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Dartmouth Center for Implementation Science

Under the leadership of Jeremiah Brown, Ph.D., director of the newly-formed DCIS, a core group of Dartmouth faculty is at the forefront of using implementation science to address significant challenges in health and society, including substance use, cancer control and prevention, patient safety, and inequities in education. In the next five years, by 2027, the DCIS will grow its already substantial research program with the strategic recruitment and appointment of experienced researchers through open and planned faculty positions, and will create the only stand-alone advanced degree program in implementation science in the country.

Led by Director Jeremiah Brown, Ph.D.

Jeremiah Brown, Ph.D. is a tenured professor of Epidemiology and holds joint appointments in the Department of Biomedical Data Science and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Dr. Brown is well positioned to launch the DCIS given his expertise in implementation science and established network of research colleagues across Dartmouth and the nation. Dr. Brown is stepping into a two-year term to Chair the NIH study section in implementation science: Science of Implementation in Health and Healthcare (SIHH).  This role will give him insight into the most significant, innovative, and impactful new research topics and methods being proposed in the field.

Dr. Brown has formed a senior leadership team for DCIS with the skills, knowledge, expertise and shared vision and purpose to make it a success. Two co-directors have been identified: Kelly Aschbrenner, PhD (Psychiatry) and Sarah Lord, PhD (Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Data Science), each of whom has lead large, federally-funded implementation science research projects for more than a decade. Together, they have developed a network of colleagues from around the US, from which to recruit top faculty members and establish strong external collaborations that support the Center.

Kelly Aschbrenner, PhD, Co-Director

Kelly Aschbrenner, PhD is a health services researcher and implementation scientist with over 15 years experience conducting research and applying knowledge to improve the health and health care of socially at-risk communities.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a Senior Scientist at Dartmouth Health.  She holds several leadership roles in implementation research and practice, including Director of a Center of Excellence at Dartmouth Health that provides statewide training to mental health providers in evidence-based care for young people and their families experiencing first episode psychosis. She is also the Director of a Research Methods Unit at an Implementation Science Center for Cancer Control Equity (ISCCCE) funded by the National Cancer Institute that focuses on implementing evidence-based cancer control and prevention interventions in low resourced health care settings.  Dr. Aschbrenner has specific expertise in implementation methods related to adapting evidence-based interventions to improve their fit in new contexts and patient populations so they can be sustained over the long run. She mentors clinicians and health science scholars both locally at Dartmouth and nationally in combining quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the implementation and sustainment of healthcare interventions.

Sarah Lord, PhD, Co-Director

Sarah Lord, Ph.D., is a clinical developmental psychologist and health services and implementation science researcher with over 20 years of experience conducting research focused on development, evaluation, and implementation of digital assessment, treatment and care management tools targeting substance use and mental health across a range of populations. Dr. Lord is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Biomedical Data Sciences at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She is Director of the Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Core and a founding and current member of the leadership team of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) at Dartmouth College, a NIDA-supported P30 Center of Excellence. Dr. Lord has obtained or contributed to receipt of over $40 million in extramural funding (NIH, NSF, PCORI) over the course of her career ($16M as PI). Dr. Lord currently leads a large multistate observational comparative effectiveness PCORI study to evaluate optimal models of medication treatment delivery for pregnant women with opioid use disorder and recently completed a mixed methods study to evaluate determinants of sustainability of telemedicine and digital care innovations that emerged during the COVID pandemic for pregnant and parenting women with substance use conditions. In another study (NIDILRR), she is leading a development-implementation project to adapt features of a successful digital care management system for delivery of evidence-based supported employment for use with another team-based community mental health intervention for individuals with serious mental illness. Prior to Dartmouth, Dr. Lord worked in industry, at a small start-up that obtained seed monies primarily through the NIH Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) initiative. Here, she led development, evaluation, dissemination and implementation of a product suite of online health programs for adolescents and young adults. In her role, she worked with business and marketing professionals and institution stakeholders to promote successful dissemination and implementation of these online programs in diverse settings (e.g., substance use treatment, high schools, colleges and universities). As an applied researcher with a background in industry, Dr. Lord brings a person-centered, community-engaged and stakeholder-driven perspective to all of her work. Dr. Lord has mentored numerous undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees as well as early and mid-stage faculty in projects to develop, evaluate and implement evidence-based interventions, with particularly focus on development and implementation of digital therapeutics. She serves as leadership and mentoring faculty on the recently-renewed NIDA T32 Science of Co-Occurring Disorders training program (PI: Budney) at Dartmouth College, and the T32 Primary Care Research Fellowship Program (PI: Brunette) at Dartmouth Health. Dr. Lord also mentors scholars from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups through a CTBH partnership with the NIDA-funded Translational Research Training for Addictions for Underrepresented Groups (TRACC) program and with the NIDA-funded Learning for Early Careers in Addiction & Diversity (LEAD) Program based at University of California, San Francisco.