Alum works to translate research into practice

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Photo by Alyssa Mohr, alyssamohr.com.

Making a positive difference in the world using science often comes down to one thing – the ability to communicate research to others.

Easier said than done? College of Public Health and Human Sciences alum Chase Cameron, MPH ’13, doesn’t think so. Chase is working to translate research into practice by using dissemination science – the purposeful distribution of information and intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience.

“There are too many behaviors, standards and protocols we know incontrovertibly improve health or increase efficiency that don’t get used because we don’t do a good job of communicating those best practices and maintaining them,” says Chase, who was recently promoted to education and research programs coordinator for ACCORDS – Adult and Child Center for Outcomes Research and Dissemination Science – at the University of Colorado.

MPH '13 Alum Chase Cameron.

CPHHS MPH ’13 Alum Chase Cameron.

Growing up surrounded by doctors, Chase initially pursued a path toward medical school. But as he proceeded to write essays for acceptance, despite competitive MCAT scores and grades, he realized he wasn’t as interested in practicing medicine as he was in health care policy and administration.

“It was those systemic issues that really drew me in,” he says. “I took one look at the MPH curriculum and knew it was for me.”

He enrolled as an MPH student at Oregon State and during his short time in the program – graduating in only one year – he says he made great friends and could not have been more impressed with his professors and the program itself.

“I have to thank Instructor Nancy Seifert,” he says. “She is one of those people who is constantly doing favors, helping others achieve their potential. Graduate education is more about what you can accomplish with the resources of the university backing you.”

In his new position, Chase helps researchers pursue their interests in the same way faculty once supported him.

“If I do my job correctly, I can help facilitate not only dissemination research, but I could tap into something that would help us universally improve health care delivery and quality.”

“I am focused on using networks to facilitate research and disseminate findings,” he says. “When we are able to use existing connections we get a lot accomplished, but if we don’t ‘know anyone,’ that can hinder our progress. If I do my job correctly, I can help facilitate not only dissemination research, but I could tap into something that would help us universally improve health care delivery and quality. If we can find a way to network better, identifying and collaborating with people of the same goals, there’s no end to what could be accomplished.”

He says his role in eliminating barriers and connecting people to resources needed to conduct collaborative research is rewarding because he knows the results will lead to positive health outcomes.

“If there’s one thing I’m passionate about, it is health care policy and large, systemic issues,” he says. “The United States’ health care system could be the greatest in the world if we work to fix what is wrong with it.”