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VHA National Center for Patient Safety


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VA Patient Safety Fellowships

A group of health care professionals in a meeting and sitting at a table.

The VA National Center for Patient Safety, in cooperation with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations have teamed up to offer one-year fellowships in patient safety.

The fellowships provide in-depth education in patient safety practice and leadership. The program links individualized, mentored training at a number of training sites around the nation to a state-of-the-art curriculum in the science of patient safety improvement.

Fellowships are offered to:

  • Post-residency trained physicians.
  • Post-doctoral or post-masters-degree-trained associated health professionals, such as:
    • Nurses
    • Psychologists
    • Pharmacists
    • Social workers
    • Health care administrators

A post-doctoral or post-masters degree in a related field can also qualify you to apply for a fellowship position. For example:

  • Computer science
  • Human factors engineering
  • Anthropology

The fellows are based at one of eight VA Medical Center sites, as noted below.

The one-year fellowship is designed to develop the next generation of leaders in patient safety. Fellows receive intensive training in clinical aspects of patient safety, health services research methodology, and leadership.

Start or rejuvenate your career. Join the VA for a year of mentoring and professional development!

To apply, send a cover letter and CV to the program director(s) at the sites of interest.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Small town-major university setting; close connection to central office in DC
  • Patient safety leadership; policy
  • Development, implementation, and operation of system-wide patient safety programs
  • Alert & advisory processes
  • Access to patient safety database
  • Work with FDA, other government and regulatory agencies; work with manufacturers and standards organizations
  • Root Cause Analysis, Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, Medical Team Training, Patient Safety curriculum for graduate medical education
  • High fidelity simulation for training and assessing teamwork skills
  • Contact: Blake Webb:
  • Contact: Lisa Tighe:

Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Identifying and motivating for evidence-based practice
  • Informatics
  • Hand-offs
  • Healthcare engineers
  • Associated School of Public Health
  • Contact: Tyler Davis:

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Tertiary care center adjacent to University of Kentucky; polytrauma excellence site for VISN 9
  • Opportunity to take courses in the school of public health applicable to masters degree
  • Full disclosure pioneering site
  • Free discussion of systems-issues by residents and others
  • Monthly noon conferences devoted to patient safety
  • University medical school consortium for patient safety improvement
  • Medical ethics program
  • Contact: Andrew Harris:  

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Urban medical center on Lake Michigan
  • Multiple services including spinal cord injury center, long term care, physical rehabilitation, and Community Homes, with three community based outpatient clinics and a health care center serving a culturally and economically diverse group of Veterans
  • Major affiliates include Medical College of Wisconsin with a Clinical Translational Science institute, Marquette University and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • State of the art simulation center and a long-standing, active in-situ simulation training program
  • Three patient safety managers with opportunities for mentoring from an interprofessional faculty
  • Flexibility to focus on either the clinical application of patient safety concepts and/or education or research skills training
  • Make change or add to current knowledge and/or practice through an interdisciplinary facility-wide patient safety project
  • Contact: Florine Ndakuya-Fitzgerald:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Major city, major university (University of Pennsylvania) setting
  • Affiliation with Patient Safety Program at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and CHIPS (Center for Healthcare Innovation and Patient Safety) at Penn.
  • Concentration on use of simulation in patient safety and education; rotations at Penn’s Clinical Simulation Center
  • Opportunity to enroll in courses at Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Simulation Center, and School of Nursing
  • Contact: Gregg Lipschik:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Prior history of innovation (MRSA, Condition Help, prototype Smart Room, etc) at VA Pittsburgh
  • Close affiliation with UPMC, with active patient safety activities
  • Rotation with WISER simulation center at UPMC*†
  • Fellow to take role in development and roll-out of new Patient Safety Triage process
  • Fellow to serve as adjunct faculty for Pitt Med School interdisciplinary Basic Science of Care course.
  • Research focus to build simulation based test platform to be used for testing of innovation
  • Human Factors emphasis, particularly as relates to information system design
  • Contact: Jamie Estock:

Tampa, Florida

  • Polytrauma center of excellence
  • Research and research translation to practice
  • Preventing falls and fall related injuries in elderly
  • Studies related to safety of equipment
  • Studies of interventions to improve gait and balance
  • Geriatrics
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Mobility issues
  • Pressure sores
  • Wandering
  • Off site from VAMC, but close proximity
  • Affiliation with University of South Florida
  • Existing multi-disciplinary program for post docs and fellows
  • Good working relationship with VISN 8
  • National Annual Falls Conference
  • International Safe Patient Handling conference
  • Contact: Tatjana Bulat:

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