Leadership

Beth Ripley, MD, PhD

Acting Director, Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning

Beth Ripley, MD, PhD oversees strategic operations to advance innovation across VHA. She is a leader in the expansion of 3D Printing (3DP) technology capabilities and serves as the Enterprise Lead for the VHA 3D Printing Network Initiative, Director for VA Ventures, and Chair for the VHA 3D Printing Advisory Committee. Dr. Ripley collaborates with talented and diverse staff throughout the VA system, experts across federal agencies, and industry partners to improve the delivery of personalized healthcare solutions for Veterans through 3DP. Dr. Ripley is a staff radiologist at the Seattle Division of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in Art History from Stanford University as well as her MD and PhD in Neurosciences from University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She completed radiology residency training and a cardiovascular imaging fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a body imaging fellowship at the University of Washington.

Innovation Superpower: Empowerment

Kristopher "Kit" Teague

Executive Director, VHA Innovation Ecosystem

Kit Teague is responsible for both strategy and operations for VHA IE to advance care delivery and service through mission-driven innovation that changes and saves Veteran lives. VHA IE identifies and scales innovations by empowering frontline employees and leveraging external partners as force multipliers for transformational healthcare innovation. Mr. Teague has over 20 years of experience in healthcare between his time in the private sector and VA. Seventeen years of this experience have been with VA, with nine of those years spent incubating, evaluating, and scaling clinical and administrative innovation across VHA. He started his VA career in 2003 as an Auditor for the VA Office of Inspector General in Washington, D.C. Since then, he has sought to diversify his experience by holding positions at both the regional and local levels of VHA. He served as a Contracting Officer for the VISN 21 Network Contracting Office and Chief of Personnel Security for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, prior to rejoining the VA Central Office with VHA IE. With VHA IE, he has managed more than 21 innovation projects, including software prototypes for various clinical specialties, production pilots of emerging technologies, regional rollouts of innovative clinical treatments, multi-site equipment activations, and complex clinical data mapping and informatics. Mr. Teague earned a bachelor’s degree in History/Political Science at Arkansas Tech University and a Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers through VA Acquisition Academy. He was nominated for the VHA Robert L. Jesse Award for Excellence in Innovation in 2020.

Innovation Superpower: Persistence

Allison Amrhein, MPH

Director, VHA Innovators Network

As Director of Operations for the VHA Innovators Network, Ms. Amrhein guides a team of incredible Innovation Specialists from VA Medical Centers across the country through operational day-to-day functions and leads operational strategic planning for the VHA Innovators Network. Particular areas of leadership responsibility include financial maintenance and planning, internal VA communications and relationship building, development of value metrics and oversight of data collection, and management of the annual Spark-Seed-Spread Innovation Investment Program application and review process. Prior to her role as Director of Operations, Allison served as an Innovation Coordinator, managing high-value innovation projects and contracts, as well as the Director of Executive Correspondence for the Office of the Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Maintenance during her tenure at VA. Prior to joining VA, she was a health systems researcher and technical writer for a number of non-profit organizations. Allison received her Master of Public Health from the University of Kentucky and a Health Administration degree from Indiana University. She is also a certified yoga instructor and, dog mom, and has a four-year-old son named Charlie.

Innovation Superpower: Perseverance

Blake Henderson

Director, Diffusion of Excellence

Blake Henderson is an experienced product developer and teambuilder working as an advocate for frontline employee innovators at VHA. He has been integral in the development of VA business systems, such as VA’s Light Electronic Action Framework (LEAF), and clinical platforms like the Remote Veteran Sleep Apnea Management Platform (REVAMP). He currently serves as the Director for Diffusion of Excellence, which identifies, replicates, and scales promising practices throughout the largest integrated health care system in the United States.

Innovation Superpower: Imagination

Thomas Osborne, MD

Director, National Center for Collaboration Healthcare

Thomas Osborne, MD, is the Director of the National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation (NCCHI) and Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. As Director of NCCHI, he is leading multidisciplinary teams in the co-development and implementation of pioneering healthcare solutions throughout VA, with other government agencies, and with leading technology companies. His team’s goal is to deliver the best and most advanced healthcare solutions to our Veterans. He is the inaugural recipient of the VA Under Secretary for Health Robert L. Jesse Award for Excellence in Innovation. His work has been published in numerous medical journals and textbooks on topics such as predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, sensor technology, augmented reality, virtual reality, and the future of health care. Dr. Osborne received his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School, completed his residency at Harvard Mount Auburn Hospital, and fellowship at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in both Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology. Dr. Osborne is also a staff neuroradiologist at VA Palo Alto Healthcare System and Clinical Associate Professor (affiliated) at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Innovation Superpower: Grit

Leandro DaSilva

Acting Director, VA New England Center for Innovation Excellence (NECIE)

Leandro DaSilva serves as the Acting Director of the New England Center for Innovation Excellence (NECIE), which focus on fostering collaborations to address VHA’s most pressing healthcare challenges. He joined the VA in 2011 as a member of the VISN 1 Network Office and, as a Project Manager for the VISN 1 Quality Manager Office and, in November 2017, became a member of the VISN 1 Clinical Informatics team. In 2020 Mr. DaSilva helped launch NECIE as part of the VHA Innovation Ecosystem. Previously, Mr. DaSilva served in the U.S. Navy from 1999 to 2006, onboard the USS Kitty-Hawk (CV-63) home based in Yokosuka, Japan; and at the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Facility (NPMOF) in Whidbey Island, WA.

Innovation Superpower: Versatility

Suzanne Shirley, LCSW

Director of Community Engagement and Fellowship

Suzanne Shirley, LCSW, is the Director of Community Engagement & Fellowship with the VHA IE and serves in a faculty role with MIT’s Catalyst Fellowship Program. In the role of community engagement, Ms. Shirley drives transformative innovation across VHA by engaging both internal and external collaborators in the design, testing, and scaling of mission driven innovative solutions. Through convening diverse groups of collaborators, Ms. Shirley is committed to bringing key stakeholders from every community together in the spirit of solving VHA’s most pressing challenges with a focus on customer experience, evaluation, and impact. In her role leading innovative VHA Fellowship programs, Ms. Shirley strategically implements a variety of experiential learning opportunities in partnership with academia, which aim to shape future thought leaders in healthcare, improve care, and drive down cost. Ms. Shirley has been recognized through awards such as 2022 AMSUS-Administrative Management, 2021 Arthur S. Flemming-Outstanding Federal Service, 2021 Service to the Citizen, 2021 Teddy Roosevelt-Visionary Leadership, and 2020 ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation- Disruptive Technology.

Innovation Superpower: Vision 

Anne Lord Bailey, PharmD, BCPS

Director, Clinical Tech Innovation

Anne Lord Bailey, PharmD, BCPS, is the Director of Clinical Tech Innovation for the VHA Innovation Ecosystem and Co-Lead for VHA IE’s Extended Reality (XR) Network. She is also a Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. After completing her residency at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC, Dr. Bailey spent two years focused on treating and curing Veterans with Hepatitis C. During that time, Dr. Bailey’s passion for healthcare innovation grew as she led a team of clinicians and piloted a Mobile Hepatitis C Clinic for rural Veterans. She continues to grow her knowledge and experience through coaching, collaborating, and networking in both direct patient care and healthcare innovation, particularly in the space of XR.

Innovation Superpower: Trailblazing 

Amanda Lienau, PhD

Director, Data and Analytics Innovation

Amanda Lienau, PhD, is the Director of Data and Analytics Innovation with the VHA Innovation Ecosystem. She has led dozens of small scale and large scale innovation initiatives with a primary focus of increasing meaningful use of information to increase access to care, improve equitable outcomes, and improve quality of life. Prior to that time, she was the Senior Innovation Fellow working on a project to democratize data and the Innovation Specialist at the VA St Louis Health Care System. She has also held leadership roles in implementing programs for prevention, integrative and complimentary care, and health behavior change at VA. She has extensive experience and training in facilitation and advancing learning in adults. Dr. Lienau has a PhD in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University.

Innovation Superpower: Perserverence