VA Boston Education Office Launches New Website

The VA Boston Academic Education Office is launching a new website featuring coverage on current training and educational opportunities, faculty development information, on-demand access to First Friday Faculty Development Presentations, educator awards, and incoming trainee resources. The website offers faculty and trainee forums to voice questions, concerns, and general comments about what is happening in education at VA Boston. The website is the first of its kind to be released by the Academic Education Office. This resource is continuously evolving to better suit the educational needs of VA Boston faculty and trainees.

The website contains information on a number of education and development initiatives for faculty and trainees.

For faculty, a training calendar is featured under the “Faculty Development” link which highlights the dates, times, and locations of upcoming presentations. For national audience members not local to the Boston area, call in information as well as registration details are conveniently located adjacent to the calendar. Upcoming First Friday Faculty Development Presentations (FFFDP), and archives of past presentations, are also noted on the website. FFFDPs are held on the first Friday of the month at 12:00PM Eastern. Examples of presentation topics include “Strategies to Coach and to Provide Feedback to Colleagues,” “Teaching Trainees to Provide Culturally Competent Care to the LBGT Community” and “Multigenerational Educational Environments: Seeing It as an Asset.” Live presentations are made available to VA employees and its affiliates nationally. Continuing Education credits can be earned by participating in the live presentations.

The website also provides information on VA Boston and VISN 1 Excellence in Education Awards. The featured material includes general criteria, frequency of the awards, eligibility requirements, nomination specifications and formatting caveats. Award deadlines and submission directions are located at the bottom of each page.

For current and prospective VA Boston trainees, the VA Boston Education website offers a comprehensive list of participating academic affiliates along with active links to external websites. The various trainee onboarding applications are conveniently located under the “Trainee Resources” link. This link also provides need-to-know definitions, guidance on how to prepare for the application process and unique aspects of training at VA Boston.

For faculty and trainees there are also Faculty and Trainee discussion forums. Current topics include: faculty training topics of interest, trainee interaction pros and cons, technology integration with trainees, trainee and patient interaction, and faculty items to be discussed. These forums are a convenient communication tool that can bring focus to what VA Boston faculty and trainees feel are the key issues in education today.

The website also provides information about the VA Boston Academic Education Office staff. The office, led by Dr. Andrew Budson, falls jointly under the Office of the Chief of Staff at VA Boston and the Office Academic Affiliations (OAA) at VA Central Office. On a national level, OAA oversees trainee/resident education programs and receives periodic reports on various aspects of trainee activity throughout the year. Dr. Budson is supported by Associate Director for Healthcare Professional Education Dr. David Topor, Training Specialist Thomas Fohr, Administrative Officer Nancy Caruso, Education Technician Marianne Kane, Physician Assistant Program Director Laura Stonestreet, and Pathways Intern Lindsay Heckmann. All staff members are easily accessible and can be reached using the “Contact” link under the “Home” tab.

The ACOS-E Website is an extensive tool that can be used by anyone seeking information about what is happening in education at VA Boston. Its scope of available information makes it an invaluable resource for all faculty, trainees, and affiliates. Our office welcomes suggestions and feedback in order to better serve our faculty and trainees who care for those who served our country.

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