iDAPT Developing Cancer Center Receives P50 Grant

May 3, 2021

Wake Forest University School of Medicine Department of Implementation Science has been awarded a P50 grant to fund a new iDAPT Developing Cancer Center. The iDAPT Center, led by Kristie Foley, PhD, MS, and Thomas Houston, MD, from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and Sarah Cutrona, MD, MPH, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is a Developing Implementation Science Center for Cancer Control that will use technologies to support rapid cycle and real time deployment and testing of implementation processes and adaptations within cancer control. 

Kristie Foley, PhDThomas Karr Houston II, MDiDAPT is one of seven Implementation Science Centers in Cancer Control (ISC3), funded by the National Cancer Institute. ISC3 supports the rapid development, testing, and refinement of innovative approaches to implement a range of evidence-based cancer control interventions. Centers all feature "implementation laboratories" involving clinical and community sites that will engage in implementation research across the cancer control continuum to advance methods in studying implementation and develop and validate reliable measures of key implementation science constructs. These Centers collectively provide leadership for an Implementation Science consortium across this and other Cancer Moonshot initiatives. 

Foley is Associate Dean of Research at Atrium Health Enterprise, Professor and Chair of Department of Implementation Science at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and Associate Director of Population Sciences, Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is a cancer researcher who has had continuous extramural funding for more than 15 years with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Foley studies how to implement and sustain best and promising practices in primary and oncology care to reduce cancer disparities. Her research has been highlighted in the Tobacco Atlas and the Fogarty International Center’s Global Health Matters as a model for translating science into practice and policy to address the global burden of tobacco-induced diseases. Her work was also featured in the Legacy and Partnership for Prevention guide “Help Your Patients Quit Tobacco Use: An Implementation Guide for Community Health Centers” as ‘best practice’ for implementing smoking cessation support in safety net settings in the United States. She is committed to identifying solutions that improve cancer health equity that can be adopted and sustained in “real world” settings. She has built a network of scientists and practitioners who work with community stakeholders to implement, evaluate, and sustain evidence-based cancer prevention and control strategies. 

Houston is a practicing Internal Medicine physician and board-certified Clinical Informatician. After graduating from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Houston worked at multiple prestigious research-intensive institutions including the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the former Director of the Veterans Health Administration's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) for eHealth - a national clinical operations-aligned Implementation Science initiative. Over the past 20 years, Houston has directed a portfolio of research with continuous federal funding. He studies change - change at the level of healthcare systems, individual healthcare providers, and patient behavior change. His research most often involves change supported by technology. One focus of his work has been in the area of technologies and vulnerable populations, addressing disparities in technology access, and family system interventions to support access to technology for health. Because of this work in patient-centered informatics, he was elected as Fellow in the American College of Medical Informatics. He is also a fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine. In the area of education, Houston has served as multi-principle investigator of two training programs - the NCI-funded Prevention and Control of Cancer: Post-Doctoral Training in Implementation Science (PRACCTIS) program and a NHLBI-funded institutional K12 program. In September, 2019, Houston rejoined Wake Forest University School of Medicine as the Vice Chair for Learning Health Systems in the Department of Internal Medicine after serving ten years as the inaugural Chief of the Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He holds the rank of Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine and in the Department of Implementation Science. Along with Foley and Cutrona, Houston serves as multi-PI of the iDAPT Center.  

Cutrona is Professor in the Departments of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is also a physician researcher at the Bedford Veterans Administration (VA) Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR). Cutrona is board certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics, with additional training in Clinical Effectiveness and Implementation science and previously served (2019-2021) as Interim Chief of the Division of Health Informatics & Implementation Science at UMass. She has led studies and published on a range of topics related to cancer control communication and decision-making, focused primarily on cancer screening, prevention and information seeking. Cutrona has been lead investigator on work funded by NIH, AHRQ, industry, and the VA’s Health Services Research and Development (HSRD) and QUERI programs, studying the intersection of clinical workflow and innovative technologies. She currently leads an HSRD-funded IIR studying strategies for promoting hypertension self-management among African-American Veterans, using a combination of peer storytelling and automated text messages. Cutrona also serves as multi-PI on two QUERI-funded Partnered Evaluations studying implementation and spread of innovative practices by frontline employees within the VHA Innovation Ecosystem. Working with colleagues at Wake Forest and UMass, Cutrona also leads an NCI-funded Implementation Science Center for Cancer Control (ISC3) (NCI P50CA244693). This collaborative research center focuses on use of technologies to support rapid cycle and real time deployment and testing of implementation processes and adaptations within cancer control. Cutrona is Co-Leader of the Cancer Population Health Sciences Program at UMass. She is a practicing internist, caring for Veterans in both inpatient and outpatient settings at the Bedford VA Healthcare System.