Cara C. Lewis, PhD


“My research seeks to develop new, pragmatic, and rigorous measures and methods for supporting the implementation and evaluation of new clinical programs.”

Cara C. Lewis, PhD

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Twitter: @CaraCLewis


Cara C. Lewis, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Beck Scholar recognized by the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is interested in developing strategies to improve the integration of evidence-based practices, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, into real-world settings, such as community mental health centers.

Dr. Lewis is an international leader in implementation science, serving as past president of the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC). In 2020, SIRC and Sage Publications launched a new journal, Implementation Research and Practice, with Dr. Lewis serving as co-founding editor-in-chief. In 2021, she was recognized as one of the world’s top 25 researchers publishing in the journal Implementation Science. She has also served as expert faculty for the Implementation Research Institute, scientific advisory board member for AcademyHealth’s 10th Annual Conference on Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health, panelist for the National Institutes of Health implementation science study section, and adviser to 2 national implementation science centers (Ireland and Australia). She has been recognized by 3 of psychology’s largest associations for her early career accomplishments:

  • A Rising Star of the Association for Psychological Science
  • Theodore Blau Early Career Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology for the American Psychological Association
  • President’s New Research Award for the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy

Dr. Lewis’ research is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). She recently completed 2 NIMH-funded R01s as the principal investigator (PI). One was a multi-site implementation trial with the goal of comparing the effectiveness of standardized versus tailored approaches to implementing measurement-based care for depression. The other had the goal to advance implementation science by developing and evaluating measures as well as a pragmatic and psychometric evidence rating scale.  Her newest R01 from NCI is also focused on developing and disseminating methods and measures to advance the science and practice of implementation with an emphasis on implementation strategy mechanisms.

She is also PI of 2 implementation science centers (one from NCI and the other from NIMH). These centers seek to optimize evidence-based practice implementation by developing, testing, refining, and disseminating new methods that leverage Agile Science.

In 2021, Dr. Lewis became co-director of SONNET: the Social Needs Network for Evaluation and Translation, funded by Kaiser Permanente's National Office of Community Health, which aims to address the social risks and needs of Kaiser Permanente members. She recently completed a national representative survey of Kaiser Permanente members to understand their social risks and needs and their perceptions of the role of the health system in addressing these needs. In addition, she co-leads social health projects and provides implementation science expertise within KPWHRI’s Center for Accelerating Care Transformation.

She is also PI of an AHRQ-funded R13 conference grant bringing together a Mechanisms Network of Expertise to develop and disseminate an implementation research agenda for streamlining and increasing the impact of strategies to integrate evidence-based programs into routine care.

Dr. Lewis is an affiliate associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Small DM, Simons AD, Yovanoff P, Silva SG, Lewis CC, Murakami JL, March J. Depressed adolescents and comorbid psychiatric disorders: are there differences in the presentation of depression? J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2008 Oct;36(7):1015-28. doi: 10.1007/s10802-008-9237-5. Epub 2008 May 29. PubMed

Simons AD, Marti N, Rohde P, Lewis CC, Curry J, March J. Does homework "matter" in CBT for adolescent depression? J Cognitive Psychotherapy, 26 (4), 390-404.

Lyon AR, Lewis CC. Designing health information technologies for uptake: development and implementation of measurement feedback systems in mental health service delivery : introduction to the special section. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2016 May;43(3):344-9. doi: 10.1007/s10488-015-0704-3. PubMed

Lewis CC, Stanick C, Lyon AR, Darnell D, Locke J, Puspitasari A, Marriott B, Dorsey CN, Jackson C, Thayer J, Walsh-Bailey C, Dorsey S, Landes SJ. Proceedings of the 4th biennial conference of the society for implementation research collaboration (SIRC) 2017: implementation mechanisms: what makes implementation work and why? part 1. Implement Sci. 2018 13 (Suppl 3):39 .

Lewis CC, Stanick C, Lyon AR, Darnell D, Locke J, Puspitasari A, Marriott B, Dorsey CN, Jackson C, Thayer J, Walsh-Bailey C, Dorsey S, Landes SJ. Proceedings of the 4th biennial conference of the society for implementation research collaboration (SIRC) 2017: implementation mechanisms: what makes implementation work and why? part 2. 

Lewis CC, Mettert KD, Dorsey CN, Weiner BJ. Measures and outcomes in implementation science. In: Chamber DA, Vinson CA, Norton WE, editors. Advancing the science of implementation across the cancer continuum. Oxford University Press.2018.




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Cara Lewis, PhD, co-leads a new center to support using evidence-based practices in under-resourced settings such as schools.

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Kayne Mettert reflects on lived experience — and his drive to reduce stigma around mental health disorders.



KPWHRI to lead network to address social needs

Katie Coleman and Cara Lewis will co-direct a national network that supports work to address members’ social health.



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