Event Details

MSRC Dissemination Science Institute

Tuesday 14 May, 2019 to Wednesday 15 May, 2019
The Catholic University of American campus in Washington DC

With special thanks to the co-sponsors:

The Catholic University of America
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Please see the attached PDF for the full schedule.

Over the last decade, the field of dissemination and implementation science has emerged to help bridge the gap between science and practice to ensure that evidence-based practices and findings reach the populations who need them. As the field has evolved, the majority of focus has been on implementation (i.e., systematic processes, activities, and resources used to integrate interventions into usual settings), instead of dissemination (i.e., mechanisms and approaches used to communicate and spread information about interventions to target populations). Indeed, although more than 60 theories and frameworks for implementation currently exist, there are only a few theories or frameworks about dissemination. Furthermore, for those interested in learning more about implementation science, valuable resources exist such as the Implementation Research Institute (IRI) and the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC). In contrast, there are few resources available focusing on dissemination science.

Suicide is a serious public health problem and preventing suicide within the military is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC) is part of an ongoing strategy to integrate and synchronize DoD and civilian efforts to implement a multidisciplinary research approach to suicide prevention through funding cutting-edge research and facilitating the dissemination of these research findings to military settings. Questions exist about how to best communicate key research findings and their associated recommendations for changes to policy and practice.  

To this end, MSRC developed a 1.5-day Dissemination Science Institute bringing together dissemination experts, suicide prevention researchers (especially those with MSRC-funded studies), and leadership from the DoD and other large health systems.

Specific aims of the Dissemination Science Institute

  1. Provide introductory tutorials about dissemination science and examples of cutting edge, successful dissemination projects.
  2. Provide panel presentations on military needs for dissemination strategies in the clinical and public health contexts.
  3. Interactive, participatory workshop on applying dissemination science to communicate important research findings in clinical and public health military settings. 

Dissemination Development Workshop – Day 2

  • Building on the expert presentations from Day 1, this workshop employed case-based collaborative learning that brings together:
  • Researchers in suicide prevention
  • DoD suicide prevention program stakeholders and policy decision makers
  • Dissemination science experts

This workshop followed an evidence-based format that will help develop dissemination plans for 8-12 attendees who volunteered to present their projects or research studies within a structured format, guided by a facilitator who proctored collegial feedback from other workshop attendees. One goal of the workshop was to provide feedback to the presenter. The more important goal was to facilitate discussion of cutting-edge issues related to disseminating and communicating information about military and veteran suicide prevention.

The workshop focused on two types of dissemination plans

  1. Dissemination of suicide prevention research findings or effective interventions to a policy maker
  2. Media campaign or other project to bring suicide prevention messages to a broad audience

 Please see the attached PDF for further DDW details.

Faculty Profiles

Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. His research examines the mechanisms and effects of mass media campaigns, strategic health messages, and news coverage in shaping health behavior, health disparities, and social policy.  Dr. Niederdeppe is working on several projects which seek to advance theorizing about the conditions under which various forms of strategic messages (including narratives, counter-framing, refutation, and graphic imagery) can undermine or enhance public and policy maker support for health policies and other collective, multi-sector solutions to social problems. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles in communication, public health, health policy, and medicine journals, and his work has been funded in recent years by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Town Creek Foundation.

Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, MSc is a policy dissemination and implementation researcher who focusses on issues related to mental health and health equity. His research adopts, adapts, and integrates theories and methods from the social sciences to understand how scientific evidence can be most effectively communicated to policymakers and translated into practice.  Dr. Purtle is Principal Investigator for a study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that is testing the effects of strategic frames about toxic stress on public and policymaker support for child development policies and stigma towards children and families. He is also currently the Principal Investigator of a R21 from the National Institute of Mental Health that is exploring strategies to improve how mental health evidence is communicated to state policymakers. He is also leading a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project that is examining activities to reduce health inequities across the US.

Shale Wong, MD, MSPH is a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics and family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, teaching child health, advocacy, policy and health care reform with focused interests in integrated care and achieving health equity. She is director of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center and Vice Chair for Policy and Advocacy in the Department of Pediatrics. Wong served as health policy advisor to First Lady Michelle Obama for development and implementation of her signature child obesity initiative, Let’s Move, and assisted in launching Joining Forces to improve wellness and resilience of military families. Additionally, she was a senior program consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Wong continues to serve on several national and community advisory boards. As a lifelong dancer, she is inspired to advance health through the arts.

Panelist Profiles

Jessica Jagger, PhD, MSW is the Assistant Branch Head for Behavioral Programs Integration with Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. She leads a team of more than 20 professionals in support of Combat & Operational Stress Control, Embedded Preventive Behavioral Health, Community Counseling, Family Advocacy, Sexual Assault Prevention & Response, Suicide Prevention, and Substance Abuse Programs. Dr. Jagger holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut and earned a PhD in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University during which time she served as a Fulbright fellow to Jamaica.

Lee Kelley, MA, MSW is the Director, Military Community Support Programs for Military Community and Family Policy where she provides oversight for Military OneSource, Military and Family Life Counseling, and the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program. Ms. Kelley holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in social work from the Catholic University of America. 

CAPT Carrie Kennedy, PhD, ABPP serves as Division Chief, Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) and the Army’s clinical psychology specialty leader. CAPT Kennedy completed her Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at Drexel University and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She is board certified in clinical psychology and police and public safety psychology.

COL Steven Pflanz, MD 

Laura Neely, PhD is the Assistant Director of Research and Program Evaluation at the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office, where she manages a comprehensive suicide prevention research portfolio. Dr. Neely earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and completed a suicide research postdoctoral fellowship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

CAPT Arlene Saitzyk, PhD is currently stationed at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), serving as the Deputy Director of Primary Care/Mental Health. She oversees Embedded Mental Health, Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Reserve and Family Programs.  She also serves as BUMED’s Suicide Prevention Program Manager. CAPT Saitzyk completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at Michigan State University and postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at the Palo Alto Children's Health Council.

LTC(P) Dennis Sarmiento, MD is currently assigned as the Chief, Behavioral Health Division, at the Army Office of The Surgeon General, and is the Army Director of Psychological Health.  LTC Sarmiento is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and after completing medical training at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences he completed a combined psychiatry and internal medicine residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Andra Tharp, PhD is the Senior Prevention Advisor in the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. She has over 70 scholarly publications in the areas of trauma and violence and has received many awards for her work in violence prevention. Dr. Tharp holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon and completed a Special Fellowship in Advanced Psychiatry & Psychology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

Adam Walsh, PhD currently serves as the Director of Research and Program Evaluation for the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO). He has expertise developing suicide prevention interventions and has published numerous articles on suicide and suicide prevention and has considerable clinical experience with individuals and families affected by suicide. Dr. Walsh is a licensed clinical social worker with a PhD from the University of North Carolina; he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at George Mason University.

Attendance included

  • MSRC PIs
  • MOMRP/CDMRP
  • Psychological Health Center of Excellence
  • Army Public Health Center
  • Army STARRS
  • Connected Health
  • NIMH
  • SAMHSA
  • Behavioral Health Community
  • Defense Suicide Prevention Office
  • Headquarters Marine Corps
  • Center for Deployment Psychology
  • UHUHS
  • VA QUERI, both suicide prevention MIRECCs
  • Cohen Veteran Network
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Other suicide prevention researchers