Dr. Briana Last, University of Pennsylvania

AIM Implementation & Equity Grantee: Dr. Briana Last

Briana Shiri Last earned her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In the Fall of 2022, she will join The State University of New York at Stony Brook as an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access fellow. She employs quantitative and qualitative methods to research the social determinants of mental health disorders and mental health service provision. She has primarily conducted her community-based, participatory research in the public mental health system. Dr. Last’s work aims to improve child and adolescent well-being by ensuring that all young people who need mental health services can easily access the highest quality care. The National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health have generously supported her scientific investigations.

Amid a national emergency in youth mental health, the implementation of mental health evidence-based practices (EBPs) is urgently needed. However, implementation efforts often face significant pragmatic and structural barriers. This community-based, participatory research study aims to address these barriers by developing a scalable, empirically driven tool to support clinicians’ EBP use and identifying the conditions that optimize the tool’s benefits for real-world clinical practice.

Dr. Last’s implementation science project seeks to support clinicians in implementing evidence-based practices. Using mixed methods, she plans to engage youth-serving clinicians in New York State’s public mental health clinics to examine structural and pragmatic barriers to implementing evidence-based practices. Informed by this contextual inquiry, she plans to use a human-centered design approach to develop a session planning tool that will facilitate clinicians’ use of evidence-based practices. Finally, she will use insights from behavioral science to design financial incentives to support clinicians’ use of the session planning tool, enabling clinicians to fully optimize the tool’s benefits.