VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs is a strong community partner for the NCSP and supports a number of VA NCSP fellows each year. The NCSP emphasizes the importance of community health, consistent with VA’s goals to optimize the health of the veteran, the VA community, and to contribute to the health of the nation. The VA NCSP fellows have a commitment to conducting research addressing health and policy issues relevant to veterans and reflecting priority areas in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

History of the NCSP/VA Partnership

The collaboration between the NCSP and the Department of Veterans Affairs builds upon a strong foundation: In 1978, the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), established the VA Advanced Fellowships Program for RWJF Clinical Scholars at selected VA medical centers and continued that collaboration until the program’s conclusion in 2017. In 2015, VA became an inaugural partner at the NCSP’s formation. This partnership between the VA and the NCSP will allow the next generation of physician and nursing leaders to identify and lead the changes needed to improve the health of veterans and of the nation.


Scholar VA-related Research

  • Agonafer, Etsemaye, MD, MPH (Cohort 2018-2020) – “Secondary Analysis: VA Health Disparities related to Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and patient experience” project – aims to identify the SDH related to racial/ethnic disparities, and compare this to patient experience data.
  • Bhalla, Ish, MD (Cohort 2018-2020) – “Psychiatric Multimorbidity in a Specialized Program for Severely Mentally Ill Veterans,” West Haven VA.
  • Liu, Charles, MD (Cohort 2018-2020) – “Out-of-pocket spending for surgical and trauma patients.” Extending research on how the Affordable Care Act has affected out-of-pocking spending to the VA patient population by linking data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to a variable from the National Health Interview Survey that identifies veterans.
  • Scannell, Christopher, MD, PhD (Cohort 2018-2020) – “The Impact of the 2014 Medicaid Expansion on Inpatient Utilization” which looks at utilization patterns across all hospital types, including VA facilities, before and after the Medicaid expansion.

The official website for the VA in the Greater Los Angeles Area provides additional information. 

UCLA Site Liaisons

Debra Saliba, MD, MPH

Deb Saliba, MD, MPH

Anna and Harry Borun Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology at UCLA, VA GLAHS GRECC Physician, VA GLAHS HSR&D Center of Innovation Associate Director for Education, Director, UCLA/JH Borun Center for Gerontological Research, Senior Natural Scientist, RAND Health

Kenneth Wells

Ken Wells, MD, MPH

David Weil Professor, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine and of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health; Affiliated Adjunct Staff, RAND Corporation; Staff Psychiatrist, Greater Los Angeles VA Health System.