Cara Lewis, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist - Kaiser Permanente Washington


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 Principal Investigator 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.

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.

Areas of Focus

  • Implementation science
  • Behavioral health - depression
  • Measurement based care
  • Social determinants of health

Current Work

I am Principal Investigator of two R01s funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The first seeks to advance implementation science through measure development and evaluation. The second is a multi-site trial comparing the effectiveness of standardized versus tailored approaches to implementing measurement based care for depression. I am also working with Wolverine Human Services to develop a tailored approach for implementing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in for youth in residential treatment settings.

More recently, I've increased my focus on the impact of social, economic, and behavioral factors on patients’ health and ability to access healthcare. As part of my role as KPWHRI site PI for SONNET, I am leading a survey of member needs across Kaiser Permanente regions. I am also PI of a systematic review of screening tools that assess social determinants of health, and I'm evaluating the state-wide implementation of a community resource specialist in KPWA clinics.