The GW Collaboratory

Mark your calendars: the GW Collaboratory for Health Research and Education is hosting a discussion series to explore ways that knowledge translation is applied to practice, research, and education. 

Mary Corcoran, executive director of the Collaboratory, says the goal of the series is to help develop collaborations to study and teach knowledge translation processes and outcomes. “If you are curious about translating knowledge to practice and education or conducting research to maximize translation, please join us.”

The series will be held in the University Student Center located on the GW Foggy Bottom campus at 800 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052. University Student Center is convenient to the Foggy Bottom metro station. Parking is available in the University Student Center (entrance on H Street between 21st and 22nd Streets).

Check out our calendar for upcoming series speakers and events.

Collaboratory Nodes

The following three nodes provide an initial structure for the Collaboratory. The links contain information and materials specific to each:

Technology in Healthcare and Education

Principal Scholar: Dr. Mary Corcoran

The Technology in Education and Practice node explores the role of technology to translate knowledge in healthcare professional education (including continuing education) and practice. Increasingly, physical distance, prohibitive costs, and time/responsibility constraints create barriers to stakeholder engagement and equitable delivery of high-quality health innovations. Reducing physical barriers to knowledge translation in education and practice expands the reach of Learning Health Systems as an adaptive network.

Technology has the potential to help address health disparities, rising costs, and need for a more diverse workforce. However, a knowledge gap exists regarding effective use of technology to support learning and health. The intent of this node is to examine the processes and outcomes of technology use in education and practice, thereby establishing best practices to guide decision making and implementation.

As an initial "test case", Dr. Corcoran (senior scholar) has developed and is testing the Customized Toolkit of Information and Practical Solutions (C-TIPS). C-TIPS is an online, multimedia, interactive program designed for individuals who provide care for a family member or friend with neurocognitive disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease). C-TIPS provides a synthesis of evidence-based care management strategies, an assessment process providing individualized results, and a tailored “toolkit” of practical solutions.

Contact Information

Dr. Corcoran


Education and Knowledge Translation

Principal Scholar: Dr. Paige McDonald

The Learning and Knowledge Translation node generates and disseminates knowledge in the fields of learning and knowledge translation. We investigate how continuous learning, knowledge generation, and knowledge translation can be achieved in complex health systems. We also seek to identify innovative ways to design and deliver learning interventions to the future and current health professions workforce to maximize their potential participation in continuous learning and quality improvement within health systems.

To these ends, Dr. McDonald is leading a scoping review to identify competencies required to operate within Learning Health Systems. The results of this review will inform future programming for health professionals. In addition, the node is focusing on the evaluation of an innovative model of learning which connects students and clinicians for reciprocal knowledge sharing aimed at addressing performance deficiencies related to a specific health disparities or social determinant of health. The results of this evaluation will inform a grant proposal to design a knowledge generation and translation collaboration among students, clinicians and community members for the purpose of addressing health inequity in specific community setting.

Contact Information

Dr. McDonald

Recent Presentations

  • Teaching KT to Current and Future Practitioners (pdf)


Implementation Science & Quality Improvement

Principal Scholars: Dr. Kenneth Harwood & Dr. Philip van der Wees

The quality improvement node is focused on fostering continuous improvement in complex health systems. The implementation science node is focused on developing methods and strategies to support the uptake of evidence based interventions into practice with the aim of improving health. For the initial years of the collaboratory, the quality improvement and implementation nodes were joined to support a shared understanding of the importance of implementing quality improvement methods within our current health system.

To that end, the senior scholars of the nodes have been awarded a pilot grant from Center on Health Services Training and Research (CoHSTAR) along with our partners the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s, Centers for Rehab Services. The pilot study will investigate a quality improvement program (QIP) that uses a systematic process of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles based on the outcomes from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry (PTOR) and electronic health records of patients with low back pain and neck pain. We hope that the pilot study will lead to the larger studies exploring the implementation of multidisciplinary QIPs using outcomes and to better understand methods that increase the uptake of evidence based practice into rehabilitation.

Contact Information

Recent Presentations

  • IS Toolbox: Making Sense of Theories, Models, and Frameworks (pdf)
  • Frameworks and Theories for Implementation (pdf)