Methods: This Case Study will reflect on the authors’ work at an HIV and Wellness Center housed in a social work college which focuses on capacity building with SCBHSOs. Authors will discuss best practices by drawing on a literature review, the EPIS framework (Aarons et al., 2011) and ‘notes from the field’ to describe the Center’s use of implementation science to support SCBHSOs’ efforts to bridge social justice and evidence based practice.
Results: The HIV and Wellness Center provides capacity building to CBHSOs in the US South through training and resources/grants. Focusing on the Exploratory phase of the EPIS framework, three best practices with CBHSOs emerge to support a social justice centered implementation science process. Operationalizing social justice goals must be embedded throughout every phase of the EBI implementation. For example, the Meaningful Involvement of People living with HIV principles were integrated into projects as they were being developed. Meaningful collaboration between academic partners and organizations should be centered on knowledge sharing, transparency, and resisting the colonial gaze of research(ers) Finally, centers/academics should not only focus on the research, but must focus on providing training and working with the organization to promote organizational culture change grounded in justice. For our Center, that meant providing trainings centered in healing justice, trauma informed care with a structural lens and harm reduction approaches.
Conclusion: The body of research on social determinants of health urges us to integrate social justice into every aspect of direct service work in the pursuit of lasting, meaningful individual and social change. This case study demonstrates how social justice-centered implementation science can operationalize social justice priorities in the context of evidence based practice to create mutuality between social and clinical goals.
Aarons, G.A., Hurlburt, M. & Horwitz, S.M. (2011). Advancing a conceptual model of evidence-based practice implementation in public service sectors. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 38(1), 4-23.