Grants

Andersen, T. C. (Co-PI), Foster, N. Memory care partner: Portable proactive and preventative planning application for Alzheimer’s and related disorders. National Institute on Aging (NIA), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). Award number: 2R42AG044147-02A1. Total funds: $1,488,285.06. September 2016 – May 2019.

  • Proactive Memory Services, Inc. (PAMS, Inc.), a University of Utah spinout company, has been awarded a two-year projected $1.4 million grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to refine an interactive, mobile software application. NIA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II award will enable PAMS to continue development of its tablet computer and smartphone application, Memory Care Partner, which will provide guidance to people with concerns about memory loss in a family member. The company is commercializing clinical care advances pioneered at the University of Utah’s Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research.

Butters, R. (PI). Evaluation of the Housing Support and Stability Project (HSSP). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: TI025650. Total funds: $250,532.14. September 2014 – March 2018.

  • This project was part of a 3.5 year, $1.3 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant to develop and evaluate the Housing Support and Stability Project (HSSP).The HSSP program was designed by The Road Home (TRH) to improve housing and behavioral health outcomes for persons who have been chronically homeless and have substance use disorders and who may also have mental health disorders. The program was developed to address existing gaps in services by providing substance abuse and mental health treatment to participants in TRH chronic homeless programs who have a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and are, therefore, ineligible for Medicaid. Without Medicaid, these individuals have limited access to behavioral health treatment, even when living in permanent supportive housing (where they receive ongoing case management). HSSP aimed to address this gap in services by providing treatment to residents living in permanent supportive housing placements who have been denied Medicaid, whose Medicaid spend down is prohibitive to enrollment, or whose mental health symptomology is itself a barrier to Medicaid enrollment. An evaluation was conducted by the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) to determine whether the program increased housing stability, access to mental health treatment, and quality of life.

Butters, R. (PI), & Prince, K. C. (Co-I). A randomized controlled trial of the Salt Lake County criminal justice Pay for Success (PFS) Program: REACH. Private investment banks and philanthropic organizations. Award number: 0000001404. Total funds: $725,000. January 2017 – December 2023.

  • Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative approach that leverages taxpayer risk by funding social service programs with private capital and ties payment for services to demonstrated outcomes through rigorous evaluation. Salt Lake County has partnered with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), First Step House (FSH), Sorenson Impact Center, and a variety of community stakeholders to develop a PFS project to address high recidivism rates among offender populations. The Recovery, Engagement, Assessment, Career Development, and Housing (REACH) program was designed by FSH to serve high-risk, high-need adult male probationers with moderate to severe substance abuse disorders. Specific program components include: evidence-based interventions specifically designed to address criminogenic factors that are tied to recidivism; substance use disorder treatment; employment support through job placement, education, and training; support and case management to meet individual needs through benefits enrollment, health resources, and community engagement; and housing support. UCJC was selected as the independent evaluator on this $6.3 million six-year project, and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving criminal justice and employment outcomes.

Butters, R. (PI), & Prince, K. C. (Co-I). A randomized controlled trial of the Salt Lake County homelessness Pay for Success (PFS) Program: Homes Not Jails (HNJ). Private investment banks and philanthropic organizations. Award number: 0000001404. Total funds: $611,712. January 2017 – December 2023.

  • Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative approach that leverages taxpayer risk by funding social service programs with private capital and ties payment for services to demonstrated outcomes through rigorous evaluation. Salt Lake County has partnered with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), The Road Home (TRH), Sorenson Impact Center, and a variety of community stakeholders to develop a PFS project to address homelessness within the community. Despite spending $52 million in Salt Lake County annually on the homelessness service system, there are still large numbers of persistently homeless individuals in the County. The persistently homeless are defined as those individuals who have spent between 90 and 364 days over the previous year in emergency shelters, on the streets, or otherwise tracked as being homeless. These individuals spend long periods of time in emergency shelter and are commonly booked into jail for low-level crimes related to homelessness (e.g., public intoxication, trespassing). Analysis of this population demonstrates that the persistently homeless are at clear risk of remaining homeless without support and are a strain on public resources. Despite their poor outcomes, these individuals are highly unlikely to receive the currently available services for the homeless. To directly address this population and its unique issues, the County decided to utilize a Rapid Rehousing (RRH) approach to serve persistently homeless individuals through the Housing not Jail (HNJ) program. The HNJ program, developed by The Road Home (TRH), is based on the framework of the Housing First (HF) model, and was designed to move persistently homeless individuals out of the emergency shelter and into a stable housing placement. HNJ augments the RRH and HF models by incorporating a number of evidence-based practices and comprehensive wraparound services, such as intensive case management, behavioral health group services, and referral to employment services. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) was selected as the Independent Evaluator on this $5.7 million six-year project, and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving housing stability, criminal justice, and behavioral health outcomes.

Butters, R. (PI), & Prince, K. C. (Co-I). A randomized controlled trial of the state of Utah's Pay for Success (PFS) pilot project: The ReSet program. State of Utah, Governor's Office of Management and Budget. Award number: 181917. Total funds: $140,000. October 2017 – September 2020.

  • In 2018, the state of Utah began piloting a criminal justice intervention targeting high-risk, high-need male parolees with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness. The ReSet program was developed by Odyssey House (OH) to provide integrated, comprehensive residential treatment that addresses substance use disorder, mental health, and criminogenic needs. Services are provided using a therapeutic community treatment model in a community-based residential program and specific program components include: evidence-based interventions specifically designed to address criminogenic factors that are tied to recidivism; substance use disorder treatment; employment support through job placement, education, and training; support and case management to meet individual needs through benefits enrollment, health resources, and community engagement; and housing support. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) was selected as the evaluator on this project and will be conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving criminal justice, employment, and behavioral health outcomes.

Keeshin, B., Bryne, K. (Research Coordinator). Pediatric integrated post-trauma services: An evidence based care process model for pediatric traumatic stress. SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Award number: 5U79SM080000-03. Total funds: $3,000,000. September 2016 – September 2012.

  • The purpose is to develop and disseminate clinical algorithms and tools for medical providers to detect, assess, and manage traumatic stress, facilitating timely treatment and referral and minimizing the misuse of medication. The area of trauma focus is injuries and medical problems/health care settings/integrated care. The project goals include: 1) develop an Evidence Based Care Process Model (EB-CPM) and decision support tools for pediatric traumatic stress; 2) implement and assess pediatric traumatic stress EB-CPM for frontline healthcare providers in primary care and children’s advocacy centers; and 3) provide national leadership on the use of care process models in trauma exposed children.

Castillo, J. (PI), Frost, C. J. (Co-I), Davis, M.J. (Co-I) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). A vision forward in substance abuse education: The training and development of advanced substance use disorder counselors within diverse communities and populations. Award number: 5M01HP31280-02. Total funds: $1,200,000. September 2017 – August 2021.

  • In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded the University of Utah Substance Use Disorder Treatment Training Certificate (SUDTTC) Program with a four-year grant in the amount of $1.2 million ($300,000/year). The purpose of the grant is to educate and train people to work as professional substance use disorder counselors in medically underserved areas and/or with medically underserved populations in the state of Utah. In 2017, a total of 61 SUDTTC students/trainees received scholarships, helping them to pay for their tuition in the SUDTTC Program.  

Davis, M. J. (PI). Division of Juvenile Justice Services program evaluation and improvement project. Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS). Total funds: $422,000. July 2018 – June 2023.

  • The project will continue the implementation and sustainability of a program evaluation feedback and improvement system that will allow the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS) to demonstrate the effectiveness of services and measure the impact of quality improvement initiatives.

Davis, M. J. (PI). An evaluation of grandfamilies. Utah Division of Child and Family Services. Total funds: $98,000. November 2018 – August 2019.

  • The Social Research Institute (SRI) will conduct an evaluation of the grandfamilies program to assist the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in meeting the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

Davis, M. J. (PI), & Hopkins, R. (Co-PI). Evaluation of the Utah State Youth Treatment Implementation Grant Project (UT SYT-I). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Total funds: $342,000. November 2018 – August 2019.

  • The project will create a program evaluation feedback and improvement system that will allow the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) to demonstrate the effectiveness of services and measure the impact of quality improvement initiatives.

Terry, M. B., Frost, C. J. (Co-PI), Buys, S., Colonna, S., O’Toole, K. Breast cancer family registry cohort. National Institutes of Health. Award number: 1UM1CA16492001A1UT. Total funds: $349,886. December 2017 – November 2022.

  • The goal of this six-site cancer study is to maintain a cancer data repository and to conduct studies linked to personalized genomic medicine in the context of cancer research. The researchers will also recruit women and men less than age 40 years to a research cohort study.  Additionally, the team will collect biospecimens and mammographic information about these participants.

Korniek, K., Ott, S., Frost, C. J. (Co-PI). Researching immigrants, public policy and human security—A U.S. and South Korean collaborative training program. Korea Foundation. Total funds: $75,000. January 2018 – December 2018.

  • This project will allow for collaborative research efforts for considering immigration and policy issues linked to the U.S. and South Korea.

Fukushima, A. I. (PI), Gezinski, L. (Co-I).  Violence against women community needs assessment, City and County of San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. University of Utah. Award number: G-100 (09-15). Total funds: $88,685. January 2018 – July 2018.

  • The research team is conducting a city-wide needs assessment for survivors of violence in the city of San Francisco. They will interview and survey survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault.

Fritz, J. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-PI). Optimizing treatment sequencing for patients with chronic, nonspecific low back pain. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – Optimized Multidisciplinary Treatment Programs for Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain. Award number: OTS-LBP-2017C1-6486. Total funds: $9,689,014. September 2018 – March 2022.

  • This study will use a SMART design to determine the optimal treatment sequencing of physical therapy, CBT, and mindfulness-based therapy for chronic pain.

Bryan, C. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-PI). Brief cognitive behavioral therapy replication trial. Department of Defense. Award number: W81XWH1820022.  Total funds: $4,900,000. July 2018 – June 2023.

  • The overall goal for the proposed project is to test the effectiveness of brief cognitive behavioral therapy (BCBT) for the prevention of suicide attempts in a sample of treatment-seeking Marines. The standard null hypothesis will involve tests conducted comparing improvement following BCBT (treatment duration of 12 weeks) to Person-Centered Therapy (PCT). The primary outcome comparisons will include direct markers of suicidality (i.e. suicide, suicide attempts). Secondary outcomes will be suicide ideation and indicators of psychiatric distress (e.g., depression, hopelessness). The researchers also aim to assess several hypothesized psychological and neurocognitive mediators of treatment effects (e.g., wish to live, attentional bias, emotion regulation). Participants will be followed for two years post-treatment by independent evaluators blind to treatment condition.

Fritz, J. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-PI). SMART stepped care management for low back pain in military health system. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and Department of Defense. Award number: 5UG3AT009763-02. Total funds: $6,438,846. September 2017 – August 2023.

  • Chronic pain is a ubiquitous problem and growing concern for the Military Health System (MHS). Low back pain (LBP) is the most common condition that leads to chronic pain. Numerous recommendations have been made to improve care for LBP and chronic pain in the MHS, including implementation of a stepped care approach. Stepped care is a treatment process that begins with broadly accessible, less intensive interventions that can benefit many patients. Those who do not respond to initial treatments are stepped up to more intensive treatment. While stepped care is advocated for pain management, and has been beneficial for improving care in other chronic conditions, many questions remain about which treatments to use within each step, and the importance of sequences of care decisions. The SMART Stepped Care Management Project supports an innovative sequential multiple randomization trial specifically designed to address these key questions. Patients in the MHS with chronic LBP are randomly assigned to either receive physical therapy or the holistic move to health intervention. After six weeks patients’ responsiveness to their first treatment step is determined. Non-responders are re-randomized to receive either Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) or treatment from an Integrative Pain Medicine Center. This SMART trial compares the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Step 1 and 2 treatments in a stepped care approach for patients with LBP in the MHS with patient-centered and healthcare cost outcomes, with an emphasis on the studying the sequencing effects of different treatment combinations.

Zgierska, A. (Overall PI), Garland, E. L. (PI, Utah Site). A comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus cognitive behavioral therapy for opioid-treated chronic low back pain. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Award number: 710K500. Total funds: $8,430,230. January 2017 – December 2022.

  • One in four U.S. adults have chronic low back pain, which is defined as any type of pain in the low back or radiating down to the legs (sciatica) that lasts for three or more months. Doctors often cannot cure chronic low back pain, but they may prescribe an opioid medicine to help patients manage their pain. These medicines can have serious side effects, such as addiction to the medicine, depression, or even death from accidental overdose. This study compares two ways non-opioid treatments help patients reduce chronic low back pain and improve their quality of life: mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy. Mindfulness meditation helps people train their minds to focus attention in a certain way to cope with and reduce negative reactions to pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychological therapy, helps people learn how to change their thoughts and feelings about pain and develop new ways to think and act when they are in pain. The aim of this comparative effectiveness trial is to assess if mindfulness-based intervention is more effective than standard-of-care CBT for improving pain and function.

Garland, E. L. (PI). Effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Intervention on endogenous opioid mechanisms of hedonic regulation in chronic pain. NIH-National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (R61/R33). Award number: 51R61AT009296-02. Total funds: $3,034,598. September 2016 – September 2021.

  • Chronic pain is typically managed with extended use of opioid analgesics, despite an absence of data on their long-term efficacy and clear evidence of significant health risks. Chronic pain patients receiving extended opioid therapy suffer from impaired regulation of aversive (e.g., pain) and appetitive experience (e.g., pleasure), dual processes subserved by opioid-mediated, hedonic regulatory mechanisms. Extant therapies may have limited efficacy because they fail to directly target the neural circuits of hedonic regulation. The overarching aim of this study is to determine the capacity of a novel meditation intervention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), to restore endogenous opioid system function as measured with PET and a selective μ-opioid radiotracer. This multi-PI proposal unites expertise in meditation-based interventions with expertise in neurogenetics and the use of PET and fMRI to probe the neurobiological mechanisms of pain and affective experience, and builds upon a program of prior research which provided preliminary efficacy data on the MORE intervention and standardized its delivery via manualization of the treatment and development of fidelity measures. By elucidating a key mechanism of this meditation-based intervention, this translational research study will enable rapid optimization of MORE for stage III clinical trial implementation and dissemination.

Garland, E. L. (PI). Targeting hedonic dysregulation to address chronic pain and opioid misuse in primary care. National Institute on Drug Abuse – Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Program. Award number: 1R01DA042033-03. Total funds: $2,828,034. September 2016 – July 2021.

  • Prescription opioid misuse is a public health threat that is being addressed with heightened urgency at both clinical and policy levels. Extant therapies for opioid misuse and chronic pain may have limited efficacy because they fail to directly target the maladaptive emotion-cognition interactions and hedonic dysregulation inherent in these co-occurring problems. To meet this need, the PI developed a novel behavioral intervention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE). MORE is innovative in that it aims to modify associative learning mechanisms hijacked during the allostatic process of opioid misuse by strengthening top-down cognitive control to restructure bottom-up reward learning from valuation of drug reward to natural reward – something that no other behavioral intervention for opioid misuse has been designed to do. The goal of this study is to conduct a full-scale randomized control trial (RCT) of MORE to reduce aberrant drug-related behaviors and chronic pain among opioid misusing patients in primary care. Participants are randomized to eight weeks of MORE or a conventional support group control administered in community primary care clinics. Patient-reported outcomes are assessed pre- to post-treatment and through a nine-month follow-up. Ultimately, this translational research proposal aims to advance evidence-based integration of behavioral health into primary care.

Bryan, C. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-I). Targeting chronic pain and co-occurring disorders in the community with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement. Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. Award number: W81XWH1820064. Total funds: $3,434,996. August 2016 – August 2021.

  • The co-occurrence of chronic pain, psychological distress, and misuse of prescription opioids undermines the mission of the U.S. Military and inflicts suffering upon veterans and their families. Unfortunately, there are no evidence-based treatments that simultaneously address pain, opioid misuse, and psychological distress. To fill this gap, this study is a trial of a novel integrative medicine approach combining Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) with conventional opioid pain management for service members and veterans. The study utilizes lab-based assessments and mobile technology to understand how MORE works to create therapeutic change, and to predict whether and when service members and veterans are at risk for relapsing back to opioid misuse. To accomplish this objective, lab-based assessments evaluate physiological reactivity to cues associated with past episodes of pain and opioid use, and a smartphone-based assessment evaluates opioid craving, pain, and negative mood in “the real world.” Because changes in heart rate and other physiological factors may indicate the extent to which a person’s brain has been triggered by opioid craving, this application of mind-body assessments to predict opioid misuse risk and treatment outcomes could facilitate early risk detection and penetrate denial.

Cooperman, N. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-I),& Hanley, A. W. (Co-I). Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement as an adjunct to methadone treatment for opioid use and chronic pain management. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (R21/R33). (R21AT010109). Award number: R21AT010109-01. Total funds: $1,819,967 (for R21 and R33 phases combined). September 2019 – September 2021.

  • This project will study the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) as an adjunct to medication assisted treatment (MAT) in patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) and chronic pain.

Hopkins, R. (PI). Crime victims needs assessment. Utah Office for Victims of Crime. Award number: 161724. Total funds: $220,062. June 2016 – May 2018.

  • This project will conduct a statewide assessments of domestic violence and rape and sexual assault needs.

Hopkins, R. (PI). Crime victims needs assessment. Utah Office for Victims of Crime. Total funds: $15,000. September 2018 – December 2018.

  • This project provides an evaluation of HB 177 – “Trauma–informed criminal justice services.”

Hopkins, R. (PI), Davis, M. J. (Co-I). Medicaid 1115 waiver evaluation. Utah Department of Health. Award number: 182700856. Total funds: $280,000. March 2018 – February 2023.

  • The research team will provide an independent evaluation of Utah Department of Health’s waiver to expand health care access to underserved populations.

Hopkins, R. (PI), Davis, M. J. (Co-I). Medicaid 1915b dental waiver evaluation. Utah Department of Health. Award number: 192700109. Total funds: $13,063. July 2018 – September 2018.

  • This will provide an independent evaluation of the Utah Department of Health’s dental waiver to provide dental care to underserved populations ensuring increased access, quality of care, without increasing costs.

Hopkins, R. (PI), Osteen, P. J. (Co-PI). Evaluation of Utah national suicide grant strategy. Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Award number: A02541. Total funds: $74,691. April 2018 – September 2020.

  • This evaluation of Utah’s implementation of the National Strategy to Prevent Suicide will include process and outcome data collection and analysis of state-level implementation and mini-grant activities.

Luptak, M. (Co-I), Supiano, K. (PI). Group therapy for dementia caregivers at risk for complicated grief. National Alzheimer’s Association Research. Award number: AARG-17-503706. Total funds: $149,998. April 2017- March 2020.

  • In this project, researchers are assessing death preparedness and caregiver risk factors in bereaved and soon-to-be bereaved Alzheimer’s disease caregivers in two national research participant registries. Using these data and prior research, researchers will adapt complicated grief group therapy (CGGT) intervention elements into a manualized Pre-Loss Group Therapy (PLGT) for soon-to-be bereaved dementia caregivers at risk for complicated grief to facilitate healthy death preparedness and eventual bereavement. 

Luptak, M. (Co-I), Turner, K. (Co-PI), Farrell, T. (Co-PI). Interprofessional student hotspotting learning collaborative – Hotspotting hub application. Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers Hotspotting Hub Educational grant. Award number: 00016950. Total funds: $50,000. July 2017-June 2018.

  • Student Hotspotting is part of the Camden Coalition’s National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs effort to educate and mentor the next generation of health care professionals nationwide. The U of U health hotspotting hub and three additional hubs serve as unique learning labs for gaining experience in social determinants and interprofessional teaming. Teams of students (and preceptors) from the College of Social Work on main campus and multiple U of U health colleges/schools work with patients with complex medical and social needs. This project uses Interprofessional Education (IPE) hotspotting immersions to drive IPE beyond the focus of direct care, and to foster the development of core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice within the framework of systems-based practice for local IPE student hotspotting teams with funds from this grant and the NCIPE Accelerating IPE UHHC grant. 2018 IPE student hotspotting homes included a primary care clinic (1 team), a refugee housing complex (1 team), a Spanish-speaking clinic (1 team), a geriatrics clinic (1 team), and a housing first complex (4 UHHC teams).

Luptak, M. (Co-I), Hart, S. (PI). Interprofessional collaborative systems-based practice: Addressing the drivers of health and health care utilization for chronically homeless individuals in a housing first model. National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. Award number: 05533513. Total funds: $100,000. October 2016-September 2018.

  • The Utah Health and Homes Collaborative (UHHC) is a community-based interprofessional education (IPE) approach for addressing social determinants of health and advancing health equity. In 2018, four UHHC IPE student hotspotting teams used health system data to identify and address complex and persistent health and social service needs of chronically homeless persons (considered geriatric regardless of chronologic age) who were residing in a local housing first program.

Luptak, M. (Curriculum Panel Member), Edelman, L. (PI). Utah geriatric education center: Integrating primary and geriatric long-term care. Health Resources and Services Administration, Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. Award number: 5U1QHP28741-03. Total funds: $2,549,469. July 2015-June 2018.

  • The objectives of this project are to: 1) integrate geriatrics and primary care into the delivery systems in 21 nursing facilities and transform the learning environment for academic trainees and career development; 2) develop health professionals and direct care workers with competencies in interprofessional collaboration who can assess and address the needs of older adults and their families/caregivers at the individual, community, and population levels; 3) develop and deliver programs for interprofessional teams of providers and direct care workers, patients, families and caregivers focused on communication skills and transitions of care in the long term care setting that will promote a shared understanding of health information and goals of care, reducing unnecessary emergency department transfers and hospital readmissions; and 4) improve the care of older adults with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) through academic, career development, and community outreach education for direct care workers, families, and health professionals.

Luptak, M. (National Advisory Board), Golden, R. (PI). Better health through education and transformation of older adult care in Illinois. Health Resources and Services Administration, Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. Total funds: $2,249,865. July 2015-June 2018.

  • The overarching mission of the Collaborative Action Team training for Community Health — Older adult Network (CATCH-ON) is to unify state-wide academic, health, and community organizations and resources in Illinois to prepare a geriatric collaborative practice-ready health workforce optimizing health while serving and improving patient-centered health and wellness outcomes. The objectives are to: 1) educate older adults, families, caregivers, direct care workers, health professions providers, students, residents, fellows, and faculty about person-centered, culturally competent management of multiple chronic conditions (MCC) among diverse older adults, especially those with cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD). This includes development, validation, and dissemination of region-wide and state-wide co-learning programs regarding management of MCC/ADRD; and 2) transform existing primary care systems to meet the needs of older adults with MCC/ADRD by implementing evidence-based programs that utilize provider, patient and community resources. Critical innovations to achieve these aims include: interactive, universally accessible online modules regarding MCC/ADRD for all learners, regional and statewide learning communities, health ambassadors for community health, and including health ambassadors in creation of the new CATCH-ON primary care model.

McDonald, C. (PI), Davis, M. J. (Co-PI), & Vanderloo, M. J. Title IV-E training, Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Award number: A02433. Total funds: $13,500,000. July 2017 – June 2022.

  • This federal grant involves research and education components that include participants from the BSW Program, the MSW Program, and new and existing child welfare workers in the agency. The goal of the project is to assess whether a comprehensive, evidence-based training package can impact outcomes in daily practice. A child welfare worker's first child abuse or neglect case is often an overwhelming experience. The process of engaging, gathering information, and making a decision requires a complex skill set which is difficult to perform under the best circumstances. When the situation is highly emotional, competent performance is even harder to achieve. To better equip child welfare workers with the skills they will need for their first case, the University of Utah, in partnership with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, has developed a simulation experience of a workers first case. The training of child welfare workers, like many other types of social work, is acquired mainly through on-the-job experience. This type of training leads to wide ranges in competency and outcomes.  This is the first cradle-to-grave training program in the nation and will incorporate cutting-edge evidence-based training modalities including virtual-reality and simulation.

O'Connor, A. B. (PI). Developing data-driven evidence-informed feedback mechanisms for autonomous anti-trafficking task forces. U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance. Award number: 2018-VT-BX-K085. Total funds: $1,300,000. October 2018 - September 2021.

  • The Utah State Attorney General's Office and the Asian Association-Immigrant and Refugee Center of Utah co-run a non-affiliated (non-funded) task force to respond to the issue of human trafficking. In order to best support the task force in evidence-informed development, evaluators gather data about task-force related activities to identify strength and gaps in four main areas indicated in existing literature to best support the goal of ending human trafficking: prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnership.

O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Evaluation of a peer-to-peer model of recovery through targeted capacity expansion for peer-to-peer services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness. Total funds: $250,000. October 2016 – September 2019.

  • Peer-to-peer recovery services may provide an opportunity to address gaps in support and improve outcomes for individuals in recovery. To examine outcomes and processes associated with a peer-to-peer model of recovery from substance misuse, evaluators work with a local agency delivering peer-led recovery services (Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness; USARA) to implement data driven processes into standard agency procedures. Outcomes examined include social support, quality of life, access to resources, perceived recovery experience, abstinence from substance misuse, and involvement with criminal justice system; process measures include alliance to peer coach, satisfaction with services, and fidelity measurements. This evaluation presents a particularly exciting opportunity to contribute to SAMHSA’s national knowledge base as peer-to-peer models of recovery are increasingly used, but little is known about effective processes to guide implementation and maximize outcomes.

O’Connor, A. B. (PI).  Evaluation of Utah financial education integration expansion project. Utah Department of Workforce Services and Fair Credit Foundation. Total funds: $330,000. October 2016 – September 2019.

  • The Utah Financial Education Integration Expansion Project’s (UFEIP) primary goal is to increase beneficial financial knowledge, skills, and behavior by providing financial education and skill development to TANF (temporary assistance for needy families)-eligible individuals through empirically-based financial coaching and financial workshops. Piloted through more than five years of previous programming, UFEIP provides financial workshops and one-on-one financial coaching. Outcomes examined include change in financial knowledge, confidence, stress, and relative goal attainment.

O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Enhanced collaborative model to combat human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance and Utah Attorney General’s Office. Award number: 2015 VT BX K043. Total funds: $899,512. October 2015 – March 2019.

  • The Enhanced Collaborative Model is a joint project between the Utah State Attorney General and the Asian Association-Immigrant and Refugee Center of Utah designed to develop a multidisciplinary task force to combat human trafficking. The two-pronged approach supports both law enforcement and service providers to expand capacity and response to trafficking victims through data-driven collaboration.

O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Evaluation of Utah trafficking in person’s task force enhanced collaborative model to combat human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crimes and the Refugee and Immigrant Center-Asian Association of Utah. Total funds: $400,000. October 2015 – March 2019.

  • The Enhanced Collaborative Model is a joint project between the Utah State Attorney General and the Asian Association-Immigrant and Refugee Center of Utah designed to develop a multidisciplinary task force to combat human trafficking. The two-pronged approach supports both law enforcement and service providers to expand capacity and response to trafficking victims through data-driven collaboration.

O'Connor, A. B. (Co-PI), & Davis, M. J. (Co-PI). Peer-led recovery models in targeted response to the opioid crisis: State targeted response and building communities of recovery. United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Total funds: $1,200,000. October 2017 – October 2022.

  • Peer-led recovery supports present promising opportunities to effectively support individuals in recovery to achieve goals and well-being. State targeted response (STR) aims to develop and pilot models for effective development implementation, and maintenance of peer-led supports to optimally address opiate misuse and support family members. Building Communities of Recovery (BCOR) extends models implementation to three high-need communities across Utah.

O’Connor, A. B. (PI), Davis, M. J. (Co-PI). Evaluation of state targeted response to the opioid crisis. Utah Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health with the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness and Substance Abuse. Total funds: $450,000. December 2017 – June 2019.

  • Project provides implementation support and evaluates integration of peer-to-peer models of recovery into medical settings, including emergency departments and primary care. Outcomes examined include frequency of individuals seen by peers in medical settings, distribution of naloxone kits and other harm reduction strategies, subsequent involvement with recovery community resources. Services for families of those in recovery are additionally provided and evaluated under the grant.

O’Connor, A. B. (PI), Fukushima, A. (Co-I), Gezinski, L. (Co-I) Salt Lake City Human Trafficking Needs Assessment. Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Award number: 08-1-18-0323. Total funds: $30,000. January 2017 – September 2018. 

  • In order to best support those affected by human trafficking, the City Mayor’s Office, Salt Lake City Council, and Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office seek to understand the extent to which assets and resources are available to combat human trafficking in Salt Lake City. In order to assess existing assets, identify gaps, and generate recommendations to address identified gaps/barriers, existing resource data from local agencies serving survivors of human trafficking is entered to an online, searchable resource map. Next, stakeholders are administered surveys to gather data about available resources and perceived gaps/barriers; a subset of stakeholders, including survivors, participate in follow-up focus groups or interviews led by faculty experts on the topic of human trafficking. Finally, data are analyzed by evaluators and faculty to generate and present recommendations to address gaps and barriers.

Osteen, P. J. (PI). Online screening and early intervention to prevent suicide among middle-aged men. Centers for Disease Control; sub-award with University of Maryland. Award number: 1600184A 2026. Total funds: $46,550. September 2018 – August 2019.

  • The unusually high risk of suicide among middle-aged men, coupled with their limited use of mental health resources, calls for unique approaches specifically tailored to the needs of this hard-to-reach population. This study utilizes a randomized controlled trial to evaluate an online screening tool and an online therapeutic program known as Man-Therapy, both targeting men ages 35-64 who are at higher risk for suicide. The programs to be evaluated in this research directly target middle-aged men in places where they are most comfortable – at home, at work, and online.

Prince, K. C. (PI). A quasi-experimental evaluation of the mental health courts in Utah. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Award number: 171107. Total funds: $60,000. January 2017 – March 2018.

  • In 2017 the Utah Commission of Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) contracted with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) to assess the efficacy of Utah’s mental health courts (MHC) using a matched sample of individuals with similar treatment and criminal histories. Four jurisdictions were considered for the evaluation, as these were the only jurisdictions with a sufficiently large sample of cases: Utah, Salt Lake, Cache, and Weber counties. Propensity Score Matching (PSM) was used in an attempt to identify comparison groups based on variables that predict the likelihood of being placed in the treatment group (in this case, the likelihood of participation in the MHC). A large number of PSM algorithms were employed in an attempt to obtain a matched comparison sample. Unfortunately, due to a high degree of missing mental health history data, PSM could not identify an appropriate comparison group. Because the study was unable to implement the intended methods to examine MHC outcomes, the MHCs were evaluated using an alternative, and less rigorous, method. Using pre-post data for MHC clients only, participant data was assessed regarding defendants’ offending behavior in all four MHCs, and mental wellness for the Salt Lake and Utah MHCs. Each court was evaluated separately for both recidivism and mental health outcomes. Given the inability to implement the intended PSM design, some of the challenges that future studies would face and recommendations for how to address these issues were discussed.

Prince, K. C. (PI). Disproportionate minority contact community-based arrest and referral assessment. State of Utah, Utah Board of Juvenile Justice. Award number: 196135. Total funds: $70,793. October 2018 – September 2019.

  • Despite collecting and reporting disproportionate minority contact (DMC) relative rate index (RRI) information since 2005 in Utah, little is actually known about the meaning of changes in the RRIs over time. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will conduct a data-driven, mixed methods assessment of disproportionality in the RRIs for the following Utah law enforcement agencies (LEAs): Salt Lake City Police Department, Unified Police Department, West Valley City Police Department, Ogden City Police Department, Logan City Police Department, and St. George Police Department. The data-driven approach will involve analyzing arrest and referral data for each agency and examining changes in RRIs over time in order to identify notable, significant periods of success or failure in reducing RRIs. Surveys will be distributed widely among law enforcement, juvenile court personnel, juvenile probation, and other community stakeholders to identify the current attitudes and practices in each jurisdiction. Semi-structured interviews will also be conducted with a sample of stakeholders to extract more detail from the information gleaned from surveys, and to identify awareness of existing policies and practices that might contribute to the observed RRI trends. After analyzing results from arrest and referral data, surveys, and interviews, a final report will synthesize this information as well as provide a literature review of current best practices and recommendations.

Prince, K. C. (PI), & Sarver, C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the 24/7 Sobriety Pilot program. Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS). Total funds: $88,000. July 2018 – September 2021.

  • Beginning July 1, 2018, repeat DUI offenders in certain Weber County courts may be enrolled in a new program that will allow them to maintain their driving privileges but require them to abstain from alcohol and drugs for a full year. The new 24/7 Sobriety Program, which is being piloted by the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, aims to reduce repeat DUI recidivism. Despite some evidence that suggests the program may be effective, methodological limitations of past studies make it difficult to determine whether the 24/7 program is actually more effective than current practices.  As such, DPS has contracted with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) to provide consultation and a three-year evaluation of the 24/7 Sobriety Pilot Program.

Prince, K. C. (PI), & Sarver, C. (Co-I). Employment, fatherhood, and reentry study. State of Utah, Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Award number: 18DWS0092. Total funds: $90,000. May 2018 – April 2020.

  • The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to develop an understanding of the perceived barriers to obtaining meaningful employment for fathers transitioning out of incarceration through in-person interviews; and 2) to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the Invest in Dads Too pilot program for fathers reintegrating into the community. Taken together, the findings from this study have the potential to inform policymakers and service providers in order to enhance programs and services aimed at increasing employment opportunities for offenders upon reentry into the community.

Prince, K. C. (PI), & Sarver, C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Utah Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: A02446. Total funds: $103,158. July 2017 – September 2020.

  • The Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a program that provides highly individualized outpatient treatment to adults who have serious mental illness (SMI) or SMI and co-occurring substance use disorders, are civilly committed in the community, and have demonstrated difficulty adhering to prescribed treatment on a voluntary basis. This project is part of a four-year SAMHSA grant awarded to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) is providing consultation to DSAMH and program staff, regular reporting on participant demographics and short-term outcomes, and evaluating the impact of the program on treatment, health, housing, and criminal justice outcomes.

Prince, K. C. (PI), & Sarver, C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Utah Supported Employment Transition Program (U-SETP). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: A02425. Total funds: $81,000. July 2017 – September 2019.

  • The Utah Supported Employment Transition (U-SETP) program utilizes the evidence-based model of individual placement and support (IPS) to provide supported employment services to adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring substance use disorders. This project is part of a three-year SAMHSA grant awarded to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) is providing consultation to DSAMH and program staff, regular reporting on participant demographics and short-term outcomes, and evaluating the impact of the program on treatment, health, and criminal justice outcomes.

Prince, K. C. (PI), Walker, A. (Co-I), & Butters, R. (Co-I). Evaluation of field-generated innovations in addressing elder abuse and financial exploitation. Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Award number: 2017-VF-GX-K141. Total funds: $45,000. May 2018 – July 2019.

  • In 2017, Utah Legal Services (ULS) was awarded an Office of Crime Victims’ Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation grant. The five objectives of the grant are to: 1) increase reporting of elder abuse and financial exploitation; 2) reduce exploitation of high-risk victims; 3) increase rate of Adult Protective Services (APS) referrals for prosecution; 4) reduce danger of remaining in unsafe home environments; and 5) reduce misuse of powers of attorney. Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) research staff are working with program staff to design a variety of pre-post tests and surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of ULS developed educational materials, interventions, and training protocols.

Sarver, C. (PI), & Prince, K. C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Housing Support and Stability (HSSP) Families Project. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Total funds: $300,000. September 2018 – September 2023.

  • This project was part of a five-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant that was awarded to The Road Home (TRH) to develop and evaluate the Housing Support and Stability (HSSP) Families Project. The HSSP Families team will assist 150 homeless families with a substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder to stabilize in permanent housing with rapid re-housing (RRH) packages of financial assistance and multidisciplinary wrap-around supports, which will include: case management, behavioral health treatment for parents and children with an emphasis on access to developmentally appropriate services, and a focus on increasing mainstream benefits and employment.  The HSSP Families program incorporates rapid re-housing, trauma informed care, motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and critical time intervention in a setting-flexible service delivery model. Objectives include: (1) helping families obtain and stabilize in permanent housing; (2) providing a coordinated approach to accessing mainstream benefits for all family members; (3) facilitating access to employment supports; (4) connecting children to developmentally appropriate supports; and (5) connecting all family members to behavioral health supports, as needed. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will serve as the evaluator on this multi-agency team will conduct a thorough evaluation of the program to determine the impact of the program on the following outcomes: housing placements and retention; benefits/health insurance enrollment and retention; behavioral health treatment admission and completion; employment type, length, and salary; children’s receipt of services, including type and length; and measures of parent and child well-being. During the final year of the project, UCJC will compare outcomes between HSSP Families participants and a propensity score matched sample of homeless families who are not enrolled in the program.

Sarver, C. (PI), Worwood, E. (Co-I), & Butters, R. (Co-I). Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) certification and program evaluation project. State of Utah, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). Total funds: $328,000. December 2018 – November 2020.

  • The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will be providing assistance to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) to assist with statewide justice reinvestment initiative (JRI) reforms and certification efforts. Over the course of the next two years, UCJC will: 1) gather stakeholder feedback on JRI Certification and provide consultation to DSAMH staff; 2) develop and pilot a certification tool and protocol; 3) provide online technical assistance to programs across the state; and 4) conduct follow-up program evaluations with Utah’s 13 local substance abuse authorities (LSAAs).

Tanana, M. J. (PI). Technology-supported, measurement-based supervision for motivational interviewing. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Total funds: $1,126,534. July 2018 – December 2020.

  • Most evidence-based treatments for substance abuse are in-person psychotherapy and counseling interventions, such as motivational interviewing. There are currently no methods for evaluating the quality of such counseling interventions in the real world to support training, supervision, and quality assurance. Building on an existing prototype, the researchers will enhance and evaluate a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant clinical support software tool that uses automated speech recognition and machine learning in a community based opioid replacement clinic.

Srikumar, V. (PI), Tanana, M. J. (Co-PI). Technology facilitated training for mental health counseling. National Science Foundation. Award number: 1822877. Total funds: $749,781. August 2018 – July 2020.

  • In this project, the researchers will develop and evaluate technological tools that facilitate new models for training tomorrow’s mental health workforce. The team plans to create and study a novel text-based platform with the pedagogical goal of training mental health counselors. Within this platform, they will explore two broad research questions: they will study the pedagogical impact of (a) natural language processing driven helpers that provide feedback in real time, and (b) crowd-sourced counseling using individuals with minimal training. To this end, the researchers will design and train several statistical models that operate within the proposed text- based platform to interact with novice therapists. They will evaluate the efficacy of the two kinds of feedback (automatic and crowd-based) in terms of how well they can train different kinds of trainees (lay support providers in online forums, novice therapists in training) compared to models where the learner practices on their own and/or without specific feedback.

Atkins, D. (PI), Narayanan, S. (PI), Tanana, M. J. (Co-I). Implementation of technology-based evaluation of motivational interviewing. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Total funds: $3,554,426. October 2016 – October 2021.

  • Performance-based feedback is an effective method for training and supervising counseling approaches for alcohol-related problems. However, current feedback methods rely on human evaluation of recorded counseling sessions and are not feasible in the real-world due to time and cost. The current study will implement a clinical support software tool that uses speech signal processing and computational models – instead of human judgment – to evaluate motivational interviewing for alcohol and substance use problems.

Tecle, A. S. (PI), Hunter, R. (Co-PI). Global Social Work Learning Communities. Katherine A. Kendal Institute (KAKI), CSWE. Total funds: $8,000. August 2018 – August 2021.

  • Due to geographic, cultural, and socio economic divides, North American students are often not sufficiently exposed to the global context. Through both face-to-face and online social work education and practice, students will be qualified to capture the nuances and realities of such global conditions that require communication and information across regions and continents. The Global Social Work Learning Communities program is a curriculum project and an innovative teaching method, designed to prepare North American students and students living in refugee camps and displaced communities for global citizenship and international social work practice.

Yaffe, J. (Co-PI), Kafadar, K., Garrett, B., Dodson, C. Understanding and improving effectiveness of eyewitness identification procedures. Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Award number: GF13635.153569. Total project budget $1,369.931. Utah share: $227,490. December 2016 – December 2019.

  • Eyewitnesses provide important information to police in criminal cases. However, eyewitnesses can be mistaken, resulting in erroneous convictions and failure to identify real perpetrators. Scientific evidence about the causes of eyewitness misidentification is characterized by gaps, incomplete synthesis, and insufficiently sophisticated analytic techniques to examine interactions between variables. Our interdisciplinary research stretches across three universities and four disciplines: law at Duke University, statistics and cognitive psychology at University of Virginia, and social work at University of Utah. Together, the researchers are mapping and evaluating existing research in eyewitness identification, conducting new research on eyewitness memory and jury decision-making, and conducting cutting edge statistical analyses. They work with an advisory board of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and police professionals to ensure that the research remains relevant.

 

Last Updated: 1/24/19