On June 21, Treatment Research Institute announced that it is one of four applicants awarded a four-year substance abuse grant from the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program by the State of Pennsylvania. The grant will fund a study that promotes integration of substance use screening and brief intervention into primary care. Lisa Bond, PhD, senior research associate at PHMC, will serve as co-principal investigator on the study and will have primary responsibility for the qualitative research activities occurring on the study. The study also includes input from experts across PHMC. They include: Elizabeth Byrne, director of mental health services at NNCC; Jacqueline Link, vice president of PHMC’s Clinical Services and Quality Management; Elaine Fox, vice president of PHMC’s Specialized Health Services; Leslie Hurtig, vice president of PHMC’s Behavioral Health Services; Frank Killian, director of Nursing Centers Network Operations for PHMC and Katie Jones, quality management and special projects coordinator for PHMC’s Behavioral Health Services.

Says Hurtig, “This grant will help PHMC to focus our efforts to integrate behavioral health services into primary care settings more specifically on the identification, referral and treatment of substance abuse using evidence based tools.” The study will empirically evaluate two procedures: screening low-income patients for substance abuse at community health centers and providing on-site brief interventions before referring those with moderate to severe substance abuse to specialty substance abuse treatment. The study measures client outcomes, cost, benefits and other factors.