CPPI Assistant Director Teresa Salgado, M.Pharm., Ph.D., is one of six 2020 scholars selected for the NIH K12 Mentored Training in Implementation Science (MTIS) Program at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Through this two-year mentored research practicum, she will work with CPPI Director and Associate Professor Dave Dixon, Pharm.D., and Resa Jones, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Temple University, on a project focusing on increasing the uptake of SGLT2 inhibitors or GLP-1 receptor agonists in patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in primary care.

One in 10 Americans has type 2 diabetes, and those with diabetes are between two and four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without the condition. At least 68% of adults 65 and older with type 2 diabetes die from some form of heart disease. Overall, the pervasiveness of the disease and its complications created a societal economic burden as high as $327 billion in 2017.

“This project is important because we know that these medications have cardioprotective effects in addition to their glucose-lowering effects,” Salgado said. “The average timeframe for research evidence to become integrated into clinical practice is 17 years. Using implementation science principles, we will accelerate integration of this evidence into practice, thus allowing patients with diabetes to benefit from the best evidence-based diabetes care. The MTIS program will provide me with the skills and mentorship necessary to implement this in practice in collaboration with Bon Secours Mercy Health.”

Over the course of the MTIS program, Salgado will attend various seminars, bootcamps and workshops to expand her skills in dissemination and implementation science; have access to an online learning and resource center; and meet virtually with the program director and mentors each month.

The purpose of the MTIS program is to prepare scholars to become independent dissemination and implementation researchers focused on heart, lung, blood or sleep disorders. This program is significant because it addresses risk factors and populations with high burden, where intervention knowledge on evidence-based programs and policies is substantial yet not commonly applied, and where a large reduction in chronic diseases is feasible if this knowledge were more widely adopted into practice and policy.

This program is directed by Dr. Victor Davila-Roman, professor of Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Radiology at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis and cardiologist in the Cardiovascular Division. Washington University began the program in 2018 with the acceptance of three scholars and has since accepted 11 scholars total into the program. Salgado is the first faculty member from VCU to be selected.

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