LauraEllen Ashcraft, PhD, MSW



LauraEllen Ashcraft, PhD, MSW

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Ashcraft joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in January 2024. She completed a PhD in Social Work (2021) with a focus on implementation science in chronic pain management in primary care settings and a Master of Social Work (2013) with concentrations in community organizing and social administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Her interest and expertise in implementation science began during her time at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Critical Care Medicine, where she observed the need for better dissemination and implementation of research findings into practice. During her doctoral program, she established an implementation science program of research which resulted in the publication of two highly cited systemic reviews – on parent empowerment in pediatric healthcare settings and effective dissemination strategies to U.S. policymakers. Dr. Ashcraft is the co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Dissemination and Implementation Science Collaborative (Pitt DISC) which is currently comprised of more than 150 researchers in Pittsburgh and beyond. 

Her current research is funded through the NIH (NICHD, NHLBI, NCATS), US Department of Veterans Affairs (HSR&D, QUERI), and the Penn Medicine health system. She serves a Co-Investigator on the AMETHIST@Penn grant is currently working on Type I, II, and III implementation hybrid effectiveness trials. Dr. Ashcraft has published several impactful peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals, including Annual Review of Public Health, Implementation Science, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, and Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 

Content Area Specialties

Implementation science, methodology, theory

Methodology Specialties

Mixed methods, rapid qualitative analysis, hybrid effectiveness trials

About Us

To understand health and disease today, we need new thinking and novel science —the kind  we create when multiple disciplines work together from the ground up. That is why this department has put forward a bold vision in population-health science: a single academic home for biostatistics, epidemiology and informatics. 

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