What does iEx mean to VA?
“We need VA to be courageous. As courageous as it’s ever been. No one is doing stuff like this outside VA.”
These are the words of keynote speaker Zen Chu–Senior Lecturer of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at MIT–at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Innovation Experience (iEx), which ran from Oct. 22-23 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. His words were proven throughout the event.
Bright path forward
Attendees saw 3D-printed bones that can replace a Veteran’s shattered finger. They heard about the community-based partnership that has saved 70 in-crisis Veterans’ lives. There was a revolutionary wheelchair design that allows chairs to have shifting gears, making mobility easier than ever. One powerful story of how two VA innovators brought mobile prosthetic care to the home of a father and disabled Veteran highlighted how VA is changing how and where it offers care. And, a new therapy that helps Veterans find their moral compass revealed how VA is evolving the way it approaches mental health care.
All this and more proved what another keynote speaker–renowned innovator, best-selling author and developer of the Three Box Solution, Vijay “VG” Govindarajan–saw: there is a bright path forward for VA.
VA is innovating in ways that no other health care system in the country can. Events, including the VHA iEx Talks, VHA iEx Demos, 2019 VHA Shark Tank Competition, and a hands-on Experience Center, provided attendees with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the innovative future of Veteran care–and our nation’s health care overall.
What became clear through all the stories and experiences is one message: innovation, powered by frontline VA employees and the VHA Innovation Ecosystem, is changing and saving Veteran lives.