Training the Next Generation of Leaders in Clinical Preventive Services

Profiles from the AHRQ Research Centers for Excellence

Elaine Morrato: The Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention (CRISP) at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus

Photograph of Elaine Morrato. How do you build a successful training program in dissemination and implementation (D&I) science? According to Elaine Morrato, the Training and Education Core Lead at the University of Colorado's Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention (CRISP), it's about reaching out to understand the needs of the audience and tailoring educational content toward those needs.

In 2012, Morrato and her team set out to create an ongoing training program that would "seed the environment" and begin fostering a multidisciplinary community of researchers interested in D&I. They decided to start with an ongoing seminar series covering a variety of topics related to implementation science and to build toward an integrated, in-person workshop.

Using the current D&I literature as a jumping off point, they first created an education framework covering four domains: theory and strategies; community and stakeholder engagement; tools and approaches; and evaluation: design and analysis. Next, they interviewed leaders on campus and at affiliated health systems to identify their D&I education needs and to spread the word about CRISP's new training opportunities.

The seminars kicked off in July 2012. They are offered for a local audience and recorded live, with audio and slides archived  on the CRISP training and education website for easy access. The topics range from achieving balance in cluster-randomized trials to implications of healthcare marketing for dissemination to translating diabetes prevention programs into the community—among others. Speakers come from diverse backgrounds and organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Research Institute, and University of Colorado. Each live seminar draws 40-50 attendees, with many coming from other regional schools and representing disciplines such as medicine, public health, nursing, and pharmacy. More than 500 people participated in the seminars in the 2012-2013 academic year.

As Morrato and her team moved toward developing the integrated workshop in 2013, they knew it would be critical to design the course around the needs of potential participants. So as part of pre-registration, they conducted a survey to learn about participants' backgrounds and interests in D&I, as well as their preferences for workshop format. The workshop, which ran in October 2013 started with a full day of interactive lectures and breakout sessions on how to formulate D&I research questions, develop D&I plans, and find D&I-specific resources for research. Day two was a half day that included peer and expert mentoring to help participants' take their D&I projects to the next level.

Looking forward, Morrato is excited to continue enhancing the seminar series and making CRISP's online education resources more visual and engaging. "We're hoping to add features like infographics, animated videos, 5-10 minute expert vignettes, or even an interactive version of the Dissemination & Implementation training toolkit," she says. "We want to incorporate state-of-the-art online educational strategies for adults into our D&I training so that our education resources have a life beyond the seminar."

For more about The Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention and their training program please visit their Web site:


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Page last reviewed November 2013
Page originally created November 2013
Internet Citation: Training the Next Generation of Leaders in Clinical Preventive Services. Content last reviewed November 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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