Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes Caregiver Journey Map
Campaign for Inclusive Care


The Campaign for Inclusive Care is resetting the conversation to include caregivers in their Veterans’ care from day one.

By giving providers the tools and training they need to include caregivers as part of the care team, this initiative is making inclusive care the standard of care across the Veterans Health Administration and, ultimately, at healthcare facilities nationwide. The goal is to improve outcomes for Veterans, their caregivers, and their healthcare providers.

Senator Elizabeth Dole is the nation’s leading voice on behalf of America’s military and Veteran caregivers. In 2012, she founded the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to raise awareness for these hidden heroes and advance initiatives to support them. Now, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that caregivers are supported along one of the most important points of their journey: the healthcare setting.

Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Inclusive Care

The Campaign for Inclusive Care consists of five, linked pillars of activity carried out by five concentrated teams.

Phase 1

A team of experts from Duke University and UT Health San Antonio have studied caregiver – clinician interactions and developed a 5-component model for Inclusive Care. In June 2019, the findings from phase I quality improvement efforts were published in Health Affairs, “Including Family Caregivers in Seriously Ill Veterans Care: A Mixed Methods Study.”

Phase 2

A Solutions Team of VA providers and healthcare professionals has developed system-level and practice-based solutions for Inclusive Care.

Phase 3

Based on research and provider input, we built the online Academy for Inclusive Care featuring training videos, educational materials and expert-created resources. The online Academy for Inclusive Care is live. Click here to take the courses. As part of our ongoing quality improvement initiative, we will be focusing on impact in three VISNs – VISN 10, VISN 17, and VISN 20.

Phase 4

The Campaign for Inclusive Care will be formally launched at 12 VA VISNs by the end of 2020, projected to reach at least 1,100 providers and nearly 450,000 caregivers.

Phase 5

The Campaign for Inclusive Care will continue to build new resources for providers and explore opportunities to expand to other health systems and educational institutions.

Measuring Impact

Working with a dedicated team of researchers, the Campaign for Inclusive Care carefully measures the impact of efforts to promote and spread the practice of inclusive care for providers, caregivers and veterans.

Influencing Provider Knowledge

The Campaign for Inclusive Care will measure the effectiveness and influence of Academy courses and materials through pre- and post- course skills assessments and additional follow-on questionnaires administered by the program’s Quality Improvement Team, ensuring that providers understand inclusive care and how it applies to their particular practice.

Increasing Participation

The Campaign for Inclusive Care tracks participation at every step. From site visits to Academy of Inclusive Care course completions to resource downloads, we want to know how and where providers are using materials and learning about inclusive care.

Bettering the Caregiver Experience

Our Quality Improvement Team is working to understand caregiver perceptions of Inclusive Care and how their interactions with providers are changing. Our team is administering pre- and post- intervention surveys to caregivers nationwide as well as drilling down to the VISN level with interviews, targeted questionnaires and journal exercises to understand how the Campaign for Inclusive Care is influencing Veteran caregivers.

Our Partners

The Campaign for Inclusive Care is a collaborative initiative made possible by the following partners:

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA is a collaborative partner in the Campaign for Inclusive Care, allocating staff and support to implementation across their Veterans Health Administration network.

United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

As a leader in philanthropic investment to positively impact the military community and their families, USAA is the primary funder of the Campaign for Inclusive Care.

Duke University, Department of Population Health Sciences

Expert researchers from Duke University have advised and assisted in the development of the materials as part of the Campaign for Inclusive Care.

University of Texas Health at San Antonio

Expert researchers from the University of Texas Health at San Antonio have advised and assisted in the development of the materials as part of the Campaign for Inclusive Care.

The Campaign for Inclusive Care Resource Board

Steve Schwab, Co-Chair

CEO, Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Anne Sanford, MSW, LCSW

Educational Consultant, VA Employee Education System

Dayna Cooper, RN

Director of Home and Community Care in the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Karen Ott, DNP, RN

Director for Policy, Education and Legislation, Office of Nursing Services, VA

Terri Tanielian

Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND

Meg Kabat, LCSW, Co-Chair

Senior Director, Atlas Research

Bri Kestler, PA-C

Assistant Professor, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, University of South Alabama and American Association of Physicians Assistants

Selene Martin

Director, Corporate Responsibility, USAA

Leah Christensen, LCSW

Caregiver Support Program Leadership Council Chair, VISN 20 CSP Lead

Bob Stephen

Vice President, Caregiving and Health, AARP

Angela Denietolis, MD

Executive Director, Primary Care VA

Courtney Van Houtven, PhD

Research Scientist in Health Services Research and Development in Primary Care, Durham VA, Associate Professor in General Internal Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham VA and Duke University Medical Center

Joel Scholten, MD

Associate Chief of Staff for Rehabilitation Services – DC VAMC, Director of the Polytrauma Research Fellowship, VA, National Director of Special Projects, VAMC and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program Office, VA

Mark Morgan, MBA, FACHE

CEO, Eastern Oklahoma VA Healthcare System

Heather Kelly, PhD

Director, Military and Veterans Health Policy, American Psychological Association