Translating evidence-based interventions for implementation: Experiences from Project HEAL in African American churches

Cheryl L. Holt, Erin K. Tagai, Mary A. Scheirer, Sherie Lou Z. Santos, Janice Bowie, Muhiuddin Haider, Jimmie L. Slade, Min Q. Wang, Tony Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Community-based approaches have been increasing in the effort to raise awareness and early detection for cancer and other chronic disease. However, many times, such interventions are tested in randomized trials, become evidence-based, and then fail to reach further use in the community. Project HEAL (Health through Early Awareness and Learning) is an implementation trial that aims to compare two strategies of implementing evidence-based cancer communication interventions in African American faith-based organizations.Method: This article describes the community-engaged process of transforming three evidence-based cancer communication interventions into a coherent, branded strategy for training community health advisors with two delivery mechanisms. Peer community health advisors receive training through either a traditional classroom approach (with high technical assistance/support) or a web-based training portal (with low technical assistance/support).Results: We describe the process, outline the intervention components, report on the pilot test, and conclude with lessons learned from each of these phases. Though the pilot phase showed feasibility, it resulted in modifications to data collection protocols and team and community member roles and expectations.Conclusions: Project HEAL offers a promising strategy to implement evidence-based interventions in community settings through the use of technology. There could be wider implications for chronic disease prevention and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 31 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Cancer
  • Dissemination
  • Evidence-based
  • Faith-based
  • Health communication
  • Implementation
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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