University of British Columbia Professor, Heather McKay, told a Sydney Health Partners and University of Sydney seminar that researchers must repeatedly tell the story of their research and how it can be implemented.

"As researchers, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that we're not advocates for the outcomes that we're trying to generate. But we are, and we have to be,” she said.

“I have met with several Health Ministers in the last two decades, and all I'm doing is telling a story.”

“I show them that we have solutions, and that they can be partners in that solution.”

Professor McKay was speaking at the Moving people, moving research seminar about her experiences with the design, implementation, scale-up, and evaluation of the Choose to Move program, which she said had enhanced physical activity and mobility, and decreased social isolation and loneliness, in over 30,000 older adults in British Columbia.

L-R: Chair of the event A/Prof Leanne Hassett with speakers Prof Heather McKay and Dr Karen Lee, and A/Prof Melody Ding, chair of the Q&A session.

The event also featured a presentation by the Implementation and Scale Up Postdoctoral Fellow at the Prevention Research Collaboration, Dr Karen Lee.

Dr Lee gave insights into current trends in physical activity research and highlighted the need for more implementation and scale-up research to translate effective interventions to impact population-level health.

The seminar at the University of Sydney’ Susan Wakil Health Building attracted over 80 clinicians and researchers from different backgrounds.

"Events like this are so important, ," said Professor McKay, “because the solution to successfully implementing and scaling-up community health interventions lies in interdisciplinary groups and stakeholders from other sectors coming together. That's how problems are solved.”

“I just think it's about continuing these conversations and helping people understand why the implementation and scale-up of health interventions are so important."

Missed the event? You can view a recording of the presentations on our Implementation Science website.