TISA: An Alliance Identifying Solutions to Help Increase Health Care Value

Many major inefficiencies in health care can be credited to two things: the lack of implementation of known beneficial therapies, and, conversely, the use of non-evidenced based care that may offer no benefits at all.

It’s this concept that drove UK College of Medicine researchers to form the Transdisciplinary Implementation Science Alliance (TISA). Supported by the Alliance Research Initiative, TISA brings together clinicians and scientists from across the University of Kentucky and the UK College of Medicine to identify and implement solutions that increase health care value.

TISA aims to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice through the expansion of implementation science research. The team supports innovative, collaborative research projects that identify, develop, test, and evaluate strategies to implement evidence-based interventions into public health, clinical practice, and community settings.

“We were eager to collaborate with clinicians and researchers to establish an implementation science leadership team at UK to address complex health issues,” says principal investigator Jing Li, MD, DrPH, MS, associate professor and co-director of the Center for Health Services Research. “Additionally, we believe the TISA platform represents an opportunity to apply learning health system concepts to advance research and optimize patient care.”

The Alliance team includes more than 30 members and is led by researchers with a variety of specialties. Dr. Li, associate professor of medicine, studies health services delivery and implementation science. Gretchen Wells, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, researches cardiovascular disease risk control and management, especially in women’s heart health. Mahesh Kudrimoti, MD, professor of radiation oncology, focuses his research on head and neck cancers, mucositis, skin cancers, primary and secondary tumors in the liver, pancreatic cancer, and biliary tumors.

One of TISA’s first projects, the CardioVascular disease rIsk Control in Survivorship (CVICS) study, involves the connection between cardiovascular and oncology sciences to ensure more holistic care for cancer survivors, who seldom receive the preventive cardiac care they require as they age. TISA linked the UK Markey Cancer Center and the UK Gill Heart and Vascular Institute to help incorporate preventive cardiovascular services such as monitoring for heart damage, blood pressure control, treatment of high cholesterol, and lifestyle change management.

TISA also launched the TISA Implementation Science Visiting Professor Series to promote learning, collaboration, and innovative research. The series has invited renowned visiting faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in the field of implementation science.

For continued collaboration, a key component of their team’s objectives, TISA established multiple channels for interaction among TISA members: monthly group meetings, three overlapping workgroups, and learning sessions. These meetings have allowed for funding, training, and mentorship opportunities while offering a supportive, transdisciplinary opportunity for interactive conversation and feedback regarding specific projects.

The group welcomes collaboration with all implementation science researchers and practitioners at UK.

“The benefits from working on an Alliance team are many, including high value in building practice collaborations for our research that cross sectors,” Dr. Li said. “We’re making the most of group learning and knowledge sharing, and we are excited about the new connections and collaborations on research projects and grant applications.”

To learn more about TISA and our other Alliance teams, visit: https://med.uky.edu/alliance

 TISA Alliance Team Members:

  • Amit Arbune, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Ana Bastos de Carvalho, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Erin Burke, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Roberto Cardarelli, DO, MHA, MPH, Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Niraj Chavan, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Jessica Clouser, MPH, Research Director - Center for Health Services Research
  • Mark Dignan, PhD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Mary Beth Fisher, DO, Fellow – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Rachel Graham, DrPH, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Alla Grigorian, MD, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Vedant Gupta, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Pam Hull, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Behavioral Science
  • James Keck, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Aaron Kruse-Diehr, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Mahesh Kudrimoti, MD, Professor – Department of Radiation Medicine
  • Mary “Beth” Lacy, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Jing Li, MD, DrPH,  MS, Associate Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Colleen McMullen, MA, MBA, Assistant Professor – Department of Physiology
  • Daniela Moga, MD, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Kevin Pearce, MD, MPH, Professor – Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Anne Ray, PhD, MEd, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Matthew Sirrine, Research Assistant – Center for Health Services Research
  • Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Ginny Sprang, PhD, Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Jerod Stapleton, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Public Health
  • Margaret Szabunio, MD, Professor – Department of Radiology
  • Jeff Talbert, PhD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Kshitij Thakur, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Gretchen Wells, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Lovoria Williams, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Nursing
  • Mark V. Williams, MD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine