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

 Allison Bio Pic
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 Bio Pic 
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 invastion / 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 postion of Management & Program Analyst, his current role, in the Office of Planning and Policy, Readjustment Counceling Service.
 Dan Berlowirtz Profile Pic

Dan Berlowitz, MD  is chief of staff at the Bedford VA and Director-Emeritus of the Center for Healthcare Orgation and Implementation Research. He has performed extensive research on assessing and improving the quality of healthcare in both ambulatory and long-term care settings. His research on ambulatory care focuses on the management of chronic medical conditions such as diabeties and hypertension.

Jessica Blue Howells Profile pic

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 for 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 profile pic  

John Bradley, MD serves as the Chief of Psychiatry and Deputy Director for Mental Health for the VA Boston Healthcare System. Dr. Bradley joined the 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 prof pic


David 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 prof pic


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 prof pic  

Joan Clifford, DNP  was appointed Director of the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Hospital, (Bedford VA), March 18, 2018. Prior tp 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 the Veterans Affairs Central Office as the Acting Deputy Chief Nursing Officer from May 2016 through Sept. 2016.
David Coleman prof pic


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 prof pic   

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 prof pic 

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.
 Lisa Lehman prof pic  


Lisa Lehmann, PhD, MD  serves as Chief Medical Officer for the VA New England Healthcare System (VISN 1) and is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
  Vincent Ng Prof Pic

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 healthcare 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 prof pic



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.

     Michael Stein prof pic



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

 Allen Gifford prof pic 2
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 now serves 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.
    Barb Bokhour prof pic 2

Barbara G. Bokhour, PhD,   is the Director, and a Senior Investigator at the 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.

 Renda Wiener prof pic 3


Renda S. Wiener, MD,  
is the Associate Director for the VA Beford CHOIR, and also serves as CHOIR's Mentorship Director. 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 VISN1 task-force to implement lung cancer screening in the VISN.

 Jenny sullivan prof pic 2



Jennifer L. Sullivan, PhD,   
has served as the Acting Associate Director at VA Boston CHOIR for the last year, and is the Co-Lead of CHOIR's Long Term Care emergent scientific area. She also manages the quantitative analyst group at Boston. She is an affiliated investigator at New England Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and the Long Term Service and Support COIN in Providence.  Dr. Sullivan is a Research Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health.