K12 Research Scholars

Reducing the delay in delivering more effective care to more people requires a scientific workforce that is skilled at dissemination and implementation (D&I) research. The Department of Population Health Sciences’ Dissemination and Implementation Science in Cardiovascular Outcomes (DISCO) program develops highly trained scientists capable of moving science into practice for heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) diseases and conditions.
Duke is one of 10 universities nationally awarded a K12 career development grant from the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in 2018 to advance implementation science.

Through the grant, five K12 Scholars conduct research for up to three years with support from no fewer than two faculty members (in all, 38 faculty members with a wide range of research and clinical expertise are available for mentorship and mentor contact time is guaranteed for the Scholars). At the conclusion of their appointments, K12 Scholars are expected to win investigator awards of their own from a funding agency.

Meet the 2018 Scholars

Jamie Hughes, PhD, MPH, MSW

By addressing upstream determinants of functional decline, Dr. Hughes’ aims to preserve older adults’ functional independence and ability to age in in place. That said, her K12 will work to increase access to behavioral sleep-activity interventions in both the VA and the community. Her work will build upon two randomized clinical trials completed while she was at the Los Angeles VA in which her team established the efficacy of two different brief behavioral sleep interventions to improve sleep outcomes in complex older veterans. In order to disseminate these programs throughout the VA, she will adapt these previously tested, in-person interventions into telehealth-delivered programs, with the theory that employing alternative modes of program delivery will help increase access to these sleep programs and become a model for delivering health promotion programs for older adults without regular access to a major VA Medical Center or community center. Dr. Hughes will also explore opportunities to adapt her original program from VA Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) into local home- and community-based programs. Her mentorship team includes collaborations from the Department of Population Health Sciences, Division of Geriatrics, and the Durham VA. Dr. Hughes received her PhD from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and her MPH and MSW from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Jaime Hughes Talks About her K12 Experience

Helen Vilme, DrPH, MPH, MS

Dr. Vilme’s K12 focuses on farm-to-university programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the intent of improving the health and lifestyle of their students. She chose to focus on HBCU students because of the high number of African Americans in attendance and because their greater population suffers from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke at younger ages and higher rates than white Americans. Additionally, research shows that students are not consuming the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. Her goal is to make healthy options accessible so students can make healthy choicesbreaking the generational cycle of bad diet and poor health and building a blueprint for future farm-to-university programs.

Dr. Vilme received her doctoral degree in public health from Florida A&M University.