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Military Health System Research Program Seeks Funding Applications for FY2023

Image of The Military Health System Research Program provides funding for projects that aim to improve care in military medical facilities like the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, pictured here. (Photo: Senior Airman Melody Bordeaux, U.S. Air Force). The Military Health System Research Program provides funding for projects that aim to improve care in military medical facilities like the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, pictured here. (Photo: Senior Airman Melody Bordeaux, U.S. Air Force)

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The Military Health System Research Program is encouraging researchers to submit grant applications for studies on areas that will directly benefit force readiness, service members, retirees, and their families.

Military and civilian researchers are welcome to submit applications. The funding prioritizes research projects that focus on the delivery of military health care and system-level innovations that impact cost, variation and outcomes.

"There's a big difference in traditional clinical research and health systems research, the latter being the focus on healthcare delivery issues at a systemic level," said Brig. Gen. Katherine Simonson, deputy assistant director of the Defense Health Agency Research and Engineering directorate.

"Understanding how the Military Health System actually delivers health care to our 9.6 million beneficiaries, discovering ways we can continue to improve quality and efficiency in that delivery, and determining where we can make process or policy changes that improves the patient care experience and outcomes – that is what this program is all about."

The MHSR program began accepting grant applications on April 4. Applying involves a two-step process starting with applicants submitting a letter of intent by May 3. For successful applicants, the program review board will follow up with an invitation to submit a full proposal. More details on the application process are posted on grants.gov.

In recent years, the MHSR program has established a foundation and initiatives to provide valuable data on best practices, variation, intervention outcomes, and policy strategies to enhance the delivery of care in the Military Health System. The program aims to both innovate and improve military health care as well as influence the civilian health care system.

Examples of such studies are ones that:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of clinical procedures and practices of care.
  • Compare outcomes, cost and quality of care between DOD and non-DOD providers.
  • Assess utilization patterns and costs associated with practice patterns, interventions, implementation efforts, and policy change.
  • Examine organization, management, and leadership in health care.

Who Can Apply?

In addition to DOD medical researchers, civilian researchers who aren't affiliated with the military are welcome to submit applications for consideration. The MHSR benefits greatly from civilian heath researchers conducting studies for the MHS. Non-military organizations are also encouraged to apply for the grants. That can include academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and other federal organizations.

"We encourage the participation of civilian and academic researchers to leverage their resources and experience to improve the military health system research capacity," said Dr. Nereyda Sevilla, acting chief of the DHA Research Support Division. "It is an opportunity to partner with DOD institutions and strengthen our MHS capabilities [to] improve patient outcome and safety."

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