Dr. Lucy Spalluto, assistant professor of radiology and radiological sciences, and Dr. Jennifer Lewis, instructor in medicine, have been selected to co-lead the Veterans Affairs — Partnership to increase Access to Lung Screening (VA-PALS) National Program Evaluation.
Dr. Spalluto and Lewis are both fellows in the VA Quality Scholars Program and early career investigators specializing in implementation science.
Funded by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Rural Health and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, VA-PALS aims to implement lung screening programs and improve access to early detection of lung cancer for at-risk veterans at 10 VA sites across the country, one of which is the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. Resources provided by VA-PALS include a comprehensive electronic nodule management program and a program coordinator at each site.
Dr. Drew Moghanaki, a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduate and incoming chief of radiation oncology at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, serves as the principal investigator.
Drs. Spalluto and Lewis will work with Dr. Moghanaki and the VA-PALS team to perform a detailed evaluation of the processes, outcomes and patient and provider experiences of lung screening for each of the 10 VA-PALS sites. They will collaborate with faculty in the Vanderbilt Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research as well as experts in a variety of clinical and technical areas to complete the project.
The VA Office of Rural Health has committed approximately $140,000 in funding for the first two years of the Program Evaluation.
“VA-PALS provides a unique collaboration opportunity for an interdisciplinary team led by a radiologist and oncologist to evaluate the implementation of lung screening programs in the Veterans Health Administration,” said Dr. Spalluto. “Our efforts, combined with those of Dr. Kim Sandler, who leads the Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program, will help save lives through early detection of lung cancer.”