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Implementation Science

Our robust implementation science effort involves both the evaluation of state policy implementation and development of partnerships among providers and the public and private sectors to press for the adoption of evidence-based policies. 

Featured Recent Research

Models and recommendations for decriminalizing drugs

In partnership with Dr. Saba Rouhani at NYU, Center faculty Sachini Bandara and Susan Sherman have recently completed a qualitative project to understand the implementation of policies decriminalizing non-cannabis drugs through local prosecutor officers. The research team conducted interviews in 14 jurisdictions that have engaged in this type of “de facto” drug decriminalization. The report below identifies four distinct models of de facto drug decriminalization that have emerged, facilitators and barriers to implementation, as well as practical considerations for other prosecutor officers considering this type of model. See the full report here: 

Intersections of Implementation Science

Multiple Center faculty have engaged in workshops and discussions on how implementation science can be further developed in fields of health services research and better integrated into digital therapeutics for behavioral health. See the summary of these engagements here:

Implementation of State Policies Targeting Drug Use and Drug Treatment

Several Center faculty conduct research on the implementation of policies that target drug treatment programs or people who use drugs. In this work, faculty have interviewed state implementation leaders on the facilitators and barriers to implementing policies limiting opioid prescribing practices and targeting pregnant people who use drugs. Future work will  expand this work to implementation of medical cannabis laws and emergency COVID policies. Learn more about this work:

Health Homes for Persons with Serious Mental Illness

In our work on the implementation of behavioral health homes in Maryland for people with serious mental illness, we conducted a case study to understand leaders' and staff members' perceptions of program implementation and measured the structural/service characteristics of 46 of the 48 total health homes in the state. Learn more about this work:

Implementation of Clinical Interventions on Serious Mental Illness or Substance Use Disorders: Perceptions, Readiness, and Best Practices

Across several projects, Center faculty conduct varied research on the implementation of screening or clinical guidelines for patients with mental illness and/or using drugs. This has encompassed implementation of evidence-based smoking cessation practices for persons with serious mental illness, a patient education and decision aid tool about prescription pain relievers, and capabilities for electronic health records to capture social and behavioral determinants of health. Learn more: