Associate professors Dr. Kathryn McCollister and Dr. Daniel Feaster will participate in the HEALing Communities Study, one of the four areas within the Helping End Addiction Long-term (HEAL), an initiative taking place to halt the national opioid public health crisis. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study selected four proposals from universities in Kentucky, New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio, four states that have been greatly affected by the opioid crisis. The goal within each proposal is to implement and evaluate evidence-based practices targeting opioid overdose fatalities and to reduce those fatalities in each of the four states.
“The goal is to reduce the fatalities by 40 percent in these states in three years,” Dr. McCollister said. “There is a special focus on creating an integrated system approach, such as by integrating healthcare, public health, criminal justice, education, social services.”
The academic leaders in the states are University of Kentucky, Columbia University, Boston Medical Center, and Ohio State University. Drs. McCollister and Feaster, who are both from the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, will each have roles at two of the four sites. Dr. McCollister will be the lead economist on the University of Kentucky study, as well as co-investigator on the Data Coordinating Center, and Feaster will be one of the principle investigators on Columbia’s study.
“We are all feeling that this work will significantly change the field of public health as it relates broadly to behavioral health and specifically to the opioid crisis,” Dr. McCollister said.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 21