PhD Candidate Mimi Choy-Brown Awarded NIMH National Research Service Award

Mimi Choy-Brown
Mimi Choy-Brown

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) awarded NYU Silver PhD Candidate Mimi Choy-Brown a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31). This competitive grant provides funding to promising doctoral candidates to develop into independent mental health services researchers through mentored research training relevant to the mission of NIMH.

Mimi’s dissertation project, “Examining Supervision as an Implementation Strategy to Improve Provider Adoption of Evidence-Based Practice,” aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing community mental health services by generating new knowledge of how supervision, which is already embedded in routine mental health services, can be maximized to improve dissemination of evidence-based practice.

Mimi explained, “My research targets a significant implementation gap that inhibits the delivery of quality mental health care to service users in real world settings. Failure to translate efficacious practices to community settings has resulted in limited access to quality care, service disengagement, and poor outcomes for service users. Supervisors in community mental health settings provide both clinical practice and administrative oversight of frontline provider practice. Given their proximal and often daily interactions with providers, supervisors are uniquely positioned to be evidence-based practice (EBP) champions and overcome on-the-ground implementation challenges.”

Mimi noted that in controlled EBP efficacy trials, supervision has been found to improve implementation outcomes; however, in real world settings, quality of supervision can vary, leading to limited opportunities for providers to learn EBPs, inadequate organizational social context for implementation, and poor service user outcomes. Mimi’s study, which used both qualitative and quantitative methods, seeks to gain insight into this key nexus between frontline providers and their direct supervisors. She will be looking at how their interaction drives adoption of new practices in the context of a large scale, NIMH-funded randomized controlled trial entitled “Person-Centered Care Planning and Service Engagement” (PCCP), which is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Victoria Stanhope, an NYU Silver Associate Professor and the chair of Mimi’s dissertation committee.

Mimi credited the notable opportunities she has had during her doctoral studies to work with leading scholars in mental health recovery, mental health services, and implementation science with shaping her dissertation study. She said, “I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Stanhope and my mentors Drs. Deborah Padgett, Mary McKay, and Steve Marcus, who have been invaluable in their generous spirits, support, and guidance. I am also grateful to Drs. Larry Palinkas and Rinad Beidas for their generosity and exposure to leading scholarship and resources in implementation science.”