Dr. Angela Park (2021)
We want to get to the root causes of problems that are identified...It's about how you can innovate without changing an entire system... For example, you're just changing the way you're offering testing. It doesn't cost money. It's not a big invention, it's not technological. But you can change something and have a big impact just by finding out what the root cause of a problem is.
Angela Park, PharmD is a Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner and serves as a Program Specialist for the Office of Healthcare Transformation within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Park is a skilled program manager, transformational leader, coach, and mentor. She is also a Lean, Six Sigma and change practitioner, and advanced facilitator.
From 2014 through 2019, Dr. Park co-led the Hepatitis C Innovation Team (HIT) National Collaborative. The HIT focused on empowering regional teams to utilize Lean process improvement to improve hepatitis C virus (HCV) care from diagnosis through cure.
Dr. Park worked with Rachel Gonzalez as part of a leadership group, coaching teams to set aspirational goals for each step of the hepatitis care cascade and planning and facilitating a virtual collaborative that was supplemented by annual in-person meetings. The HIT National Collaborative guided teams to implement practices that ultimately enabled clinicians to identify, treat, and cure over 100,000 Veterans of HCV. This work demonstrated the resilience of VA personnel and Veterans to overcome system-wide and context-specific barriers in service to a greater mission.
Dr. Park has also led projects within VA on improving anticoagulation care, expanding precision oncology service—including establishing a National TeleOncology program—and establishing enterprise-wide capability for COVID genomic sequencing.
Angela was nominated alongside Rachel Gonzalez by Dr. Tim Morgan, Director, National Hepatitis C Resource Center in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as the “real heroes” behind the program. The two led the Hepatitis C Innovation Teams, hospital-based interdisciplinary teams composed of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, clerks, and system redesign experts that worked to identify barriers to care and to implement solutions. they also promoted use and implementation of HCV dashboards to connect and re-engage patients in care. To improve access, Park and Gonzalez collaborated with diverse programs within VA including Office of Mental Health, National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, and Office of Peer Support Services.
As a result of their efforts, VA achieved higher rates of testing and treatment of patients with hepatitis C virus than that of any other health care system in the US. During their five years of leadership, VA’s screening rate increased from approximately 65% to greater than 85%, and more than 100,000 Veterans were cured with DAA treatment.
“This award recognizes the two people who did the real work to find and cure Veterans with hepatitis C across the VA Healthcare system.” – Dr. Tim Morgan