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VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network


VISN 6 Seen as Innovation Trailblazer

Participants in the Therapeutic Carbohydrate reduction (TCR) Aspire program prepare a meal to use nutrition to control metabolic health conditions.

Participants in the Therapeutic Carbohydrate reduction (TCR) Aspire program use nutrition to control metabolic health conditions. The program is considered an emerging innovation and has already resulted in national recognition for Asheville’s TCR-Aspire team.

By Steve Wilkins, VISN 6 public affairs
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Several innovations developed by VA facility staff contributed to recent VISN 6 recognition as an Innovation Trailblazer this year in VHA’s Diffusion Marketplace.  The VISN, and Durham VA HCS specifically, were recognized for submitting a total of 19 innovation projects; of hundreds submitted from across the enterprise to the VHA Diffusion Marketplace. 

Diffusion Marketplace is VHA’s discovery and collaboration tool built for curating VA’s promising innovations to encourage their diffusion.

The concepts from VISN innovators included Therapeutic Carbohydrate Reduction (TCR) Aspire from the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC and Chaplain Suicide Prevention Consult from the Durham VA Medical Center.  Durham VA innovators have submitted 10 projects.

Adapted from and earlier program, the TCR-Aspire program addresses demand by Veterans for a low carbohydrate or “Keto” diet. Research has also shown that carbohydrate-reduced diets can reverse type-2 diabetes and support weight loss. Veterans have been attracted to the program and continue to register for participation.

Durham VA’s Chaplain Suicide Prevention Consult aims to improve access to mental and spiritual care and heighten integration of spirituality in clinical care, hopefully resulting in closer collaboration between the Chaplain and suicide prevention teams. It is part of the Integrative Mental Health Dynamic Diffusion Network.  Since 2015 the practice has been replicating across multiple facilities as its impact is continually validated.

Many of the projects have been in place for some time and have been adopted locally. Others have already begun to gain traction and have spread for use in other medical facilities outside the VISN.

If you are a VA staff member and would like to nominate an innovation to be hosted on the Diffusion Marketplace, please use the LEAF process here: Diffusion Marketplace | Innovation Nominations.  Please ensure that you include any tools, data & metrics, or other documents you think may be necessary for your innovation’s review.


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