University of Washington School of Public Health

Strategic Faculty Hires

Implementation Science

Implementation Science (IS) is an emerging field worldwide and an essential component of translating evidence-based interventions into widely used programs and policies in public health and health care to improve population health. This discipline uses rigorous methods in practical field settings to improve health and well-being locally and globally. It draws on the intellectual traditions of public health, operations research, systems engineering, information science, and economics.

'Implementation Research is the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of clinical research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and hence to improve the quality (effectiveness, reliability, safety, appropriateness, equity, efficiency) of health care. It includes the study of influences on healthcare professional and organizational behavior.'   Reference:

Future public health leaders must understand not only delivery of innovation, but also innovation of delivery. Interdisciplinary training and field experience in public health implementation science will enable them to understand and undertake such efforts, along a scientific continuum from new evidence to monitoring impact.

Faculty and students at the University of Washington have long been engaged in the theory and practice of implementation science, as applied to both public health and health care. Through teaching and research, advances in this area are being applied domestically and globally.

University of Washington is at the forefront of this field

In a city rich with global health organizations and health agencies, and with a faculty highly experienced in implementing health programs, the University of Washington is well positioned to be a global leader in implementation science. The PhD in Metrics and Implementation Science, launched in 2012, is the first program of its kind in the United States, and paves the way for further innovation in research, teaching, and service at the School of Public Health and the university. Additional implementation science at the UW include courses and special research and service programs, including the following:
Courses in implementation science:

  • The Fundamentals of Implementation Science in Global Health (GH 541) course provides an overview of the field and an introduction to nine methods used in implementation science as well as a doctoral-level advanced methods lab for global health doctoral students.
  • The Population Health Management Strategies (HSMGMT 503) course provides health administration students with knowledge and skills related to designing, implementing, and evaluating programs and policies to improve the health of defined populations.

Research and service in implementation science:

  • The Health Promotion Research Center, a Prevention Research Center funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducts dissemination and implementation research in three areas related to the health of middle-aged and older adults: cancer prevention and control, older-adult physical and mental health, and workplace health promotion.
  • The Center for AIDS Research Implementation Science Scientific Working Group.
  • The Center of Innovation is a collaboration with Seattle’s and Denver’s VA Health Services Research & Development centers to study systematic ways to close gaps in evidence-based care for priority conditions among veterans.
  • SPH faculty working with Health Alliance International and I-TECH are engaged in research and national scale up of proven interventions in many areas, including HIV, TB, malaria, and MCH prevention, care and treatment. Training in implementation science is a major part of their work, which is focused in Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Namibia, Peru, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Haiti.
  • The Health Systems and Research Strategies Workgroup of the UW Center for AIDS Research  coordinates implementation research within the local and global HIV communities and provides short courses in operations research and implementation science in Seattle and in partner institutions globally.
  • The Institute for Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) focuses primarily on “bench-to-bedside” research but has also sponsored two learning sessions on dissemination and implementation research.
  • The MacColl Center for Healthcare Innovation is located within Group Health Research Institute; its mission is to bridge the worlds of research and clinical care, both within Group Health and nationally. Its goal is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate innovations in healthcare delivery.
  • The Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute seeks to decrease disparities in physical activity and nutritional outcomes.
  • The Public Health Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducts research aimed at decreasing tobacco use, increasing cancer screening, and increasing use of evidence-based cancer care among underserved population domestically and globally.
  • The Payment Reform Evaluation Project in the Department of Health Services is examining the implementation of 11 payment reform projects across the U.S. that are moving away from volume-based fee-for-service payment toward value-based payment that rewards better care, improved health, and lower cost.

If you have questions about the dissemination and implementation science faculty position, please contact the chair of the committee, Professor Steve Gloyd or Professor Jeff Harris

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