Grassroots Innovation

Projects under the Grassroots Portfolio stem from the VHA Employee Innovation Competitions, which gather innovative ideas from VA’s front-line staff to find new solutions to VHA’s challenges, and to improve quality, access and transparency of care for Veterans. In addition to giving VA a way to tap the creativity of the workforce, the competitions provide innovators with funding and support to make their ideas a reality. Successful innovations are transitioned into regular practice for wider deployment.

The competition’s categories are designed to mirror the most critical challenges facing VHA at the time. For example, in 2012 the employee competition focused on patient-centered care, Veteran homelessness, mental health and facilities management among other topics, and resulted in 53 new, active projects.

  • Pharmacy How-to-Videos

    Patient education and patient understanding are critical elements in effectively managing diseases and illnesses. The Innovation Program developed videos to help both patients and providers learn how to properly administer medications. These videos are available via YouTube and the VA website (Spanish versions are coming soon). Visit the Patient Education playlist to see the most currently uploaded videos.

  • Veteran “X”

    Veteran "X" is a peer-led, Veteran-centered group that presents a scenario of a fictitious Veteran who has an abundance of social issues, including mental illness, addiction, poor physical health, homelessness, economic hardships, and family issues. Through the group, Veteran participants role-play to find solutions to the issues the Veteran “X” character faces. Veteran "X" was initially piloted at the Hampton VAMC, and has now expanded to 21 sites, with an additional six planned for 2016. It has been featured by many news outlets over the last few years. Learn more about Veteran "X".

  • Specialty Care/Dementia Care Units

    Wilkes Barre VA specialty care team aims to improve the quality of care Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) patients receive on a daily basis. They created a special program to utilize more therapeutic interventions for ADRD patients.


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