Professor, Primary Care Research Institute
I am a medical anthropologist with expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research focusing on people with substance use disorder (SUD), mental illness, and chronic disease. I specialize in the human factors and processes involved with implementing interventions that translate research into practice.
Throughout my career, my community-based research has promoted the growth and sustainability of academic-community partnerships and initiatives to improve public health. I am currently lead evaluator/research PI on several funded public health initiatives that address the opioid epidemic. These include: the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)-funded Buffalo Treatment Court (BTC) Opioid Intervention Program (“Opioid Court”); an Office of Women’s Health-funded initiative to implement universal screening, brief intervention and referral for treatment (SBIRT) in community-based OB/GYN practices; and a BJA-funded Opioid Overdose Outreach Enhancement Program to improve first response to opioid overdose and linkage to treatment. In these projects I work closely with the Erie County Department of Health and the New York State Eighth Judicial District. I recently received a local grant to conduct a qualitative depth interview study of people who have overdosed one or more times on opioids and been revived with naloxone. Results will inform interventions to address barriers to treatment engagement for opioid use disorder. I am an energetic teacher and strive to encourage novice researchers, especially medical students and clinical faculty who have little or no research experience. Students and faculty who work with me are trained in all facets of research design, data collection, and dissemination.
I am also Director/Principal Investigator of a T32 Fellowship Training Program. Our NRSA T32 program, one of 20 in the United States, trains Primary Care Research Fellows in implementation science: how evidence-based practices, strategies, and interventions can be deployed in everyday, “real-world” settings. Our Fellows develop the research methods and competency skills to design and conduct pragmatic clinical trials, meta-analyses, and projects involving community/practice engagement. They actively submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals, pilot research grant proposals; and work closely with nationally-recognized mentors on novel research projects. Through our NRSA training program we are developing the next generation of implementation scientists who will make a significant impact on the nation’s primary care research agenda.