The University of Vermont will be home to one of three new national Centers of Excellence established as part of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, with funding secured by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. On August 8, 2019, UVM President Suresh Garimella joined Senator Leahy for a press conference announcing the university’s receipt of a three-year, $6.7 million grant to establish the University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction (CRA).
Led by Vermont Center on Behavior and Health researcher and Associate Professor of Psychiatry Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D.
, the UVM Center on Rural Addiction will serve as a resource for scientific and technical assistance, and will provide information and training to clinicians, programs, and policymakers seeking guidance on how to address substance use disorder challenges in their rural communities. During its initial three years, the center will focus on disseminating evidence-based practices to rural counties in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, relying on partnerships with collaborators throughout New England.
"We will work to identify, translate, disseminate, and implement science-based practices to address the rural opioid use disorder epidemic, as well as future substance use disorder epidemics as they emerge in our rural communities,” said Sigmon.
Sigmon will serve as the center’s director, while Professor of Psychiatry Sarah Heil, Ph.D.
, will serve as the center’s associate director. Vermont Center on Behavior and Health Director and Professor of Psychiatry Stephen Higgins, M.S., Ph.D.
, Professor Richard Rawson, Ph.D.
, Associate Professors Andrea Villanti, Ph.D., M.P.H.
, Valerie Harder, Ph.D.
, and Diann Gaalema, Ph.D.
, and Assistant Professors Allison Kurti, Ph.D., M.S.
, and Kelly Peck, Ph.D.
, will serve as UVM CRA core directors and faculty. Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Marjorie Meyer, M.D.
, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Sanchit Maruti, M.D.
, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry John Brooklyn, M.D.
, will lead the UVM CRA Physician Advisory Group and serve as critical clinical expert liaisons between the center and community providers. Noelle Sevoian, M.S.
, Marissa Palmer, M.P.H.
, and Susan Enos
will provide fiscal, communications and administrative support.