Our support includes program and scientific oversight of the portfolio, program compliance, collaborating with academia and industry, data collection and analyses, program evaluation, conference/meeting support, continuing education credit coordination, curriculums, study recruitment communications, infographics or other research and teaching visuals, written reports, policy recommendations, training, and dissemination of materials to improve MH outcomes and translate results to optimize ADAPT and FAP, as well as the Exceptional Family Member Medical Program (EFMP-M) and Embedded Mental Health (EMH) Program.
The contract assumed the management and operation of an ongoing research program. The new contract requirement that the Principal Investigators must be affiliated with an academic institution with a body of research in the area of interest to AFMRA was intended to maintain these researchers where possible. To this end, we screened, vetted, and recruited over 20 doctoral level MH researchers from six institutions across academia and industry to retain and expand this team.
Our EFMP-M research involved a multiple case study design and a mixed methods approach utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data. Data was gathered from 12 standard and expedited U.S. Air Force (USAF) installations within and outside the continental U.S. Quantitative data from these bases were gathered using Lean Six Sigma (LSS) continued process improvement methodology and qualitative data was gathered through interviews and review of existing EFMP-M documents. Analysis of these results and implementation of recommendations for process improvement directly decrease the overall EFMP-M processing time for Service Members (SM)s undergoing a permanent change of station (PCS) to and from USAF installations; increase cost savings to the USAF and SMs through efficient PCS moves; and increase satisfaction of SMs, families, and EFMP-M staff members through increased efficiency and productivity of the EFMP-M. Knowesis provided transition support in the initial testing, outfitting, and training of NOCTEM™ Clinical Operative Assistive Sleep Technology to USAF clinicians to help combat insomnia in embedded USAF populations. We also provided support to develop, test, train, and transition the CheckUp and Choices alcohol abuse prevention program to the USAF. Our transitional project management support encompasses these two projects and 17 other mental health research projects, each with a project manager trained in developing project management plans, integrated master schedules, monitoring progress, and meeting specific compliance requirements associated with each project to ensure 100% completion of contract deliverables.
Knowesis worked with a leading sleep study research platform to beta test a patient and provider-centric digital health platform and a clinician-decision support digital platform called NOCTEM™ COAST (Clinician Operative Assistive Sleep Technology). COAST includes a clinician portal and a patient app, and it utilizes algorithms that facilitate detection of sleep disordered patterns, supports clinical decision making, and personalizes sleep interventions. The overall magnitude of improvements in insomnia among patients who use the NOCTEM app with their provider was also examined. Our staff are currently drafting the transition plan with the designated Office of Primary Responsibility for sustainment activities and technical transition, as well as communication materials in preparation for the introduction of the technology to both military health providers and patients.
Our evidence based solutions in support of FAP also required secondary prevention curriculum and supplemental materials. The goal of this project was to identify these new, evidence-based products and distribute them to USAF MH professionals in the field. Knowesis staff identified MH products that were produced in the last five years and examined them to determine which were evidence-based. These were then cross-referenced with products distributed in the past to develop a new materials list. This list was vetted with MH professionals from AFMRA using predetermined selection criteria. Selected curricula and supplementary secondary prevention tools were ordered and shipped to nearly 100 USAF MH providers worldwide.
Knowesis also used dissemination and implementation strategies to create, distribute, and implement a home visitation guide for the USAF New Parent Support Program-Enhanced (NPSP-E), and to develop and implement computer/web-based clinical decision support tools such as the USAF embedded MH provider decision toolkit and the USAF mental health onboarding toolkit. Knowesis further implemented leadership-approved evidence-based public health education and secondary prevention tools to over 100 USAF clinicians, and in coordination with Defense Health Agency Education and Training (J-7), delivered online evidence based behavioral health training to over 300 mental health professionals resulting in continuing education units (CEU)s at no additional cost to the client.
U.S. Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, Mental Health Resilience
The scope of this effort is execution of the Fiscal Year 2020 Air Force Medical Readiness Agency (AFMRA) Mental Health Division’s Mental Health Resilience Program Evaluation and Enhancement (MHRP E&E). The AFMRA Mental Health Division provides consultation for Mental Health (MH), Family Advocacy Program (FAP), and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) programs. The AFMRA Mental Health Division’s Policy and Program Evaluation Branch optimizes these programs’ effectiveness by evaluating practices through Quality Assurance (QA) and research projects, conducting pilot studies aimed at improving outcomes, and translating results to inform policy through the MHRP E&E mission.