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VCBH Annual Conference
Oct. 5-6, 2017
Burlington Hilton Hotel

Honors & Awards

Recent accolades and commendations. 

John Hughes, M.D., has been named to the inaugural class of SRNT fellows, conferred in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field.

Philip Ades, M.D., was invested as the inaugural Philip Ades, M.D. Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention on December 16, 2016. 

Sarah Heil, Ph.D., earned the “Mid-Career Investigator Award” at the inaugural Dean’s Excellence in Research event for The Larner College of Medicine.

Ivori Zvorsky, predoctoral fellow, won the Outstanding Student Poster Award at the ABCT Conference.

Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., was elected into the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.


A sampling of recent papers. 

An article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings by lead author Philip Ades, M.D., associate director of the VCBH, identifies ways to increase cardiac participation rates from 30 percent to at least 70 percent among eligible patients, which could save 25,000 lives and reduce hospitalizations by 180,000 annually. 

The Lancet published a letter by VCBH Investigator Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., also the Director of the Chittenden Clinic opioid treatment program, about her project to promote healthy eating among methodone- and buprenorphine-maintained patients. Sigmon collaborated with a local farm to establish a farmstand in the clinic's waiting room. 

Recent research done by Andrea Villanti, Ph.D., new faculty with the VCBH, was published in Tobacco Control. "Changes in the prevalence and correlates of menthol cigarette use in the USA, 2004–2014," reports that more young adult smokers reported favoring menthol cigarettes over non-menthol.

VCBH Director Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., published "Some Recent Developments on Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation Among Pregnant and Newly Postpartum Women," with UVM research colleague Laura Solomon, in Current Addiction Reports

Direct link to the VCBH special issues of Preventive Medicine

VCBH Research News

Higgins Earns 2017 Mentorship Excellence Award from College on Problems of Drug Dependence

HigginsVCBH Director Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., has earned the 2017 Mentorship Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. He will be honored with the organization's other "Awards of Excellence" winners at the CPDD Annual Conference in June. The committee commended Higgins for "the impressive caliber of scientists" he's trained over the years as well as the "admiration and respect that were expressed" for him. The committee also noted that Higgins perfectly embodies the ideals captured in the CPDD Mentorship Award. 

Gaalema Gives Keynote Address at AHA "Go Red for Women" Luncheon


Diann Gaalema, Ph.D., VCBH researcher and UVM assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology, gave the keynote address at the American Heart Association’s 10th annual Vermont Go Red For Women Luncheon on Jan. 26, 2017. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Gaalema spoke on "Behavior Change after Major Cardiac Events: Struggles and Strategies.”

VCBH's Special Journal Issue on Chronic Health Challenges

PM CoverAs health care systems in the United States and other industrialized countries adapt to accommodate the negative impact of cigarette smoking, other substance abuse and obesity, science is turning to personal behavior change for solutions. To share the latest research in effectively managing these problems, Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., UVM professor of psychiatry and VCBH director, collaborated with experts on a third annual special issue of the journal Preventive Medicine. 

Former VCBH Postdoc's Paper on "Encouraging Breastfeeding with Cash Incentives" Published in Pediatrics, Picked up by Reuters Health 

Washio_Yukiko-2016-06-1d0gz7c-e1455895813425-150x145A study on "Incentive-based Intervention to Maintain Breastfeeding Among Low-income Puerto Rican Mothers," by former VCBH posdoc Yukiko Washio, Ph.D., (now the Director of Implementation and Clinical Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Delaware), found that cash incentives significantly increased breastfeeding through 6-month postpartum among WIC-enrolled Puerto Rican mothers. Pediatrics published Washio's paper, co-authored by VCBH Director Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., in the February 2017 issue. Reuters Health featured Washio's results in an article entitled, "Cash May Get More Mothers to Breastfeed Babies," on Feb. 6. 

New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Sigmon's Study on Interim Buprenorphine Treatment for Waitlisted Opioid-Dependent Adults

Sigmon_420x2801In many areas of the country, opioid-dependent adults desperate for treatment often find themselves stuck on a wait list, sometimes for months, increasing their risk of continued illicit opioid use, infectious disease, overdose and premature death. A full 96 percent of states in the United States have opioid dependence rates that exceed medication-assisted treatment availability. Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., an addiction research expert with the VCBH, recently completed a NIDA-funded randomized clinical trial to test a novel “Interim Buprenorphine Treatment” (IBT) regimen for waitlisted opioid-dependent adults. That study demonstrated the initial feasibility and efficacy of IBT in reducing illicit opioid use and related risk behaviors during treatment delays.  The results debuted in the New England Journal of Medicine on December 22, 2016 and appeared in newspapers across the United States thanks to media coverage by the chief medical writer at the Associated Press. NEJM metrics show that nearly 20,000 readers have reviewed Sigmon's study.