Accelerating the reach of youth mental health innovations through implementation science


Event Description

Studies have estimated that it takes approximately 17 years for research to inform practice. Implementation science is the systematic study of methods to improve the translation of research to practice. There are many implementation science studies within youth mental health that have focused on therapist training, dissemination campaigns, and cost-effectiveness of training in particular interventions based on community appropriateness. This training will go over implementation science theories, methods, and frameworks that anyone can use to guide an implementation effort. Practical examples in youth mental health implementation within school-settings will be used to highlight innovative ways people can use implementation science in their own work.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define implementation science, applied implementation, and implementation research
  1. Understand theories, frameworks, and models that comprise implementation research
  1. Learn from practical school-based implementation efforts for youth mental health
  1. Commit to one action that aligns with implementation science principle


Kelsie Okamura

Kelsie Okamura (she/her) is an Implementation Researcher at the Baker Center for Children and Families, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and a licensed psychologist. Dr. Okamura serves on the training, consultation, and distance learning development teams at PracticeWise, LLC. She received her BA in Psychology with Honors and PhD from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Okamura completed her predoctoral internship at I Ola Lāhui Rural Hawai‘i Behavioral Health and postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health. Dr. Okamura was both a NIMH Child Intervention, Prevention and Services (CHIPS) and Training in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH) fellow; and has more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She currently serves as Leader for the ABCT Dissemination and Implementation Science Special Interest Group and is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group Member to Implementation Research and Practice.

Dr. Okamura is passionate about community-based public-sector service system implementation, particularly (a) knowledge formation, (b) quality improvement initiatives that bridge team-based technology, and (c) financial strategies to improve implementation. She is currently funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Co-PI, System of Care Expansion Award), and has received funding through the National Institute for General Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and American Psychological Foundation. As a fourth-generation daughter of Japanese and Okinawan immigrants to Hawaiʻi, Dr. Okamura has a deep appreciation of understanding diversity, culture, and contexts as they apply to youth mental health implementation. Growing up in a rural town in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi has afforded her insight into the complexities of socioeconomic and cultural barriers that may impede successful implementation of youth psychosocial interventions.


Summer Pascual

Summer Pascual (she/her) is an Implementation Research Assistant at The Baker Center for Children and Families, Implementation Research Division. Summer grew up in California and graduated cum laude from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2021. She was also the 2021 recipient of the WWU Presidential Scholar Award for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as a testament to her exceptional scholarship and service to the university and community. Her undergraduate clinical research focused on eating disorders, body image, and community-based work with underserved populations. In her time at WWU, Summer also researched race, culture, and prejudice. Her understanding of equity and oppressive systems is at the forefront of all her work, and she carries this with her into her current position.

At the Baker Center, Summer has worked on several implementation research projects such as the implementation evaluation of a case management system in a publicly-funded mental health system. In conjunction with her work in the IRD, she also supports various implementation projects in the Quality Care Initiative including MATCH and PCIT Learning Collaboratives. Part of her time is spent providing administrative support to the Baker Center’s internship, practicum student, and postdoc training programs. Her passion for developing, implementing, and improving mental health services for underserved communities drives all of her work.

April 9, 2024
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