Denver Investigator Biographies - Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)
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Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)

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Denver Investigator Biographies

Click here for a complete list of Seattle-Denver investigators.


Publications
University Web Profile
Karen Albright, PhD
Dr. Albright is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Associate Director for Research at the Denver-Seattle COIN. A health services researcher and sociologist by training, she is a qualitative methodologist and implementation scientist. She received her PhD in Sociology from New York University and received postdoctoral training in health research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow at the Center for Culture and Health in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles. She previously directed the Qualitative Research Core at the Adult and Child Center for Health Outcomes Research ... and Delivery Science at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and directed the Qualitative Research Core in the Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention. Her substantive research agenda focuses on health disparities and the social determinants of mental and physical health among a variety of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

She is particularly interested in understanding factors influencing the health behaviors and outcomes of these populations, identifying barriers to the care they receive, and testing potential solutions for improving care. A substantial number of her publications investigate the perspectives of health care providers, staff, patients, and/or patients’ caregivers toward particular health care approaches, technologies, and experiences in order to identify such barriers; many of these publications explicitly compare perspectives across roles in order to identify areas of miscommunication and misunderstanding. 
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Publications
University Web Profile
Ehrin Armstrong, MD
My clinical interests include treatment of patients with coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, and patients with aneurysms. I am dedicated to providing the best care for my patients and to offering cutting-edge therapies for the treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

Publications
University Web Profile
Catherine T. Battaglia, PhD, MSHA, RN
Dr. Battaglia is a nurse scientist and core investigator in the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation (COIN) at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System. She has a strong background in health services research, dissemination/implementation of interventions in routine clinical practice and mixed methods analyses. Dr. Battaglia is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Triple Aim QUERI and two Transitions of Care quality improvement projects. She is the site PI for two Investigator-Initiated Research (IIR) grants. Dr. Battaglia also completed a VA Nursing Research Initiative (NRI) Merit Award (2009-2014), a Substance Use Disorder QUERI, and quantitative/qualitative evaluations for operational programs. In addition to research, Dr. Battaglia oversees the Denver Research Education and Mentor Program in the COIN, which is responsible for the Advanced Health Services Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, a joint Grand Rounds series with COIN, ... MIRECC, and GRECC as well as the Junior Faculty Leadership Seminars.

Dr. Battaglia is also a member of the ACCORDS (The Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science) Dissemination and Implementation Core and has planned several regional conferences. As an Associate Professor in the Health System Management and Policy Department in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Dr. Battaglia has mentored ~25 PhD, DNP, and master’s students, postdoctoral fellows, and a VA career development awardee over the past 13 years. 
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Publications 
University Web Profile
David B. Bekelman, MD, PhD
David Bekelman, MD, MPH, COIN Core Investigator, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and a palliative care physician at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System. He conducts research to improve the quality of life for people with chronic heart failure and chronic lung disease and their families. His research expertise is in measuring and improving quality of life and testing novel health care delivery interventions using clinical trials. He has tested telephone, team (nurse and social worker), and peer (layperson) interventions to integrate early palliative care and psychosocial care into the outpatient setting.

Publications 
University Web Profile
Lisa A. Brenner, PhD
Dr. Brenner is a Board-Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Psychiatry, and Neurology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, and the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). Dr. Brenner is the Past President of Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and an APA Fellow. She is also Vice Chair of Research for the Department of PM&R. Dr. Brenner serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Her primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide. Dr. Brenner has numerous peer-reviewed publications, participates on national ... advisory boards, and has recently co-authoring a book titled: Suicide Prevention After Neurodisability: An Evidence-Informed ApproachRead more

Publications
University Web Profile
Liron Caplan, MD, PhD
I am a co-Investigator with the Seattle-Denver COIN. Am a rheumatologist and health services researcher, with interest in quality of care, adverse drug reactions, spondyloarthritis, and the use of patient registries. I am the founder and Clinic Director for the VA Eastern Colorado Spondyloarthritis Clinic, an Executive Committee Member of the VA’s Program to Understand the Longterm Outcomes in SpondyloARthritis (PULSAR ; a national clinical registry and biorepository for veterans), and the past national chair of the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network. I have long-standing experience as an investigator with the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, as well as a Site Principal Investigator for the Veterans Affairs Rheumatoid Arthritis registry. I have previously served as a member of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) ... Quality of Care Committee, ACR Guideline Subcommittee Chair, and in numerous other capacities. My grants have focused on characterizing and ameliorating medication toxicities (particularly those resulting from long-term drug usage), optimizing medication adherence, and clinical outcomes in spondyloarthritis.  Read more

Publications
University Web Profile
Joseph W. Frank, MD, MPH
Dr. Frank is a general internist and health services researcher at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System and an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His research focuses on the safe, effective management of chronic pain in primary care settings. His HSR&D-funded Career Development Award will explore Veterans' views on discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy and develop and pilot a team-based intervention to support tapering of long-term opioid therapy and engagement with non-opioid pain care strategies.

Publications
University Web Profile
Heather M. Gilmartin, PhD, NP
Dr. Gilmartin is research nurse scientist with the Denver/Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value Driven Care, VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System and adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado, College of Nursing and School of Public Health. Her research focuses on understanding and optimizing the culture of healthcare to enhance patient safety and facilitate organizational learning. She has expertise in testing conceptual models and applying advanced statistical methods, including structural equation modeling, to yield a greater understanding of complex systems issues. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston College, her master’s degree from Yale University, and her doctorate from the University of Colorado. ... Her clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner has included epidemiology, family practice, pediatrics, and public health nursing.  Read more

Publications
University Web Profile
Kamal H. Henderson, MD
Dr. Henderson is an adult general cardiologist and a general preventive medicine and public health physician. Currently, he is a Staff Physician at the Rocky Mountain VA Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. As a clinician-scientist, he researches health care delivery of coronary heart disease prevention and disparities related to coronary heart disease within health care.  Dr. Henderson is interested in the application of health care informatics and systems science to understanding multi-level factors that lead to suboptimal delivery of evidence-based coronary heart disease preventive care and their entrenched disparities in health care.  His long-term career goals are to translate findings from health care informatics and systems analyses to design multi-level embedded health care ... interventions aimed at improving the reach of evidence-based interventions for coronary heart disease prevention in health care and among vulnerable patient populations.  Read more

Publications
University Web Profile
Paul Hess, MD
Dr. Hess is a cardiologist and health services researcher.  His research interests center on the advancement of health care value across the spectrum of value-based outcomes, including improvement in the sustainability of health and health status and reduction of ineffective care.  His research has been supported by the American Heart Association and VA HSR&D.  He serves as a staff cardiologist at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  He received his MD from Emory University School of Medicine and his MHS from Duke University School of Medicine.  He underwent residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine and cardiovascular imaging at Duke University Medical Center.
Publications 
University Web Profile
Michael Ho, MD, PhD
Dr. Ho is Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado and cardiologist at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. He was an HSR&D Career Development Awardee (CDA) and has been an active investigator within the Denver HSR&D Center since 2004. Dr. Ho co-directs the Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value Driven Care along with David Au, MD. His research has focused on medication adherence and interventions to improve medication adherence. More recently, his research has focused on value in healthcare and creating learning health systems to improve the value of health care delivered to patients. He co-leads the VA Collaborative Evaluation (VACE) team which is focused on conducting collaborative program evaluations with VA clinical and operational partners. ... These evaluation findings have led to policy changes and clinical program improvement within VA. He serves in several  leadership positions on national cardiology organizations for the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology.  Read more

 Publications
University Web Profile
Claire Hoffmire, PhD
Dr. Hoffmire is an Epidemiologist, working in the field of suicide prevention at the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2012. Dr. Hoffmire directs and works on both operations projects for the VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and investigator-initiated research projects. Dr. Hoffmire has extensive expertise working with VA national data, including VHA clinical and administrative records, the VA Suicide Prevention Application Network (SPAN) and the VA-DoD Suicide Data Repository (SDR). Dr. Hoffmire’s active research interests include enhancing Veteran suicide and non-fatal suicidal self-directed violence surveillance efforts, public health and upstream approaches to Veteran suicide prevention, and tailoring suicide prevention efforts to high-risk Veteran subgroups, in particular Women and non-VHA Veterans.


Publications

University Web Profile
Christine Jones, MD, MS
Dr. Jones is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Colorado and an Investigator at the Eastern Colorado Healthcare System COIN. Dr. Jones' work focuses on improving care transitions from the hospital to post-acute care through improved communication across the care continuum. Dr. Jones has used both qualitative methods to better understand care coordination from the perspectives of hospitalists, primary care providers, home health nurses, patients, and caregivers, and has also used Medicare and claims data to investigate risk factors that may increase readmission risk for patients discharged with home health care.

Publications 
University Web Profile
Vinay Kini, MD, MSHP
Dr. Kini is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Colorado, and an affiliate investigator at the Denver-Seattle COIN. His research focuses on the evaluation of the quality of care and clinical outcomes related to new health care policies, as well as the appropriate use of cardiovascular technologies. He is currently funded by an NIH K23 award focused on optimizing value in diagnostic cardiovascular testing. He has published first author manuscripts in JAMA, JACC, and Circulation: Quality and Outcomes. In addition, he is a dedicated clinician and educator.

Publications 
University Web Profile
Cari R. Levy, MD, PhD
Dr. Levy is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Health Care Research and Policy at the University of Colorado and Rocky Mountain Regional (RMR) Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). She completed internal medicine residency and chief residency at Vanderbilt University followed by a geriatric fellowship at the University of Colorado. Dr. Levy then obtained board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a PhD in Clinical Sciences. She currently serves as Section Chief of Palliative Care at the RMR VAMC. Her clinical work in palliative care and tele-nursing home care informs her research which focuses on quality of life at the end-of-life in nursing homes, disparities in care among persons living in institutional care settings and in quality of care in non-institutional care settings such as the VA Home Based Primary Care Program and Medical Foster Home Program.

Publications
University Web Profile
Dan Matlock, MD
Dr. Matlock is the Director of the Colorado Program for Patient Centered Decisions at ACCORDS (The Adult and Child Consortium for Outcomes Research and Delivery Science). He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative care. His research is aimed at fundamentally changing and improving how patients make decisions around invasive cardiovascular technologies. He has been funded under an NIH career development award, three NHLBI RO1s (two Co-I, one PI), and four PCORI projects studying shared decision making among older adults making decisions around invasive technologies. He has participated in the American College of Cardiology shared decision making task force and he is also an active participant of the International Patient Decision Aid Standards writing committee. Recently, he has also been named ... Director of Implementation Research for the Denver Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center.  Read more

Publications
University Web Profile
Borsika Rabin, PhD, MPD, PharmD
Dr. Rabin is an Implementation Scientist Denver/Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value Driven Care and a co-PI and co-lead of the Implementation Science Core of the Triple AIM QUERI Program at the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego and a Senior Implementation Scientist with the Dissemination and Implementation Program at the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Rabin has expertise in dissemination and implementation science in the context ... of health care and public health settings with a special focus on pragmatic measurement, adaptations, and models and methods. She also has extensive experience in capacity building for dissemination and implementation science through developing workshops, trainings, online webtools, and graduate programs for the field. Dr. Rabin co-leads the QUERI-wide Adaptation, Fidelity, and Tailoring Special Interest Group with Dr. Glasgow and a co-director of the newly launched Dissemination and Implementation Graduate Certificate Program at CU. She also a co-director of the Dissemination and Implementation Science Center at UC San Diego. Dr. Rabin received her Pharm.D., degree at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary and her MPH and PhD degrees at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Read more
Publications
University Web Profile
Sridharan Raghavan, MD, PhD
Dr. Raghavan is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Colorado and Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. He is a board-certified internist and works clinically as a hospitalist. His research focuses on precision medicine applied to the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes, and their complications, particularly cardiovascular disease. He is interested in how electronic health record data and genetic data can inform risk models that guide individualized targeting of preventive interventions to reduce obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease as well as optimal personalized pharmacotherapy.

Publications
University Web Profile
Amneet Sandhu, MD
Dr. Sandhu is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado.  His research interests include access to electrophysiology services within the VA system, decision-making surrounding EP procedures and research surrounding treatment of arrhythmogenesis in complex patients (ie. those with ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and complex congenital heart disease).  He is helping lead development and extension of the Clinical Assessment and Report Tool to EP (CART-EP) procedures, including cardiac implantable devices and catheter ablation procedures, across the VA healthcare system.  Dr. Sandhu received his BA in biomedical and electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine.  He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan followed by general ... cardiology, Masters of Clinical Science and electrophysiology fellowships at the University of Colorado.  Read more

Publications
University Web Profile
Comilla Sasson, MD, MHS
Dr. Sasson received her M.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine and completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She received a Master of Science in Health and Health Services Research from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a PhD in Health Services Research in 2014 from the Colorado School of Public Health. She continues to work clinically in the Emergency Department and serves as a Denver/Seattle COIN Investigator at the Veterans Affair Hospital in Aurora, CO researching, developing and implementing ED-based quality improvement programs for safer opioid prescribing and treatment of opioid use disorder. She also serves as the Special Advisor to the VHA Medical Advisory Panel in Pharmacy Benefits Management... Dr. Sasson also serves the Vice President for Science Innovation for Emergency Cardiovascular Care at the American Heart Association. She maintains appointments in the Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has authored 90 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including original work on geographic, racial/ethic and socioeconomic disparities in bystander CPR and survival from cardiac arrest. Her research interests include decreasing health disparities in cardiac arrest survival, utilizing research methods to systematically improve communities, and working with partners to improve the chain of survival, as well as improving access to care for substance use disorders in the Emergency Department.  Read more