypertension, asthma, and HIV. With a focus on implementation science research, she examines how patient-centered care can be implemented in a wide range of care settings.
   Dr Gifford
Allen L. Gifford, MD, 
serves as Director of VA Boston CHOIR, after serving as Acting Director of VA Bedford CHOIR from 2015-2017, and Associate Director of the VA Bedford HSR&D Center of Excellence, and later of VA Bedford CHOIR, from 2006-2015. Dr. Gifford has been affiliated with VA's QUERI implementation research program since the program's inception in 1998. He served as Co-Director of the HIV/Hepatitis QUERI Program from 2005-2015, and then served as corresponding PI of the BridgeQUERI Program, supporting implementation research to promote access to specialty care for underserved, vulnerable Veterans. He is Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Boston University, and has authored over 140 peer-reviewed publications.
   Sarah Cutrona

Sarah L. Cutrona, MD, MPH, is the Associate Director for VA Bedford CHOIR. 

Dr Wiener

Renda S. Wiener, MD, 
is the Associate Director for VA Boston CHOIR. An Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Wiener is a pulmonary & critical care physician, health services researcher, and implementation scientist. Her work, including over 120 publications, has been highly influential. She has also co-chaired several policy statements and clinical practice guidelines on lung cancer screening for the American Thoracic Society and American College of Chest Physicians, and co-chairs of the VISN 1 task-force to implement lung cancer screening.