Alex T. Ramsey, Ph.D.

I am an organizational psychologist with research interest in the implementation of effective treatments for substance use disorders in clinical and community settings. With this organizational change perspective, my research has focused on the use of technology (mHealth tools, clinical decision supports) to facilitate the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. I aim to extend this research agenda into the field of genomics, applying implementation science approaches to integrate genomic discoveries for substance use disorders into clinical care and community settings. I am a Faculty Scholar in the Washington University Institute for Public Health and an active member of the Implementation Working Group of the Genomics and Population Health Action Collaborative, an important initiative of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Phone: 314-362-5370




My specific research areas include:

  1. Implementation science: The science of implementation aims to ensure that the highest quality care is delivered within healthcare systems. My goal is to accelerate the process by which the most promising innovations, including genomics-informed care, are incorporated into practice.
  2. Technology: From mobile devices to electronic health record systems, technology is increasingly integral to optimizing care. My research focuses on the appropriate integration of technology-based tools into the larger healthcare system.
  3. Behavioral health services: Behavioral health care takes place within complex service systems. Using my background in organizational psychology, my aim is to facilitate change and improve care in substance use disorder service organizations.
Recent findings:

Clinicians and supervisors are often misaligned in their reports of supervision practices, which predicted lower satisfaction with supervision and less frequent discussion of providing high quality care. Clinicians and supervisors favorably rated a proposed concept of a clinical dashboard which may help provide structure to supervision, orient the discussion to the client, and align perceptions of supervision practices.

Ramsey, A. T., Baumann, A., Patterson, D., Yan, Y., Cooper, B., & Proctor, E. (2017). The need for data-informed clinical supervision in substance use disorder treatment. Journal of Addictive Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2017.1291051

Barriers to the implementation of technology-based interventions are unique from those for traditional evidence-based interventions. However, by employing conceptually-grounded implementation strategies, the use of mHealth apps for substance use recovery support is feasible in community-based behavior health service settings.

Ramsey, A., Lord, S., Torrey, J., Marsch, L., & Lardiere, M. (2016). Paving the way to successful implementation: Identifying key barriers to use of technology-based therapeutic tools for behavioral health care. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 43(1), 54-70.

Lord, S., Moore, S. K., Ramsey, A., Dinauer, S., & Johnson, K. (2016). Implementation of a substance use recovery support mobile phone app in community settings: Qualitative study of clinician and staff perspectives of facilitators and barriers. JMIR Mental Health, 3(2).


Our active projects include:

Reducing Disparities in Hospital Prescribing of Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy

To address identified disparities in hospital-based smoking cessation medication prescribing practices, this study aims to identify potential leverage points and trial sustainable strategies for equitable prescribing of smoking cessation medications.

Pre-Implementation of Genomic Innovations in Substance Use Disorder Treatment

The overall goal of this project is to conduct early-stage implementation research to (1) establish the feasibility of returning genomic results to patients and providers in clinical and community settings and (2) pilot test novel implementation strategies for integrating genomics of smoking cessation treatment in clinical care.


Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Reducing Disparities in Hospital Prescribing of Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy
My Role: Principal Investigator

Center for Dissemination and Implementation, Washington University Institute for Public Health
Unpacking Successful Implementation of Electronic Screening and Brief Intervention
My Role: Principal Investigator

Washington University Career Development Program in Drug Abuse and Addiction
My Role: K12 Scholar

PCORI / TRD-1511-33321
Optimizing Outcomes in Treatment-Resistant Depression in Older Adults
My Role: Collaborator