VA Quality Scholars (VAQS)
The Veteran Affairs Quality Scholars (VAQS) fellowship program began in the late 1990s and has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive and established quality improvement (QI) training programs in North America.
The VAQS program is designed as a ‘hub and spoke’ model – with a coordinating center at the Houston Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt) at the Houston VA and Baylor College of Medicine. Faculty run the program and work in direct partnership with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations, which oversees all VA Advanced Fellowship Programs. There are nine other sites (spokes) across the United States. Toronto is the tenth and only non-American site for the VAQS program.
This two-year research program was designed to nurture fellows and junior faculty who would like to pursue academic careers in QI and patient safety within the framework of leadership in medical administration, education or clinical practice.
The two-year VAQS fellowship is comprised of four components:
1. Weekly half-day sessions on Friday afternoons (all virtual except for one per month that is in person) :
- 1-2 p.m. group meetings to discuss QI projects, present research and discuss required course work (Toronto only)
- 2-3 p.m. two-way interactive videoconference (TWIV) sessions across all VAQS sites – minimum 75% attendance is required
2. Mandatory attendance at the VAQS Summer Institute in Houston, Texas (Aug. 14-18, 2023)
3. Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Symposium on November 1, 2023 in Toronto
4. Research project: fellows are expected to design and develop a research project of appropriate scope and breadth that they are expected to present and discuss at various stages of development throughout the course
- Healthcare professionals in advanced stages of training
- Early-career faculty interested in research, QI and health services, or QI within the framework of leadership in medical administration, education or clinical practice. This course is especially beneficial for those who would like to pursue academic careers in QI and patient safety.
Core Faculty and Speakers
VAQS invites group speakers during the first hour of class time to supplement the learnings from the TWIV. These healthcare leaders and researchers are highly respected experts in their field and provide mentorship and feedback on fellows’ projects and career goals.
• Live classes – Fridays (1-3pm)
• Group assignments and individual QI project work
• In-person: CQuIPS Sickkids Site
• Summer Institute: August 14-18, 2023 (Houston, TX)
$3, 500/year and self-funding for travel and lodging at the Summer Institute
Applications are now closed for the 2023-2024 VAQS Program. Please inquire for the information regarding the next cohort.
Our educational programs range from one-day workshops to longitudinal programs that are conducted on a local, national and international level. In all our offerings, we strive to ensure that learners have meaningful learning opportunities and create networks and connections throughout the community.