Focus Area: Health implementation science

Health Implementation Science is an emerging field located at far end of the clinical translational continuum -- focused on scientific inquiry about the “uptake” of major medical and health discoveries by practitioners and policymakers, and their impact on the well-being of individuals and communities. This field, which is strongly endorsed by the National Institutes of Health, The Institute of Medicine, and The National Research Council, has emerged to help ensure that the investments and progress made in basic science and clinical research yield their full impact.

Students in this focus area will learn the basic terminology and approaches from a range of specialty fields -- including health literacy, information dissemination, health systems research, public health, community-based participatory research, health economics, and health disparities research – and explicitly connect them to conduct implementation science. Students will understand the pathway from discovery of efficacious treatments or preventive interventions to their extension to clinical practice and the measurement of patient-oriented outcomes.

The TBMH faculty in Public Health Implementation Science study a range of topics, including:

  • Development and implementation of nutritional and weight-management programs
  • Interventions and early education programs to improve teacher and child caregiver effectiveness in promoting student success
  • Strategies to reduce maternal, paternal, and child health disparities
  • Development, implementation, and evaluation of pediatric neuromotor interventions for children with cerebral palsy
  • Adolescent health and risk behaviors
  • Development, implementation and evaluation of prevention health programs in schools and communities, and linking theory to practice in problem-based community health efforts
Example faculty research:


Dr. Kathy Hosig

Dr. Samantha Harden studies physical activity as a mechanism for improved health outcomes and psychological well-being, especially from a group dynamics-based approach. She works with a variety of populations from prenatal women to older adults, exploring intrapersonal, interpersonal, and system-level factors that either speed or impede the rate of translating evidence-based interventions into their intended practice settings (e.g., clinic, community).


Dr. Kathy Hosig

Dr. Kathy Hosig identifies, develops, evaluates, and disseminates evidence-based practice models in public health across Virginia and the region, with a focus on promotion of healthful eating and physical activity habits across the lifespan.


Dr. Sharon Ramey

Dr. Sharon Ramey studies the development and testing of highly promising treatments for children with physical or cognitive disabilities and at-risk conditions. She seeks to improve the provision of health, education, and social services, and strengthen natural community supports, to benefit children and families.

In addition to the core coursework taken by all TBMH students, each student will take two intensive 4 credit TBMH courses specific to their focus areas, and at least 3 credits of free elective coursework to further develop their expertise in this area.

Required focus area-specific coursework
  • TBMH 5034 - Fundamentals of Public Health Implementation Science  (4 cr)
Sample free elective courses
Plan of study