Amy Drahota vita

Assistant Professor

PhD, Psychological Studies, University of California Los Angeles, 2008
MA, Pre-Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University, 2003
BA, Psychology, Gonzaga University, 1998

Research Statement

Accessing Community Treatments: Services and Implementation Research Laboratory (ACT Lab)

My Guiding Research Philosophy

"I believe effective intervention should be accessible to all individuals in need of them within their own communities. The ACT Lab strives to make this a reality."

** PLEASE NOTE: I am accepting applications for a clinical psychology doctoral student this 2019-2020 application cycle **

Research Focus

Dr. Amy Drahota runs the Accessing Community Treatments Lab (ACT Lab) through the Clinical Psychology and Ecological-Community Psychology special interest groups. The ACT Lab conducts research to reduce the research-to-practice gap that is experienced by individuals who are in need of mental, behavioral, and physical health services.

This applied research is accomplished by building up community agencies that provide services to individuals with mental and behavioral health needs, improving access to care, and developing interventions and service systems to meet needs through collaboration with researchers, practitioners and community stakeholders.

Current ACT Lab research projects focus on: 

  • Mental and behavioral health services research
  • Dissemination and implementation science research
  • Community-academic partnerships and the research of CAPs

Populations of interest for the ACT Lab:

  • Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Under-served communities 
  • Communities of color
  • Rural populations

Specific products being developed and studied in the ACT Lab:

  • Autism Community Toolkit: Systems to Measure and Adopt Research-Based Treatment (ACT SMART Toolkit). The ACT SMART Toolkit is an evidence-informed, comprehensive implementation strategy designed to assist ASD community-based agencies successfully implement evidence-based practices. ACT SMART consists of four phases that systematically guide agency leaders and implementation teams in meeting goals that lead to successful decisions about choosing and implementing new treatments. Funded by NIMH K01 MH093477.
  • Usual Care for Autism Survey (UCAS). Dr. Drahota is a consortium partner working to better understand the intervention practices used in usual care settings providing services to youth with ASD. This multi-site collaboration is evaluating services across 6 sites in the US and will inform the dissemination and current implementation of evidence-based practices for ASD. Funded through collaborative partners cost sharing agreements.
  • Dissemination and Implementation Science Core (DISC). Dr. Drahota is the Principal Investigator for the DISC, a support Core for the NIMHD-funded center: Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions. The DISC aims to embed D&I research aims within the FCHES research projects focused on reducing cardiovascular disease risk and reducing substance use and abuse within under-served communities, such as Flint, Michigan. This work involves both consulting with research project PIs as well as evaluating the overall Center in its goal to build community capacity and collaboration. Funded by NIMHD U54 MD011227. 
  • Connections: A Pilot Investigation of an Early Childhood Transition Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This project is funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and is a collaboration between Dr. Drahota and Dr. Joshua Plavnick or the MSU College of Education. The Connections project will pilot test the measures of feasibility, acceptability, utility, and cost for a structured program supporting the transition of young children with ASD from early intensive behavioral intervention into the public school system. 

Clinical and Teaching Focus

Dr. Drahota’s ACT Lab strives to develop knowledge and skills, confidence, independence, and productivity of undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows in the lab by supporting individualized growth. Students and fellows are encouraged to develop independent projects and interests that will provide career development opportunities.

Current Projects

The Flint Center for Health Equity SolutionsNIMHD U54 MD011227, Center PI: Furr-Holden, D&I Core PI: Drahota

Developing the Autism Model of Implementation for ASD Community Providers, NIMH K01 MH093477, PI: Drahota

Usual Care for ASD Survey, Unfunded, PI: Lerner; Co-I: Drahota

University Autism Spectrum Disorder Project, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, PI: Gage; Co-I: Drahota

Connections: A Pilot Investigation of an Early Childhood Transition Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, BCBSMF, Co-PIs: Drahota & Plavnick

If you are interested in learning more about independent study and undergraduate research internships within the ACT Lab, please contact Carl Thomas at thomasc4@msu.edu.

Related Programs

Selected Publications

  • Wainer, A., Drahota, A., Chacko, A., Cohn, E., Kerns, C., Lerner, M.D., Marro, B., Moskowitz, L., & Soorya, L.
    Understanding the landscape of psychological intervention practices for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in youth with ASD: A study protocol.
    2017, Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 10:178-197
  • Drahota, A., *Meza, R., *Brikho, B., *Naaf, M., *Estabillo, J., Gomez, E., "Vejnoska, S., Dufek, S., Stahmer, A.C., & Aarons, G.A.
    Community-Academic Partnerships: A systematic review of the state of the literature and recommendations for future research.
    2016, Milbank Quarterly, 94:163-214
  • Drahota, A., Chlebowski, C., Stadnick, N., Baker-Ericzen, M.J., & Brookman-Frazee, L. (in press).
    The dissemination and implementation of psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with ASD and comorbid anxiety.
    2016, Evidence Based Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Drahota, A., Stadnick, N., & Brookman-Frazee, L.
    Therapist perspectives on training in a package of evidence-based practice strategies for children with autism spectrum disorders served in community mental health clinics
    2014, Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Research, 41:114-125
  • Drahota, A., Aarons, G.A., & Stahmer, A.C.
    Developing the autism model of implementation for autism spectrum disorder community providers: A study protocol
    2012, Implementation Science, 7:85
  • Brookman-Frazee, L., Drahota, A., Stadnick, N., & Palinkas, L.
    Therapist perspectives on community mental health services for children with autism spectrum disorders
    2012, Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 39:365-373
  • more publications