Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

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.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

We currently have two programs available. The first is a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research & Development in Rehabilitation Outcomes, a two-year program designed to develop a cadre of scientists with health services expertise for the VA healthcare system and to foster the development of high quality health services research and development at local and national levels. The second is an Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Patient Safety, a one-year fellowship Program designed to develop leaders with vision, knowledge, and commitment to lead patient safety efforts in the 21st century. Click here to download the document.

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 at the Tampa VA HSR&D REAP, contact Gail Powell-Cope 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 Oak Circle, Tampa, FL 33637-1022

-Tatjana Bulat, MD, CMD, Center Director, (813) 558-3923,

-Valerie Kelleher, (813) 558-3948,

Leadership and Staff

Tatjana Bulat, MD, CMD is the Director of the Tampa Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI), a translational research center; Medical Director of the Falls Clinic there, and a Co-Director of the Interprofessional Fellowship Program in Patient Safety. Her research interests are in the area of falls and fall-related injury prevention in frail elderly, as well as medication management to reduce falls risk in the same population. Click here to download Dr. Bulat's CV.


Nina Ferguson
Yvonne Friedman, MA, OTR/L / VISN 8 PSCI Administrative Officer
Lisa Goff
Stephanie Hart-Hughes, PT / VISN 8 Clinical Falls Team
Valerie Kelleher / Visual Information Specialist
Steve Luther, PhD
Alfred Mbah, PhD / Evaluation and Analysis
Nitin Patel, MPH
Matthew Peterson, PhD / Team Leader
Sam Phillips, PhD / Team Leader
Gail Powell-Cope, PhD, ARNP, FAAN
Deborah Rugs, PhD 

Research Trainees

Anna Ialynytchev, PhD / HSR&D Fellow
Bradley Trainor, PhD / Patient Safety Fellow
Latricia Allen, PhD / Patient Safety Fellow

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
State Patient Safety Organizations
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration