NIH: Office of Disease Prevention

Medicine: Mind the Gap

Dissemination and Implementation Research: Challenges and Opportunities

April 20, 2017
This Medicine: Mind the Gap lecture was presented as a webinar.

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D.

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D. External Website Policy
Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
University of Texas, School of Public Health


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About the Webinar

Dissemination and implementation (D&I) research seeks to bridge the gap between health sciences research, everyday practice, and population health by building a knowledge base about how health information, interventions, and new clinical practices and policies are communicated and implemented in public health and health care settings. It is focused on understanding and accelerating the integration of research findings and research-based innovations into everyday practice settings in order to improve health. Webinar participants learned what the field of D&I is, why it is important, what it is trying to achieve, and how it is relevant to research and practice. They learned about the major components of a D&I study, D&I theories, models and frameworks, and design considerations. Participants also learned how to tailor their own research to better enhance its value for dissemination and implementation.

About Marie E. Fernandez, Ph.D.

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., is a Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston, and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research. Her research has focused on cancer prevention and control among underserved populations. She has conducted studies on the identification and description of basic behavioral conceptual models of cancer screening and vaccination; the development and evaluation of new interventions to increase cancer control; and the science of understanding and intervening to accelerate the use of evidence-based interventions in real-world settings. Dr. Fernandez has extensive experience in research translation as well as in dissemination and implementation (D&I) research and is a member of the NIH Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health Study Section. She is a principal investigator on a D&I Research in Health R01 to develop and evaluate an online decision support system for health program planners to facilitate adoption, adaptation, and implementation of evidence-based programs. She is an internationally known expert on Intervention Mapping and has recently co-authored the 4th edition of Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach. Her studies have identified important behaviors and determinants of adoption and implementation of cancer control interventions in clinical and community settings and have developed implementation strategies to increase adoption and implementation of evidence-based cancer control strategies. Recent contributions to implementation science include studies to better understand factors influencing implementation and sustainability of cancer control practice change in Federally Qualified Health Centers, and the development of a conceptual model to guide dissemination research and intervention planning.

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