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Stanton's dissemination and implementation science research among best in field

Published on December 18, 2020

Stanton's dissemination and implementation science research among best in field

Stanton Megan Stanton, assistant professor of social work at Eastern Connecticut State University and an expert on the science of dissemination and implementation, says there is a notorious lag between the development of evidence-based medical practices and their consistent and effective implementation in the real world. 

The science of dissemination and implementation addresses this lag by systematically examining the adoption, implementation and sustainment of evidence-based practices in organizational settings. 

From Dec. 15-17, Stanton presented her research on health equity and implementation science to a captive audience at the virtual 13th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, the premier conference on dissemination and implementation science across the healthcare sector.

The paper, co-authored with her colleague Samira Ali, assistant professor of social work at the University of Houston, was titled, “Identifying technologies of power: A critical implementation praxis to advance health equity using the exploration, preparation, implementation, sustainment framework.” 

The National Institutes of Health and AcademyHealth selected  Stanton’s research as some of the most compelling work in the field, and included it as part of the conference session on “The Best of Dissemination and Implementation.” 

The AcademyHealth website says, “From behavioral health, prevention and public health, and models, measures and methods to health policy dissemination, promoting health equity and eliminating disparities, the best of D&I abstracts provide a snapshot of exceptional D&I work with important implications for policy and practice.”

“This program showcases some of the highest quality abstracts presented at the conference and is intended to represent the highest priorities for dissemination and implementation science now and in the future to help optimize health and health care in the United States and elsewhere,” said Stanton. “From many abstracts, nine papers were nominated and three, including mine, were selected for this honor.”

Stanton said their paper examined how implementation science can better advance health equity through explicitly addressing power in intervention implementation processes.

“Our conceptual framework articulates three forms of power: discursive power (the power to create health narratives); epistemic power (the power to assert one’s knowledge as integral to a collective set of beliefs); and material power (the power to distribute resources). We described how intentionally directing these forms of power into the hands of marginalized communities may be key to combating health inequities.” 

Stanton says she would have preferred an in-person conference to experience the excitement of meeting with potential collaborators. “However, virtual conference presentations have the potential for much broader audience reach. More than 225 dissemination and implementation scientists attended my presentations live, and recordings of the Zoom presentation will be available to conference attendees. Also, conference attendees still exchanged ideas through Zoom chat boxes, email and social media.”

Written by Dwight Bachman