Dr. Kilbourne is Director of the VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) and Professor of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. With over 40 centers across the U.S., the mission of QUERI is to improve Veteran health by accelerating the implementation of research findings into real-world practice. As QUERI Director, Dr. Kilbourne leads the Research to Real-World (R2R) Impact Initiative for the VA Office of Research and Development, which facilitates translation of innovations to real-world practices using implementation science and Learning Health System methods.
Dr. Kilbourne’s research goal is to improve population health by testing implementation strategies to facilitate the spread of effective practices in real-world treatment settings. She developed the Enhanced Replicating Effective Programs (E-REP) framework and conducted the first national sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) to assess the added value of more versus less intensive implementation strategies.
As the Associate Chair for Research, University of Michigan Learning Health Sciences Dr. Kilbourne has implemented innovative models of care for bipolar and other mood disorders, especially in underserved communities. This work is now informing the next generation of evidence-based care implementation through Learning Health Systems (LHSs). Learning Health Systems help patients, providers and health systems improve outcomes through formation of a learning community that generates comprehensive data to inform knowledge, and taking that knowledge to implement care improvements, ultimately informing ongoing inquiry and discovery that moves the needle on high-quality, equitable, patient-centered care. Dr. Kilbourne's Life Goals Collaborative Care (LGCC) model aligns care management with self-management and clinical decision support to inform a LHS and was shown in several randomized trials to improve physical and mental health outcomes in persons with mood disorders
Dr. Kilbourne has been widely recognized for her development of integrated treatment models for depression and bipolar disorders (Life Goals), cardiovascular risk reduction in mood disorders, measurement-based care, healthcare analytics, and health policy. Her research has led to several national improvement initiatives and policies across large healthcare systems, including a VA national population management program for persons with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders, a health disparities research roadmap, and a psychosocial intervention toolkit to improve physical and behavioral health outcomes for persons with mood disorders.
Dr. Kilbourne is the recipient of several awards including the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the Gerald L. Klerman Research Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). Dr. Kilbourne also serves on several national committees, including the AcademyHealth Learning Health System Workgroup and patient-centered outcomes research, the National Institute of Mental Health National Advisory Council, and is a Senior Fellow with the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C.