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Directors: Dan Berlowitz, MD, MPH and Martin Charns, DBA

Associate Directors: Allen Gifford, MD and Mark S. Bauer, MD

About the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR)

CHOIR's mission is to improve Veterans' health outcomes by developing, studying, and applying evidence-based practices that will be widely implemented and sustained.

Focused Areas of Research


Recovery in Behaviorally Vulnerable Populations

In this area, CHOIR strives to enhance the transformation of VA to a recovery-oriented healthcare system, and to improve recovery-oriented outcomes for behaviorally vulnerable Veterans, specifically those afflicted with a mental health condition or those who are homeless, or are at risk of being homeless. Major operational partners include Mental Health Services and the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans as well as increasing collaboration with Mental Health Operations.  CHOIR's strategy involves efforts to:

  • Establish a multi-level operational definition and assessment toolkit for recovery studies 
  • Enhance transformation to a recovery-oriented healthcare system via systematic implementation strategies 
  • Adapt collaborative care models to enhance physical and mental recovery 


Medication Optimization Program

Providing optimal medication treatment to Veterans is a critical goal for CHOIR, and supports many VA priorities regarding safer, more effective, patient-centered, and cost-efficient prescriptive practices. Existing tools allow CHOIR's operational partner, Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM), the ability to ensure medication optimization for patients. However, important gaps remain. In collaboration with PBM, CHOIR investigators will work to address these gaps by:

  • Examining how and why medication therapy is prescribed 
  • Estimating beneficial and harmful outcomes of medication therapy, and how these outcomes might change with better prescribing
  • Developing and evaluating implementation strategies to promote higher-quality use of medication therapies.

Products resulting from this collaboration will ensure that the science of medication optimization is indeed put into practice, and will facilitate improvements across VA.


Public Health Communication

CHOIR addresses traditional and emerging media used to deliver and exchange information about public health priorities to Veterans both in and outside of VA care. Communication priorities include large-scale adverse events, deployment environmental health risks, and health behavior change. There remain important gaps regarding best practices in communicating information to improve VA care, maximizing trust in care, and encouraging Veterans' self-management. CHOIR's Public Health Communication Focus will provide an evidence base and tools for communicating about a range of public health issues, using optimal communication channels such as social media and mobile health platforms to create effective messaging that empowers Veterans to prioritize their health.