As a collaboration among UCLA, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and the LA County Department of Health Services, the proposed new AHRQ-PCORI K12 program, Stakeholder-Partnered Implementation Research and Innovation Translation (SPIRIT), is designed to prepare outstanding postdoctoral scholars (including MD, PhD, MD/PhD, ScD, DrPH, and PharmD) for academic research careers focused on rapid and sustainable uptake of new scientific discoveries and innovations that improve the design, delivery, and outcomes of care for chronic diseases at the individual, population, and health care system levels. In the current era of declining numbers of health scientists nationwide, particularly among clinical providers, and of expanding need to bridge research and practice across diverse real-world settings of health services and systems as well as demographically diverse populations, SPIRIT will fill a critical need for research on a broad range of issues in the generation, dissemination, and implementation of clinical evidence and will advance the goals of increasing the pace and volume of innovation in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of chronic diseases to facilitate and advance learning health systems. In response to the challenges of better understanding variation in practice and outcomes and the barriers of T4 translation, the interdisciplinary curriculum and mentored hands-on research opportunities of the new K12 program interweave the scientific expertise and mentoring experience of 24 high-quality multidisciplinary investigators who are committed to collaborative, team-based cross-training and research in health services and patient-centered outcomes, clinical epidemiology, and dissemination and implementation. SPIRIT will leverage topically germane resources of education, training, and career development programs extant among the four partners for the core curriculum and protected time, foremost, the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program, to achieve the following specific aims: (1) expand the multidisciplinary knowledge base of evidence- based practice and learning health systems as it relates to different aspects of chronic disease care across the clinical spectrum; (2) provide didactic and hands-on research training/career development in the intellectual and philosophical foundation of rapid translation of evidence into practice within the broader research enterprise of translational medicine; (3) develop scholars' scientific writing skills for presentations, publications, and grants; (4) provide an academic environment that enables development of the research skills and experience needed for successful, independent scientific careers as members and leaders of interdisciplinary teams dedicated to improving patient and population outcomes and health system performance; and (5) model research-empowering teaching and mentoring skills for scholars' development, including their eventual replication of research education, training, and career development programs in health system stakeholder- partnered improvements of chronic disease care as their careers evolve into stable, scientific independence.
Through mentored research career development of the next generation of interdisciplinary team members, leaders, and innovators in dissemination and implementation science and learning health systems, the Stakeholder-Partnered Implementation Research and Innovation Translation (SPIRIT) K12 Program will advance our knowledge of delivery and implementation strategies for proven interventions in real-world practice and community settings. In closing the gap between evidence-based interventions and their uptake across diverse settings and populations, including historically underserved populations who manifest wide disparities in health status, SPIRIT will contribute to improved health system performance as well as patient outcomes and overall quality of life of adults and children, and their families, who live and often struggle with a broad range of chronic conditions.