Applying the Policy Ecology Framework to Philadelphia’s Behavioral Health Transformation Efforts

  • Byron J. PowellEmail author
  • Rinad S. Beidas
  • Ronnie M. Rubin
  • Rebecca E. Stewart
  • Courtney Benjamin Wolk
  • Samantha L. Matlin
  • Shawna Weaver
  • Matthew O. Hurford
  • Arthur C. Evans
  • Trevor R. Hadley
  • David S. Mandell
Original Paper


Raghavan et al. (Implement Sci 3(26):1–9, 2008) proposed that effective implementation of evidence-based practices requires implementation strategies deployed at multiple levels of the “policy ecology,” including the organizational, regulatory or purchaser agency, political, and social levels. However, much of implementation research and practice targets providers without accounting for contextual factors that may influence provider behavior. This paper examines Philadelphia’s efforts to work toward an evidence-based and recovery-oriented behavioral health system, and uses the policy ecology framework to illustrate how multifaceted, multilevel implementation strategies can facilitate the widespread implementation of evidence-based practices. Ongoing challenges and implications for research and practice are discussed.


Behavioral health systems Implementation strategies Policy Evidence-based practices 



This work was supported in part by Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services through a fellowship to BJP, and by the National Institutes of Mental Health through a contract to BJP through the Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program, and grants to RSB (K23MH099179); RES (F32MH103960); CBW (F32MH103955); and DSM (R01MH106175).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byron J. Powell
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rinad S. Beidas
    • 2
  • Ronnie M. Rubin
    • 3
  • Rebecca E. Stewart
    • 2
  • Courtney Benjamin Wolk
    • 2
  • Samantha L. Matlin
    • 4
  • Shawna Weaver
    • 3
  • Matthew O. Hurford
    • 5
  • Arthur C. Evans
    • 3
  • Trevor R. Hadley
    • 2
  • David S. Mandell
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services ResearchUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility ServicesPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health FoundationPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Community Care Behavioral Health OrganizationPhiladelphiaUSA

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