Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health
Assistant Professor, Philip Marotta, PhD, MPH, is just one of the Institute for Public Health Faculty Scholars whose research has benefitted from grant funding and other resources from the Center for Dissemination & Implementation, and its initiative, IDDI (Infectious Disease – Dissemination and Implementation Science Initiative). In its second year, IDDI cultivates implementation science research in infectious disease to improve evidence-based prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in St. Louis and beyond.
Professor Marotta’s work involves finding innovative ways to increase access to life-saving medications (like Narcan for overdose), harm reduction strategies (such as PrEP for HIV) and sexual health education materials in Missouri facilities where these services are currently sorely lacking (like within the criminal justice system and in rural communities.) He also researches how stigmas around infectious disease and opioid use disorder impact the decision of providers to implement evidence-based treatments for opioid use disorders and harm reduction.
Marotta originally received funding from the center’s Pilot Grant Program. He then presented his research at the annual Dissemination & Implementation Proposal Development Bootcamp and used feedback to secure funding through the center’s Rapid Add-On (RAD) Grant Program. Through the grant and his involvement with IDDI, Marotta has branched into community-engaged partnerships and research planning “that were critical” in helping his research team compete for two larger awards from the National Institute of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marotta said he would not have been able to expand his project without support from the center and IDDI.
“I would strongly encourage junior faculty who are interested in jump-starting their research—particularly in the areas of infectious diseases and dissemination and implementation science—to apply because the networking and the opportunities for feedback are very beneficial. I made relationships from across the Brown School and the School of Medicine that ultimately led to roles on my recently funded Exploratory/Development Award from NIDA as co-investigators who will formally support our project in the coming year as key personnel.” –Phillip Marotta
Ginger McKay, PhD, who leads IDDI, says the work to build the initiative’s community, and enhance its impact and the value of evidence-based intervention for infectious disease, will expand in its second year.
“Antimicrobial stewardship in particular is a topic that is of tremendous interest and concern to a number of faculty,” said McKay. “Many recognize the potential benefit of implementation science to this area, so we have a couple of planned activities that will continue to build momentum. Of course, there is an established group of investigators that work in HIV, so IDDI will continue to support implementation science work in this area, as well.”