Welcome

The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), led by Director Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, is an interdisciplinary research center committed to investigating relationships between personal behavior patterns (i.e., lifestyle) and risk for chronic disease and premature death. Our work has historically focused on health disparities for the most vulnerable populations, particularly among the socioeconomically disadvantaged where these risk factors are overrepresented.

 

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Located in Burlington, VT at the University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine, VCBH researchers have a specific focus on understanding mechanisms underpinning risk and developing effective interventions and policies to promote healthy behavior. A common thread across VCBH research projects is the application of knowledge from the disciplines of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology to increase understanding of vulnerability to unhealthy behavior and the use of incentives and other behavioral and pharmacological interventions to support healthy behavior change interventions and policies.

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Upcoming VCBH Events

 

February Lecture Series: Erin Winstanley, PhD

Visiting Professor
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
February 21, 2024
12:00-1:00 PM
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

March Lecture Series: Cancelled

Many of the VCBH's faculty and trainees will be attending the SRNT annual meeting in Scotland at this time and will not be available for this month's lecture.

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction

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VCBH Career Opportunities

Predoctoral & Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Click here for more information.

Health Care Professional needed to work with a Principal Investigator to deliver prolonged exposure (PE) therapy via telemedicine to research participants. Click here for complete job posting.

VCBH News

Elias Klemperer, PhD Receives JCOIN Rapid Innovation Grant

December 8, 2020 by Nicole Twohig

Dr. Elias Klemperer, a VCBH Project Leader and UVM assistant professor of psychiatry, has been awarded a Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network Rapid Innovation Grant (JCOIN) (J-RIG), a mechanism that supports small research studies on newly emerging policies, practices or interventions that address prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder in justice settings. Dr. Richard Rawson, professor of psychiatry at VCBH will be a co-investigator with Dr. Klemperer on the two-year study.

Dr. Elias Klemperer, a VCBH Project Leader and UVM assistant professor of psychiatry, has been awarded a Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network Rapid Innovation Grant (JCOIN) (J-RIG), a mechanism that supports small research studies on newly emerging policies, practices or interventions that address prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder in justice settings. Dr. Richard Rawson, professor of psychiatry at VCBH will be a co-investigator with Dr. Klemperer on the two-year study.

Dr. Klemperer’s project, A Statewide Evaluation of the Implementation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Vermont Correctional Facilities and the Impact of COVID-19, will evaluate the statewide implementation of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in Vermont’s correctional facilities and its impact on treatment utilization and overdose after release. In 2018, VT signed Act 176 making it the second state to implement MOUD in correctional facilities statewide. Act 176 requires a statewide evaluation to be completed by January 2022. The JCOIN grant will allow Klemperer and his colleagues to contribute to the Act 176 evaluation and provide data-informed recommendations to Vermont’s legislature in addition to disseminating findings via peer reviewed publications and conference presentations.

Medications for opioid use disorder (buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone) are the only empirically based treatments for OUD and substantially reduce the risk of overdose and death. Initiation and use of MOUD during incarceration is especially beneficial to prevent relapse and promote engagement in treatment during the high-risk period after incarceration. Thus, MOUD for people who are incarcerated is crucial to engage people with OUD in treatment and prevent overdose and death. However, MOUDs are not available to most who are incarcerated in the United States. Efforts to provide MOUD in correctional facilities have been further complicated by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.