In the largest grant ever awarded to the University of Kentucky, researchers from UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) and across campus — in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (JPSC) — will lead a project as part of the HEALing Communities study. The award was announced in April 2019 by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar at a press conference in Washington DC.
The four-year, more than $87 million, study has an ambitious and profoundly important goal: reducing opioid overdose deaths by 40 percent in 16 counties that represent more than a third of Kentucky’s population.
The study is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, a bold, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid crisis.
Dr. Sharon Walsh, CDAR director, is the principal investigator of the Kentucky study and will lead a team of more than 200 researchers, staff and state and community partners involved in the project. Four of the co-investigators are faculty members in the University of Kentuck College of Public Health: Dr. April Young, assistant professor of epidemiology and faculty associate with CDAR; Dr. Heather Bush, professor and chair of biostatistics; Dr. Philip Westgate, associate professor of biostatistics, and Dr. Svetla Slavova, associate professor of biostatistics.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on May 24