Cross-Hub Collaboration Opens New Windows to D&I Science
NUCATS, CCTS Launch Dissemination and Implementation Workshops
On average, nearly 4,000 days pass between a scientific discovery and its application beyond a research setting.
Bridging the chasm between investigation and practice is the focus of a burgeoning field known as dissemination and implementation (D&I) science, which seeks to inform how evidence-based interventions and programs can be successfully adopted, implemented, and maintained in healthcare and delivery settings.
“There is a growing appetite for this type of content,” says Darius Tandon, PhD, associate professor of Medical Social Sciences and co-director of the Center for Community Health (CCH). “While there has been significant progress in translating evidence-based interventions and services into community and clinical settings, there is still a considerable ‘translation’ gap that requires research teams to think deeply about how to take their research findings and ensure they are useful and impactful in real-world settings.”
Tandon; CCH Co-director Namratha Kandula, MD, MPH, professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Preventive Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology; and C. Hendricks Brown, PhD, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Medical Social Sciences and director of the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology for Drug Abuse and HIV, recently helped launch a new initiative to introduce D&I to academic, community-based, clinical, and policy professionals.
The inaugural D&I virtual workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute’s Dissemination and Implementation Program, University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Clinical Translational Science’s (CCTS) Community Engagement and Collaboration Program, and community stakeholders from the MGMIR Fund and Erie Family Health Centers. The workshop introduced key D&I terminology, methods, and measures, with a fundamental focus on the value of involving community stakeholders in all aspects of research while ensuring equity in the translational process.
“The D&I research teams at NUCATS and CCTS are highly compatible, largely due to a long-standing relationship between myself and Hendricks, and more recently with Darius,” says Marc Atkins, PhD, professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and director of the CCTS Community Engagement and Collaboration Center. “I’ve especially appreciated the way we’ve looked to approach this differently — pushing the envelope — in ways that we hope will be engaging and instructive.”
NUCATS, CCTS, and community stakeholders will continue to collaborate in the planning, development, and execution of subsequent workshops focused on community-based research models and methodology, and developing D&I research plans for non-academic audiences. A workshop in the fall will explore issues of equity within implementation science and the importance of engaging with community stakeholders in developing and implementing a research project.
Northwestern’s Center for Community Health has a presence in NUCATS, as well as the University’s Institute for Public Health and Medicine.
NUCATS and CCTS have prioritized dissemination and implementation as part of their community engagement cores with a specific emphasis on promoting the D&I of evidence-based interventions and services and developing capacity for research teams to incorporate D&I science into their studies.
NUCATS is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Grant Number UL1TR001422. CCTS is supported in part by NCATS Grant Number UL1TR001422.
Written by Roger Anderson