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Sterling MR, Echeverría SE, Commodore-Mensah Y, Breland JY, Nunez-Smith M. Health Equity and Implementation Science in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep-Related Research: Emerging Themes From the 2018 Saunders-Watkins Leadership Workshop. Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes. 2019 Oct 1; 12(10):e005586.
Disparities in health outcomes for heart, lung, blood, and sleep-related health conditions are pervasive in the United States, with an unequal burden experienced among structurally disadvantaged populations. One reason for this disparity is that despite the existence of effective interventions that promote health equity, few have been translated and implemented consistently in the healthcare system. To achieve health equity, there is a dire need to implement and disseminate effective evidence-based interventions that account for the complex and multilayered social determinants of health among marginalized groups across healthcare settings. To that end, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute''s Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science invited early stage investigators to participate in the inaugural Saunders-Watkins Leadership Workshop in May of 2018 at the National Institutes of Health. The goals of the workshop were to: (1) present an overview of health equity research, including areas which require ongoing investigation; (2) review how the fields of health equity and implementation science are related; (3) demonstrate how implementation science could be utilized to advance health equity; and (4) foster early stage investigator career success in heart, lung, blood, and sleep-related research. Herein, we highlight key themes from the 2-day workshop and offer recommendations for the future direction of health equity and implementation science research in the context of heart, lung, blood, and sleep-related health conditions.