On December 8 and 9, 2014, the Academy of Health and the National Institutes of Health co-hosted the 7th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference brought together leading researchers, evaluators, implementers, and stakeholders for an in-depth examination of research findings in the fields of health and medicine. Included in the presentation lineup was NYU Silver School of Social Work PhD student Mimi Choy-Brown who gave a poster presentation titled Unpacking Supervision in Supportive Housing Implementation.
“The conference was an exciting opportunity to learn from implementation scholars and their work in this area of research,” Choy-Brown shared. “My research interests and work focus on the translation of new knowledge and practices into community settings, and so this conference was an important opportunity to share findings from the recent New York Recovery Study with implications for implementation research.” Choy-Brown’s presentation detailed findings from the study, which used qualitative methods to explore case manager perspectives of clinical supervision in supportive housing, and the role this type of housing plays in the implementation of recovery-oriented practices. The study is funded by a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Professor Deborah Padgett is the study’s principal investigator.
“The study contributes to the understanding of supervision as an implementation strategy in supportive housing,” Choy-Brown detailed. “Findings suggest that discrete elements of supervision, such as the format and focus of supervision time, may influence direct care staff practice.” The study found that even impromptu supervision time, when focused on specific issues, was perceived by direct care staff to facilitate in their overall learning. Choy-Brown hopes to continue her investigative research through subsequent studies.
Before enrolling in the PhD program, Choy-Brown worked in the field for over 10 years as a program coordinator at the Partnership for the Homeless and as director of clinical and quality management at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. She decided to pursue her PhD at NYU Silver after recognizing the tremendous bearing that research can have on policy.
“I saw the impact research had on policy through effective rights-based approaches to service delivery that improved consumer outcomes in programs such as Housing First and recovery-oriented practices,” she shared. “I also experienced the organizational contextual barriers to delivering new practices, and observed the consequences of differential access to best practices for poverty-impacted individuals. This practice experience motivated me to pursue doctoral studies, and the opportunity to learn from such an accomplished faculty in mental health services research attracted me to the Silver School of Social Work.”
At NYU Silver, Choy-Brown has centered her research on her commitment to understanding the organizational dynamics that impact the quality of service delivery to consumers. She has focused particularly on the role of supervision as a strategic element in fostering best practices in community mental health settings. “My long-term goal,” Choy-Brown shared, “is to develop interventions to leverage the facilitating role of supervision for integrating and sustaining quality, consumer-driven community mental health services. I hope to contribute to knowledge of clinical supervision, implementation science, and recovery-oriented practice.”
Associate Professor Victoria Stanhope praised Choy-Brown for her groundbreaking research, and the honor of its inclusion at the dissemination and implementation conference: “This was a significant achievement, and this is an innovative area of services research that many of us are working in. I think is an important aspect of how Silver is really bridging practice and research.”
As she reflected on her journey through the PhD program at NYU Silver, Choy-Brown looked to the future with eager anticipation. “I’m very excited to be entering the doctoral candidacy phase of the program. I have enjoyed and learned so much from the faculty in class and in our research practicum experiences. I have been very fortunate to have amazing mentors who have been invaluable in my learning and development. I feel prepared to start the next phase and work on my dissertation proposal!”
By Penelope Yates, MSW ’15