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Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)


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COIN Investigators & Staff

COIN Investigators


Leah M. Haverhals, PhD, MA, BA
Title: Health Research Scientist,
Co-Director Qualitative Core,
Communications Director for the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered & Value-Driven Care
Assistant Professor, Division of Health Care Policy and Research, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Location: Denver
University of Colorado webpage
See Dr. Haverhals's Dimensions profile that includes: publications, grants, datasets, patents and clinical trials
I am a social and behavioral scientist, implementation scientist, and health services researcher. I work primarily as a principal investigator and qualitative methodologist at the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value Driven Care at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver, Colorado. In the past 20 years as a researcher I have designed and managed large national research, evaluation, and quality improvement projects in areas of aging, geriatrics and extended care, telehealth, access to care, health technology, disaster preparedness and recovery, using photography to manage Veterans’ health issues, and applying implementation science frameworks to national evaluations to improve Veterans’ quality of care and to assess implementation of nationwide VA initiatives.
I choose to do this work because I value improving quality of life for older Veterans and their caregivers particularly in times of crises and during major life transitions. I believe this work is best done in collaboration and working with wonderful colleagues at the VA allows for connections to be made to conduct the research needed to better both health services and Veterans’ and caregivers’ lives.
I hope the research I do continues to improve long-term care options for Veterans, as well as provide needed support for their caregivers. My work will continue to assess, study, and evaluate large VA programs and initiatives with the goals of constantly improving these programs through gathering Veterans’ and their caregivers’ perspectives to create and improve programs they value, use, and need.

The following images visualize Dr. Haverhals' work. The word cloud is drawn from publication titles. The research collaboration map shows research relationships (click the image to enlarge):

Dr. Haverhals' publication titles indicate his primary work is care of Veterans
Word cloud from pub titles
Dr. Haverhals' collaborations are primarily from the University of Colorado
Research collaboration map
The following research fields have been used to summarize Dr. Haverhals' publications and grants. The categories are based on 62 publications and no grants (yet!).
Publications Grants
Clinical Research  
Health Services  
Behavioral and Social Science  
Clinical Trials and Supportive Activities  
Mental Health  
Patient Safety  
Complementary and Integrative Health  

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Recent Publications



Cornell PY, Magid KH, Corneau E, Haverhals LM, Levy C. Decline in Veterans' Admissions to Nursing Homes During COVID-19: Fewer Beds, More Fear, and Finding Alternative Care Settings. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Jan 5:S1525-8610(22)00999-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2022.12.021. Epub ahead of print. PMCID: PMC9812817. PMID: 36708741
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions


Haverhals LM. How Social Determinants of Health of Individuals Living or Working in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Home-Based Long-Term Care Programs in Puerto Rico Influenced Recovery after Hurricane Maria. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct 14;19(20):13243. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192013243. PMCID: PMC9603221. PMID: 36293827
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Ersek M, Sales A, Keddem S, Ayele R, Haverhals LM, Magid KH, Kononowech J, Murray A, Carpenter JG, Foglia MB, Potter L, McKenzie J, Davis D, Levy C. Preferences Elicited and Respected for Seriously Ill Veterans through Enhanced Decision-Making (PERSIVED): a protocol for an implementation study in the Veterans Health Administration. Implement Sci Commun. 2022 Jul 20;3(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s43058-022-00321-2. PMCID: PMC9296899. PMID: 35859140
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Haverhals LM, Manheim CE, Katz M, Levy CR. Caring for Homebound Veterans during COVID-19 in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Foster Home Program. Geriatrics (Basel). 2022 Jun 15;7(3):66. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics7030066. PMCID: PMC9223204. PMID: 35735771
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Wyte-Lake T, Manheim C, Gillespie SM, Dobalian A, Haverhals LM. COVID-19 Vaccination in VA Home Based Primary Care: Experience of Interdisciplinary Team Members. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 Apr 4:S1525-8610(22)00258-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2022.03.014. Epub ahead of print. PMCID: PMC8977493. PMID: 35443215
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Magid KH, Galenbeck E, Haverhals LM, Cornell PY, Moyo P, Mochel AL, Corneau E, Rudolph JL, Mor V, Levy C. Purchasing High-Quality Community Nursing Home Care: A Will to Work With VA Diminished by Contracting Burdens. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 Apr 13:S1525-8610(22)00238-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2022.03.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35429454
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Carpenter JG, Scott WJ, Kononowech J, Foglia MB, Haverhals LM, Hogikyan R, Kolanowski A, Landis-Lewis Z, Levy C, Miller SC, Periyakoil VJ, Phibbs CS, Potter L, Sales A, Ersek M. Evaluating implementation strategies to support documentation of veterans' care preferences. Health Serv Res. 2022 Mar 8. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13958. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 35261022.
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Kenney RR, Haverhals LM, Stryczek KC, Fehling KB, Ball SL. Site visit Standards Revisited: A Framework for Implementation. American Journal of Evaluation. February 2022.
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Haverhals LM, Magid KH, Blanchard KN, Levy CR. Veterans Health Administration Staff Perceptions of Overseeing Care in Community Nursing Homes During COVID-19. Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2022 Feb 15;8:23337214221080307. doi: 10.1177/23337214221080307. PMCID: PMC8855220.
PMID: 35187203.
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions



Magid KH, Solorzano N, Manheim C, Haverhals LM, Levy C. Social Support and Stressors among VA Medical Foster Home Caregivers. J Aging Soc Policy. 2021 May 28:1-21. doi: 10.1080/08959420.2021.1927619. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 34047675.

Magid KH, Manheim C, Haverhals LM, Thomas KS, Saliba D, Levy C. (2021). Who Receives Care in VA Medical Foster Homes? Fed Pract. 2021;38(3):102-109. doi:10.12788/fp.0102.

Marshall V, Stryczek KC, Haverhals L, Young J, Au DH, Ho PM, Kaboli PJ, Kirsh S, Sayre G. The Focus They Deserve: Improving Women Veterans' Health Care Access. Womens Health Issues. 2021 Feb 10:S1049-3867(20)30157-2. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.12.011. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 33582001.

Manheim C, Haverhals L, Gilman C, Karuza J, Olsan T, Edwards S, Levy C, Gillespie S. VA Home Based Primary Care Teams: Partnering with and Acting as Caregivers for Veterans. Home Health Care Serv Q. 2021 Jan-Mar;40(1):1-15. doi: 10.1080/01621424.2020.1869634. Epub 2021 Jan 7. PMID: .
PMID: 33411588.



Moldestad M, Stryczek KC, Haverhals L, Kenney R, Lee M, Ball S, Au D, Kirsh S, Sayre G, Young J. Competing Demands: Scheduling Challenges in Being Veteran-centric in the Setting of Health System Initiatives to Improve Access. Mil Med. 2020 Dec 8:usaa520. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usaa520. Epub ahead of print. PMID: .
PMID: 33289838.

Haverhals LM, Gilman C, Manheim C, Bauers C, Kononowech J, Levy C. Implementation of VA's Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions Initiative: Facilitators and Barriers to Early Implementation Across Seven VA Medical Centers. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2020 Nov 3:S0885-3924(20)30863-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.10.034. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 33157178.



Haverhals LM, Manheim C, Gilman C, Karuza J, Olsan T, Edwards ST, Levy CR, Gillespie SM. Dedicated to the Mission: Strategies US Department of Veterans Affairs Home-Based Primary Care Teams Apply to Keep Veterans at Home. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Dec;67(12):2511-2518. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16171. Epub 2019 Oct 8.
PMID: 31593296.

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Media (webinars, podcast, etc.)


Webinar: Using Multiple Qualitative Methods to Study Changes in Care Delivery, In-Home Vaccination, & Social Isolation of Home-Based Veterans and Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Leah Haverhals, PhD, MA ; Tamar Wyte-Lake, DPT, MPH
Seminar date: 12/9/2021

Description: In this cyber seminar we will share how we used multiple qualitative methods to gather perspectives from different key stakeholders around studying adaptations in home-based care delivery for Veterans during the pandemic. We will describe how we: 1) analyzed a large volume of open-ended qualitative data from a national online survey we fielded to VA Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) staff, and 2) designed a qualitative study to gather perspectives from Veterans receiving VA HBPC care, and their caregivers, on both changes in care delivery and social isolation.

Find the PDF handout and transcript

Webinar: Virtual Care in Context During COVID-19: VA Telehealth in Primary Care, Community Care Urgent Care, and State Veterans’ Nursing Homes

NOTE: Due to technical difficulties the video for this presentation is not available.

by Kristina Cordasco, MD, MPH, MSHS ; Claudia Der-Martirosian, PhD ; Leah Haverhals, PhD, MA
Seminar date: 12/1/2021

Description: The rapid onset of COVID-19 caused dramatic shifts in care delivery across settings in the VA, including the need to offer Telehealth as an alternative care modality. While various settings faced unique clinical challenges, a common experience among them was heterogeneity in virtual care uptake at the patient, provider, and site levels, as well as identifiable barriers and facilitators to adoption of telehealth. This cyberseminar is comprised of three presentations of research findings gathered from Primary Care, Community Care Urgent Care, and State Veterans’ Nursing Homes.

Find the PDF handout and transcript

What’s at the Core? Intro to the VA Qualitative Methods Learning Collaborative (QMLC) and scoping of Qualitative Cores-how they operate and what resources they offer

by Gemmae Fix, PhD ; Christine Kowalski, MPH ; Haverhals Leah, PhD, MA ; Jane Moeckli, PhD

Seminar date: 2/11/2021

Description: The Qualitative Methods Learning Collaborative (QMLC) is a new group formed in 2020 with the mission of advancing qualitative methods, building a community of qualitative researchers (VA and non-VA), and learning and teaching qualitative methods. There are over 250 members in this group. We will discuss the origins of the group, what we hope to accomplish, and review results from one of our first assessments—a scoping of national VA qualitative research cores/centers. We will present comparisons across those centers including details on how they operate and what resources they offer. One of the goals of the QMLC and this presentation is to share best practices and develop strategies for others interested in building their qualitative communities and expertise.

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Grants & Awards




Assessing changes in delivery and utilization of telehealth between Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and State Veterans' Nursing Homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic to inform future utilization, scalability, and adoption of telehealth modalities

Dr. Leah Haverhals has received funding from the VA Office of Connected care to study changes in delivery of VA telehealth to State Veterans’ Nursing Homes (SVHs) related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Haverhals has worked with Dr. Cari Levy on improving access to telehealth specialty care to Veterans in contracted community nursing homes as well as State Veterans’ Nursing Homes since 2017. This work involved developing a telehealth program called VetConnect that provided telehealth care to nursing home Veterans in geriatrics, palliative care, psychology, and psychiatry, among other specialties. Dr. Haverhals and Dr. Levy also evaluated the expansion of VA telehealth to SVHs in FY 2018 and 2019 across the VA system. This funding is an extension of that work to better describe how the pandemic affected delivery of VA telehealth to SVHs. This is of particular importance as the pandemic limited in-person medical visits and because many SVHs are in rural areas across the country. Further, more must be learned about increases and decreases in the provision of telehealth to SVHs during the pandemic, especially as overall VA telehealth care has increased dramatically during this time.

This project will survey VA staff and SVH staff via an online needs assessment and conduct individual phone interviews with VA staff and SVH staff who are part of delivering telehealth to SVH Veterans. Following data collection, results will be reported back to VA and SVH staff with the goal of creating learning communities for VAs and SVHs to support each other and to ensure that positive changes and lessons learned in the delivery of telehealth services during the pandemic can inform future utilization, adoption, and sustainability as appropriate while ensuring high quality of care.

Assessing Adaptations to Delivery of Virtual Care from VA Medical Centers to State Veterans Nursing Homes due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Principal Investigator & Qualitative Methodologist
Funder: VA Office of Connected Care

HBPC COVID-19 study

Principal Investigator & Qualitative Methodologist
Funder: VEMEC (Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center)

Visually Capturing Veterans’ Experiences of Recovery in the Time of COVID-19

Principal Investigator & Qualitative Methodologist
Funder: VA QUERI



Carter & T. Franklin Williams Geriatric Award for the best paper on geriatric healthcare
for the manuscript Dedicated to the Mission: Strategies VA Home Based Primary Care Teams Apply to Keep Veterans at Home, October 2020.

University of Colorado Denver Health & Behavioral Sciences PhD Student Research Award
May 2019.

Calvin L. Wilson Scholarship for Future Leaders in Global Health
April 2019 from the University of Colorado Center for Global Health.

Presidential Poster Session Selection
For research on Strategies Used by Home-Based Primary Care Teams to Keep Veterans at Home. Annual Scientific Meeting of American Geriatrics Society. Portland, OR, May 2-4, 2019.