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

Monthly Lecture Series

"Mammography Screening Utilization in Vermont and Beyond: Long-Term Trends and COVID-19 Impacts"
Brian Sprague, PhD
February 15, 2023
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

"Exercise in Acute Care Patient Populations: Hard to Do but Worth the Effort"
Michael Toth, PhD
March 15, 2023
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

"Health Literary in Cardiovascular Rehab: Bridging Gaps for Better Health Outcomes"
Paul Oh, PhD
April 19, 2023
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

"Changing the Default: Moving to an Opt Out Approach for Treating Tobacco Use Disorders"
Kimber Richer, PhD
May 17, 2023
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

View videos and slides from our FY23 series
on our FY23 Archives Page.

 

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction

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VCBH Career Opportunities

Check back soon for openings.


VCBH has multiple postdoctoral openings with Dr. Sarah Heil.

Visit our Career Opportunities page to learn more about open positions and how to apply.

 

VCBH News

Contingency Management and Addiction Recovery

September 8, 2022 by Nicole Twohig

On September 7, 2022, AP News published "Candy, cash, gifts: How rewards help recovery from addiction," an inside look at how contingency management (CM), an evidence-based therapy rooted in behavioral economics that provides incentives or rewards for a desired behavior, is gaining support across the country and with the federal government. VCBH Director Stephen Higgins contributed to the story.
On September 7, 2022, AP News published "Candy, cash, gifts: How rewards help recovery from addiction," an inside look at how contingency management (CM), an evidence-based therapy rooted in behavioral economics that provides incentives or rewards for a desired behavior, is gaining support across the country and with the federal government. Written by journalist Carla K. Johnson, the piece explores why there is a greater need than ever to turn to solutions such as contingency management to help address the rising number of overdoses and those struggling with substance use disorder. Although there are medications that can assist those with opioid use disorder, nothing exists to help those who are addicted to stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines. The only known and research-based solutions for those using stimulants is contingency management. Today, more people suffer from fatal overdoses with multiple drugs in their systems, including stimulants.

Johnson explores the use of CM with people in recovery in states from Washington to Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. She spoke with VCBH Director and CM pioneer Stephen Higgins, PhD as well as other CM leaders including Sara Becker, PhD, Carla Rash, PhD, and Dominick DePhilippis of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs substance use disorders program, which has been using CM since 2011.

Watch the video