Areas of Emphasis

Designing for Diffusion:

Theoretical, practical, partnership and research design issues in the development of programs for successful adoption, implementation, and sustainability.


Current Projects

Work Family Health Study  (2008-2014, contact  Bonnie Leeman-Castillo) With Research Triangle Institute, Harvard University, Penn State University, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Portland State University, Oregon Health and Sciences University, and Kaiser Permanente Northwest.  Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Child and Infant Development.  Purpose is to apply diffusion of innovation theory and practice to a 60-site RCT of a corporate work-life balance innovation.  Key question:  Will this workplace evidence-based intervention improve work and home life conditions for low-income employees?

Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (2012-2014, contact David Price) The goal of this multiyear, multi-center project is to determine the persistence/long-term effectiveness of the effects shown in the Diabetes Prevention Program in delaying the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to type II Diabetes Mellitus.  The study will also examine the extent to which complications of diabetes (retinopathy, cardiovascular disease) are delayed.


Completed Projects

Implementation Study of Asian Language Tobacco Quitlines  (2010-2013, PI Jim Dearing) With the University of California San Diego, and the University of Hawaii.  Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Key question:  What factors contribute to the successful operation of Asian language quitlines? 

Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Institute Partnership of Academicians and Communities for Translation  (2008 - 2013, contact Leslie Wright) With the University of Colorado.  Funded by the National Center for Research Resources.  The purpose of this project is to collectively improve the real-world relevance of research while working with community organizations for improved health.  Key question:  How can community engagement and use of research results best help the realities of practice?

SBIRT pilot studies (2011-2013, PI Alanna Rahm)  Two pilot studies to-date have been conducted.  The first study interviewed stakeholders within Kaiser Permanente (providers and patients) to understand their knowledge of and reactions to SBIRT, an evidence-based brief intervention and referral set of questions for identifying patients who should receive counseling about alcohol and drug abuse.  The second study is implementing SBIRT in a clinic to assess its compatibility with care delivery.  Key question:  To what extent is SBIRT well-suited to real-world practice conditions in a healthcare system?

Diffusion System Readiness and Capacity Assessment for Global Health Innovations- with Klein Buendel Inc, Ohio State University, Northwestern University, George Mason University, Human Interaction Research Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, and Penn State University.  (2010-2012, contact Erica Morse) Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The goal of this study is to identify the factors that are related to readiness and capacity of inter-organizational systems to disseminate and distribute global health innovations to less developed countries, and embed those factors in decision aids to augment funding agency decision making about grantees and contractors.  Key question:  How can a validated decision aid best be introduced and implemented in funding organizations? Readiness and Capacity of Diffusion Systems for Public Health Innovations. Many times, evidence-based innovations do not reach the people who most need them. This $1.7 million project is a new collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve decision making about the awarding of grants and contracts that have a goal of diffusing evidence-based practices, programs, and technologies. Our team, based at the CHDIR and including researchers at 10 universities such as SUNY Stony Brook, Northwestern, and UCLA, will develop and field test web-based decision support tools to improve funding agency decisions and strengthen the capacity of organizational and community partners. This intensive project will fill several analytic and applied gaps in the diffusion of innovations and public health literatures while producing freely available public domain decision support tools. Data-collection will occur in the United States, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and India. Contact Person: James Dearing.

Personalized Physician Learning Intervention to Improve Hypertension Control (2008 - 2011, contact  David Price) The goal of this multi-site study is to assess the impact of two distinct, computerized personal physician learning interventions to identify and correct specific failures of physician decision making (and clinical inertia) in hypertension care, and thereby improve hypertension control.

A Social Technology for Diffusing Innovations in a Healthcare Organization- with Kaiser Permanente Northwest. (2010-2011, contact Erica Morse) Funded by the Kaiser Permanente Program Offices Innovation Fund.  Key question:  Can systematic knowledge of advice-seeking networks in a healthcare organization be used by leadership in strategic planning?

Dissemination and Implementation Study of Active Living Every Day (2008-2011, PI Jim Dearing) With Klein Buendel Inc, and University of South Carolina.The purpose of this project is to understand the impact of sector-level variables on adoption decisions for a physical activity program, and to explore the relationship between program adaptation in worksites and staff satisfaction with the program. Key question:  Why does a highly innovative evidence-based program achieve adoption but then become discontinued or under-utilized?

Project LAUNCH A national multisite study to enhance child and family health using REAIM for evaluation.

Performance Improvement in Kaiser Permanente (2008, Investigator: Jim Dearing

Evaluation of a Natural Experiment to Improve Statewide Depression Care in MN(07/01/07-06/03/10, Investigator: Arne Beck)

High Performance Well Child Care (05/01/08 - 04/30/10, Investigator: Arne Beck)

Measurement-Based Care (MBC) for Depression in Primary Care: A Feasibility Trial of a Guideline Implementation Support Package to Implement MBC  (1/2009 - 4/2009, Co-Principal Investigators: David Price, Arne Beck)

Pharmaceuticals from Development to Practice:  A Web-Based Educational Curriculum for Health Professionals (7/2006-6/2008, Principal Investigator: David Price

National Board of Medical Examiners. Understanding My Practice: A Key Step for Physicians in Effective Quality Improvement and Lifelong Learning  (7/2009 -6/2011, (Site Principal Investigator: David Price)


Communication Media, Messages and Campaigns 

Formative evaluation to improve efforts prior to introduction, process evaluation for documentation and mid-course corrections, and summative evaluation to assess the effects of communication interventions for health behavior change.

Current Projects

  • CECCR - Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication. (ongoing, investigator Borsika Rabin)

  • Improving Cancer Communication and Coordination   At many points in integrated healthcare systems, patients and healthcare providers engage in communication about cancer prevention and care.  Typically, coordination is also required to support and enable effective cancer communication.  The new Cancer Communication Research Center, a sister center to the CHEDIR, has as objectives research about improvement of cancer communication and coordination as well as the sharing of effective interventions with other healthcare systems.  Funded by the National Cancer Institute.Contact Person: Sarah Madrid

  • Support and Clinician Education using Virtual Consults within Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect™ (KPHC) (Co-Investigator David Price) This goal of this study is to investigate the use of virtual consults and clinical messaging within KPHC to see if it improves physician-physician communication, meets physician long-term education needs, improves physician satisfaction, and if it fosters efficient, safe, cost-effective, evidence-based care during transitions of care between primary care and specialist care venues.


Other Areas of Emphasis

Literature and Program Reviews:

Application of translation research methods and conceptual approaches to conducting systematic reviews and reviews for organizations on applied questions.


Evaluation of Generalizability and Impact:

Frameworks and tools to evaluate programs to answer questions that decision makers have, and to assess external validity, robustness, and potential for (or level of) large-scale dissemination.


Health Disparities:

Theoretical and practical issues to enhance the number of individuals reached, identification of cost-effective methods for reducing health disparities, and most broadly applicable methods in diverse settings.