Innovators receive training to refine Veteran-centric solutions

Over 90 innovators and leaders from VA came together in New Orleans from January 31 to February 2, 2023, for VA Diffusion of Excellence’s Base Camp and Diffusion Academy. Excitement was in the air as teams worked together in-person for the first time since 2020.

Innovators across VA received training, resources and networking opportunities to advance and refine their innovations. Attendees heard from VA leadership and subject matter experts through a variety of panels and presentations.

Diffusion of Excellence’s mission to identify, replicate and scale “Promising Practices” across VHA’s nationwide health care system is grounded in the work done at Base Camp and Diffusion Academy.

“Base Camp and Diffusion Academy are symbiotic because they’re working toward a shared goal of taking something that originated on the frontlines in at least one VA Medical Center and continuing to mature it and grow it,” said Blake Henderson, director of Diffusion of Excellence.

Eight years of Base Camp

Base Camp brought winners of the 2022 VHA Shark Tank Competition and their implementation teams together to develop implementation plans. Known as Diffusion Fellows, they got to know the staff selected to replicate the practices at their sites and the Diffusion of Excellence Team.

Base Camp presentations covered topics such as vision and mission, metrics, systems, team development, process mapping and more. Using breakout sessions, members of the newly formed implementation teams applied their recently gained knowledge and project management skills to develop an implementation plan.

Small group around worktable

Creating innovations for Veteran health care

2023 Base Camp attendees included:

Furthering innovation at Diffusion Academy

The 4th annual VHA Diffusion Academy brought experienced innovators from across VA to build a business case to further develop their innovations. Panels and presentations covered building a business case, enhancing stakeholder coalitions, VHA communications, reporting metrics, identifying resources and pitching.

2023 Diffusion Academy attendees included:

Scaling and sustaining a mature innovation can be challenging and often requires a network of support along with a well-established plan. Participants left the event with a network of peers, resource opportunities, communication strategies, and a business case for their innovation to continue advancing.

At the end of the event, innovators came together to reflect and voice praise for the opportunity to collaborate on innovation challenges, network and dedicate time to working with their team.

Diffusion of Excellence

Diffusion of Excellence’s mission is to identify, replicate and scale emerging Promising Practices across VA’s nationwide health care system. Diffusion of Excellence sponsors the annual VHA Shark Tank Competition and offers training, education,and tooling delivered to the country’s largest health care workforce.

Diffusion of Excellence has now identified over 90 Promising Practices and replicated them over 1,000 times across VHA.

To learn more about innovations happening across VHA, please visit the Diffusion Marketplace.

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