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VA Sunshine Healthcare Network



Patient Safety Center Mission/Objectives

Tampa VA Hospital

The mission of our Center is to support clinicians in providing safe patient care by designing and testing safety defenses related to the patient, provider, technology, and organization. Specifically, our PSCI goals are to:

1. prevent injurious falls (specifically focusing on the most serious injuries: hip fractures and intracranial hemorrhages) and minimize adverse events associated with hazardous wandering;
2. promote the safe use of technology associated with injurious falls and hazardous wandering; and
3. promote a culture of safety to support clinicians in providing safe patient mobility.

The VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI) is part of the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Our PSCI has a track record of evaluating and translating patient safety research findings into standard practices that are disseminated and implemented to improve patient safety across the entire VHA system.

We evaluate the science and determine when research is ready to be "translated." Translation involves designing and testing clinical tools (e.g. algorithms, protocols, policy templates, resource guides, patient and staff education materials) to facilitate patient safety and reduce adverse events.

We pilot test these tools at the Tampa VA and then at VISN 8 facilities. Successful program elements are then exported to the NCPS (National Center for Patient Safety) for national implementation. The following PSCI objectives have been identified:

• Evaluate the strength of the evidence to identify knowledge gaps to target for future inquiry and findings ready for translation to practice;
• Define existing practice patterns and outcomes across the VA and determine current variation from established best practices;
• Identify and implement interventions to change practices to strengthen patient, provider, and systems level safety defenses, through the design of tools and products specifically designed to promote patient safety, such as clinical tools; cognitive aids; educational materials; policy reports, VHA information letters, handouts, and/or directives; and others;
• Improve technology safety defenses through biomechanics, human factors engineering, and other principles of design;
• Evaluate and document the process and outcomes of best practices at the patient, facility, VISN, and VHA level; and
• Collaborate with NCPS to develop a VHA business case and implementation plan to export evidence into practice.

Below is information on current and future fellowship opportunities as well as links to VA resources for training and Fellowship programs

Advanced Fellowship in Patient Safety

The purpose of this 1-year fellowship program is to develop leaders with vision, knowledge, and commitment to lead patient safety efforts in the 21st century. The fellowship is located at the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, FL, in collaboration with the VA National Center for Patient Safety and in partnership with the University of South Florida.

• US citizenship and completion of all requirements needed to be a fully credentialed independent practitioner in their field at a VA facility.
• Demonstrate interest in pursuing a VA career with health services research and healthcare improvement as significant foci.
• Physician Fellows must have graduated from an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency; be board certified or board eligible; and have an active, unrestricted U.S. medical license.
• Clinical fields that recognize independent practitioners possessing degree levels below that of Master's Degree (e.g., Registered Nurse or Registered Dietician) must have completed a Master's Degree (or all requirements for the degree) to be eligible.
• Nurses, social workers, and health care administrators must possess at least a master's degree.
• Applicants in academic fields that do not involve clinical certification or licensure but that can be applicable to health systems (e.g. anthropology, sociology, computer science/medical informatics, engineering, etc.) must have received a PhD in their field.

Funding Stipend rates: Determined by VA Office of Academic Affiliations, depending on the discipline and previous education of the trainee. Fellows are eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program.

Application and Start Dates: The deadline for application is February 15 for fellowships beginning July 1.

Application Process:  Submission of an application that includes (1) a cover letter, of no more than three pages, stating short and long term professional goals, clinical or other pertinent background, a statement of personal goals for the fellowship, (2) a full curriculum vitae, and (3) three letters of recommendation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to talk to Dr. Cowan before applying.

Selection and Selection Criteria: 
A selection committee will review and rank applications based on the following criteria: quality of credentials and experience, commitment to remain in the VA system, match between personal goals and planned program activities, and strength of recommendations.

For information about these and other fellowships in the VA:
• VA’s web page at
• Contact Dr. Linda Cowan at

Download information on this fellowship

VHA Office of Academic Affiliations

VHA Office of Academic Affiliations training programs are available for clinical trainees, VA staff and education affiliates. Included is information about residencies and fellowships including the pre and postdoctoral nursing fellowships, the pre and postdoctoral fellowships in rehabilitation and VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Interprofessional Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation. For information about training opportunities contact Dr. Linda Cowan at

VHA Office of Research and Development Training Site

This site contains information about VHA training programs in research postdoctoral fellowships and the career development program.

Contact Information

VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (151R)
James A. Haley VA Medical Center, Grand Oak Plaza, 8900 Grand Oaks Circle, Tampa, FL 33637-1022

Linda Cowan,

Safe Patient Handling and Mobility

For more information on safe patient handling and mobility see the VA National Site or the Tampa VA Research and Education Foundation Site

Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Conferences

Leadership and Staff

Linda Cowan, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, CWS is the Director of the Tampa Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI), a translational research center, and Co-Director of the Advanced Fellowship in Patient Safety.


Tatjana Bulat, MD, CMD, Co-Director

Vianna Broderick, MD

Blake Barrett, MSPH

Margeaux Chavez, MA, MPH, CPH

Sarah Bradley, PhD

Sam Phillips, PhD 

Other Sites of Interest

National Center for Patient Safety

The following websites are not affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content. 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Healthcare Accreditation Supersite
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
National Patient Safety Foundation
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration