Innovators Network Spark-Seed-Spread Investment Program

What is Spark-Seed-Spread?

The goal of the Spark-Seed-Spread Innovation Investment Program (Spark-Seed-Spread Program) is to identify and accelerate employee-inspired innovations to improve health care experiences for Veterans, families, caregivers, and employees.

The Spark-Seed-Spread Program’s three levels of investment are based on the maturity of the employee’s innovative solution:

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Supports brand new concepts and solutions with the goal being to develop a functional prototype

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Supports the testing and validation of prototypes through a pilot with the goal of testing prototypes in production at one site or department for a minimum of six months

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Supports validated prototypes looking to spread their innovation to multiple sites or departments with the goal of testing the prototype at two to five new sites for a minimum of six months

Our Work



VEText is an interactive mobile solution to remind Veterans of upcoming appointments via text messaging. Since its launch in 2018, 71 million text messages have been sent and over 1 million appointments were made available for other Veterans. VEText originated at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System.

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PRIDE is a 10-week health education program that focuses on reducing health care disparities. Group facilitators follow a session-by-session manual with corresponding Veteran handouts on each topic. The manual includes information about how to access relevant services within VHA. During sessions, participants focus on improving their overall wellness, increasing social connection, and empowering Veterans to engage in services related to their personal health care needs. Veterans who have attended the program are linked to a reduced likelihood of attempting suicide in the future, as well as reduced anxiety and concern about not being accepted. These same Veterans also have an increased feeling of safety and protection through engagement in the community and certainty in their own identity. The PRIDE Program began at the Hampton and Tuscaloosa VA Medical Centers and is currently active at 14 VA Medical Centers across the country.

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Veterans Rideshare Program

The Veterans Rideshare Program began at the VA Boston Healthcare System and is now live at over 60 sites throughout the country. Rideshare was created to support homeless Veterans by helping them get to job interviews and find housing opportunities. As housing costs rise in inner cities, Veterans are increasingly housed outside the city where public transportation is less accessible, making it a constant challenge for these Veterans to search for employment or attend medical appointments. “I don’t know what I would have done if the VA and Uber/Lyft didn’t offer me these rides, I have no one who can drive me,” said Veteran Robert Bukirch of Waltham, MA, who is undergoing a series of radiation treatments that require him to get therapy daily. “I love the VA, and I love my country, this means so much to me. You guys literally saved my life, thank you.”

Automated Email Notification System

The Automatic Email Notification System (AENS) is a push system for consult management that allows users to access their priority consult data through an automated email-system that delivers a direct data link specific to each user. The system is set up by clinical stop code so that only users responsible for a specific stop code receive an email notification, and only when consults fall outside the national timeframes. AENS originated from the Lexington VA Medical Center and is now available at 100 sites throughout the VA health care system.

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