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Psychiatry professor Mark McGovern receives more than $25 million to promote health equity

The funding will help McGovern and his Stanford Medicine colleagues research ways to improve health care equity among under-resourced communities.

- By Genevieve Bookwalter

Mark McGovern

Mark McGovern, PhD, Stanford School of Medicine professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and his team have recently received more than $25 million in grants to fund research on providing quality health care for underserved U.S. residents via three national, federally funded centers.

The three centers make up Stanford Medicine’s Center for Behavioral Health Services and Implementation Research. They include the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science at Stanford, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health; the NIH HEAL Data2Action U2 Research Adoption Support Center; and the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network Coordinating Office. All are led by McGovern and dedicated to dissemination and implementation science, the study of how to execute evidence-based medical interventions in underserved communities in a way that closes gaps in health care access and quality.

“We are simultaneously honored and humbled by the confidence the NIH has placed in us by funding these national centers,” McGovern said. “Over the past few years, dissemination and implementation science has gained enormous interest and value. It is now widely recognized that — although there is still great room for new discoveries — many highly effective interventions exist for common conditions but are not widely available to the people who need them.”

In August, the NIH awarded $13 million to fund the Center for Dissemination and Implementation, which brings together a national team of experts to lead three research projects to mitigate the U.S. opioid and stimulant epidemic. The projects are focused on reducing overdose deaths in three highly impacted counties in the United States, implementing psychosocial treatments for stimulant use disorders in specialty care, and sustaining digital interventions for substance use problems in primary care.

This grant will help “advance the science, mentor and train the next generation of implementation researchers, and fundamentally improve equitable access to evidence-based treatments for addiction,” according to the NIH.  

In September, McGovern and his team received another grant from the NIH: $13.6 million to support the NIH Research Adoption Support Center. This center focuses on fighting the nation’s opioid and stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) epidemics by translating research findings into routine clinical practice settings.

These new centers add substantial new NIH resources to McGovern’s team, which had previously received $3 million to support the translation of evidence-based mental health prevention and treatment services in the U.S. public health care system, and a $2.5 million NIH-funded study to bring addiction medications to scale in a statewide system of primary and specialty care clinics.

“The gap in access to proven treatments is amplified for certain groups of people, such as racial and ethnic minorities, and those living in under-resourced communities, urban or rural,” McGovern said. “D&I science holds the key to close the gaps in access to equitable care and quality care. I am tremendously fortunate to be joined by a team of colleagues from institutions, health care organizations and communities across the U.S. who are equally passionate about using D&I science to solve these access problems.”

McGovern is also a co-chief of the Stanford Medicine Division of Public Mental Health and Population Sciences, director of implementation research for the Department of Psychiatry, and past medical director of integrated behavioral health in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health.

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children's Health. For more information, please visit the Office of Communications website at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

2022 ISSUE 1

Understanding the world within us

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