Cara C. Lewis, PhD

“My research seeks to identify how community mental health care providers can optimize client outcomes by leveraging data and the best available evidence.”

Cara C. Lewis, PhD

Associate Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Dr. Cara C. Lewis is a licensed clinical psychologist and Beck Scholar recognized by the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is particularly interested in identifying strategies to improve community mental and behavioral healthcare through the integration of evidence-based practices and measurement feedback systems.

Dr. Lewis is an international leader in implementation science, serving as President of the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration and faculty of the Implementation Research Institute. She was recruited to NIH’s Early Career Reviewer Program where she served on the Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health study section and she was recently recognized by two of psychology’s largest associations for her early career accomplishments: a Rising Star of the Association for Psychological Science and Theodore Blau Early Career Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology for the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Lewis’ research is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She is PI of a multi-site implementation trial in collaboration with Centerstone, the nation’s largest not-for-profit behavioral health service provider. The goal of this trial is to compare the effectiveness of standardized versus tailored approaches to implementing measurement based care for depression. Measurement based care is an evidence-based practice that can be incorporated into psychotherapy, but is underutilized in community settings and may serve as the MINC—minimal intervention needed for change.

Dr. Lewis is PI of a second R01 in which she seeks to advance implementation science through measure development and evaluation. In this study her team is developing new measures of implementation outcomes in hopes of revealing tools that are psychometrically strong and pragmatic. This work will also contribute a repository of quantitative measures for scientists and practitioners to access and integrate into their implementation efforts.

Dr. Lewis is an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington. She is also an assistant professor at Indiana University where she leads the Training Research and Implementation in Psychology (TRIP) lab. In collaboration with her students in the TRIP lab, she is exploring mechanisms of change in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression and the implementation of CBT into youth residential settings. 

Research interests and experience

  • Implementation Science

    Measures and methodologies; tailored approaches; measurement based care; health information technologies; cluster randomized trials; systematic reviews

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Mechanisms of change; adolescent and adult depression; predictors, moderators and mediators of outcome; therapy knowledge and competence; training; supervision

  • Clinical Decision Making

    Clinical judgments; cognitive processes; case conceptualization; hypothesis testing; measurement feedback systems

Recent publications

Lyon AR, Connors E, Jensen-Doss A, Landes SJ, Lewis CC, McLeod BD, Rutt C, Stanick C, Weiner BJ. Intentional research design in implementation science: implications for the use of nomothetic and idiographic assessment. Transl Behav Med. 2017 Feb 2. doi: 10.1007/s13142-017-0464-6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Scott K, Klech D, Lewis CC, Simons AD. What Did They Learn? Effects of a Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workshop on Community Therapists' Knowledge. Community Ment Health J. 2016;52(8):998-1003. Epub 2015 Apr 18. PubMed

Jensen-Doss A, Haimes EM, Smith AM, Lyon AR, Lewis CC, Stanick CF, Hawley KM. Monitoring treatment progress and providing feedback is viewed favorably but rarely used in practice. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2016 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Marriott BR, Rodriguez AL, Landes SJ, Lewis CC, Comtois KA. A methodology for enhancing implementation science proposals: comparison of face-to-face versus virtual workshops. Implement Sci. 2016 May 6;11:62. doi: 10.1186/s13012-016-0429-z. PubMed


Free Seminar

Evaluating Implementation Processes and Outcomes at GHRI and Beyond

Jan. 24, 2017 at GHRI: Dr. Cara Lewis presents "Evaluating Implementation Processes and Outcomes at GHRI and Beyond."

Visit our events page for more information.



Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain

(JAMA Network, 2:26)


healthy findings blog

Cara Lewis brings mental health implementation expertise to GHRI

Dr. Lewis joins the MacColl Center to work on making community mental health care more effective, efficient, and accessible.

Read it in Healthy Findings.