The Implementation Core will foster the dissemination and implementation of precision medicine for racial and ethnic minorities while meeting the needs and preferences of minority communities.

Implementation Core

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Featuring: Dr. Consuelo H. Wilkins, Dr. Hector Myers, and Dr. Nancy Cox

 Specific Aims:

  1. Identify barriers and facilitators to implementation and adoption of precision medicine discoveries among racial and ethnic minorities
  2. Develop strategic approaches to speed the dissemination, diffusion and adoption of evidence -based strategies developed through the Center
  3. Address ethical issues related to precision medicine among racial and ethnic minorities

Research Team:


Project Managers


  1. The Implementation Core has presented our work at a variety of conferences including the ones below:
    • Advancing Community Engaged Research (CEnR) Conference — Washington, DC 2016
      CEnR brought together researchers and community stakeholders to collaborate on the exciting and rapidly developing field community engaged research. Learning labs provided “how to” instructions on the innovative methods and promising practices currently being developed to advance this field.
    • Dissemination & Implementation Conference — Washington, DC 2016
      This annual conference is dedicated to helping evidence, practice, and policy experts collaborate across their respective fields and focus on the highest priorities in dissemination and implementation science.
    • Personalized Medicine Day — Nashville, TN 2016 (presentation won 4th place)
      An event at Vanderbilt University Medical Center featuring lectures, panel discussions, and posters to showcase ongoing innovations in
      personalized medicine.
  2. Some examples of our work can be found at the links below:


  1. Brief Survey: Precision Medicine Attitudes and Experiences
    • We recently completed a survey with individuals representing diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Participants were recruited from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Meharry Medical College, and University of Miami. Our goal is to learn more about the social determinants of health, how familiar the community is with precision medicine, and their attitudes and experiences with genetic testing
  2. Formation of an Ethics Advisory Board
    • We have established a panel of community and precision medicine experts for an Ethics Advisory Board. This Board will have the important responsibility of guiding the Core to anticipate and respond to the ethical dimensions of precision medicine. Our board members are:
      • Keith King, Community Relations Manager — Alive Hospice
      • Hakimah Bankston, ARNP, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner — University of Miami Hospital
      • Juan Carols Arriola, MBA, Chief Strategy & Research Officer — latinvisa
      • Elizabeth Heitman, PhD, Professor — Program in Ethics in Science & Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center
      • Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD — Assistant Director & Assistant Professor — Division of Public Health at Meharry Medical College
      • Claudia Barajas, Chief of Health Educator — Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
      • Rosario Isasi, JD, MPH, Research Assistant Professor — Dr. John T Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics at the University of Miami
  3. Focus Groups: Precision Medicine in the Community 
    • A number of focus groups and one-on-one interviews are being planned in both the Nashville and Miami areas. Our goal is to better understand the barriers and facilitators to the practice of precision medicine in real-world settings.
  4. Defining Precision Medicine: A Systematic Review
    • The Center is also in the process of writing a systematic review to capture the state of the science on precision medicine. Our planned scope includes presenting how precision medicine is defined across research and practice, as well as its goal for improving patient health.
  5. The Vanderbilt, Miami, and Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health Member Survey
    • The Implementation and Training & Mentoring Cores are partnering to develop and administer a survey to internal members. The aim is to better understand our internal team’s existing knowledge, attitudes, and anticipated  barriers towards using precision medicine in underserved populations. We plan to track how internal knowledge and attitudes shift over time with continued precision medicine training.

Next Steps

  1. Develop and test culturally informed dissemination strategies and materials
  2. Disseminate best practices for using precision medicine in racial and ethnic minorities
  3. Develop strategies to improve trust among stakeholder and partners related to precision medicine