College of Social Work’s Erin Worwood Receives University Staff Excellence Award

The College of Social Work is very proud to share that Erin Worwood, associate director of the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), was selected for a 2017 University of Utah Staff Excellence Award.  She is one of only eight University employees to receive this special recognition of her outstanding contributions to the institution and those we serve.  UCJC Director Dr. Rob Butters shared the following statement about why he believes Ms. Worwood deserves this honor. 

 

I have worked directly with Erin for over six years and she embodies excellence in her work every day. Erin’s duties as associate director of the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) are diverse and include staff supervision, project oversight, formulation of research questions and methodologies, coordination with internal and outside agencies, grant applications, managing budgets and staffing workflow, writing, editing, and formatting reports, and ensuring that all our projects reflect excellence from the Utah Criminal Justice Center and the University of Utah. Erin is integral to the important research we do here and is instrumental in maintaining important relationships with our community. Erin is largely responsible for the growth of the Center over the last several years and the promotion of social justice through research to inform humane responses to important social problems, like mass incarceration, criminalization of addiction, and chronic homelessness. As the most senior researcher at UCJC, Erin is a tremendous asset to the University in the area of developing and transferring new knowledge

Erin is one of the longest-standing staff members in the College of Social Work with over 15 years of experience, and she is easily the most experienced member of UCJC’s research team. Her knowledge of the criminal justice system and the complex data systems they employ is unsurpassed. But her ability to understand data systems is really secondary to her incredible ability to partner with key stakeholders and community agencies to conduct rigorous evaluations and to gain access to sensitive behavioral health, homelessness, jail and arrest data, and other important social indicators like income, employment, and even healthcare data. It‘s the combination of these relational skills along with a broad understanding of the interrelatedness of the data systems that truly makes Erin invaluable to our research center and the University of Utah. As an example, nearly every time I present at national conference on our research, I am asked the same question: “How did you get access to that data? We’ve been trying to get that for years…” My response always starts out something like, “Well I’m lucky enough to have a senior researcher named Erin Worwood, and she…” We simply couldn’t do the innovative and impactful work we do without Erin’s knowledge and relationships.

UCJC is the first independent evaluator to be selected for two simultaneous Pay for Success projects in the nation. These two projects were developed and implemented under Erin’s leadership over the last two years. They represented a huge investment of time and required Erin to work and think outside of the traditional academic mindset to work with investors and private funders. As a result, over the next six years, UCJC will be evaluating two novel programs in the areas of homelessness and criminal justice. In addition to partnering with over a dozen government and non-profit agencies on these projects, she forged a partnership with the Sorensen Impact Center at the David Eccles School of Business that will surely be a longstanding and mutually beneficial collaboration for years to come in the area of social impact bonds.

The pay for success projects are only two of over a dozen research projects Erin coordinates and manages at UCJC. One of the great things about having numerous and diverse funded projects is the opportunity to provide stipends to our graduate students while giving them the opportunity to learn about and contribute to important ongoing research. Erin is the primary manager for these graduate students and she takes great pride in challenging them to work hard, take on new methodologies, and problem solve independently. She balances these challenges with a very nurturing and approachable demeanor that is sensitive to their needs and life experiences. UCJC has been able to recruit two top-notch PhD students and a post-doc research fellow over the last two years and it is largely because of Erin’s reputation as an exemplary manger and mentor.

Erin Worwood possess a unique combination of interpersonal skills, substantive expertise, broad system knowledge, inspiring leadership qualities, and excellence in managing day-to-day staffing, budget, and workflow issues that allow me to pursue my scholarly goals, our other research faculty and staff to be highly productive, and our students to thrive and build their expertise and experience in a rigorous but supportive leaning environment. Her work surely elevates the status and impact of UCJC’s work and supports the broader goals of the University.

 

The views and opinions expressed on the interACTION blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Utah or the College of Social Work.

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Social Work Neuroscience and Clinical Research on Behavioral Health Interventions

Eric Garland, PhD, Associate Dean for Research at the University of Utah College of Social Work and Director of the Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development, is seeking clinically-trained social work PhD students for a fellowship in social work neuroscience and clinical research on behavioral health interventions. Pre-doctoral fellows will assist in Federally-funded research; faculty at the University of Utah College of Social Work are currently conducting research projects funded by NIH -National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIH-National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH-National Institute on Aging, National Institute on Justice, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and Patient Center Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI).

Pre-doctoral fellows will support clinical biobehavioral research on mindfulness as a treatment for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse at the Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development, which currently oversees more than $17 million in NIH, DOD, and PCORI funded grants. In particular, fellows will help conduct randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and mechanistic research of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a manualized social work intervention for addiction, stress-related conditions, and chronic pain. For additional information on MORE and current research, see www.drericgarland.com.

Pre-doctoral fellows will assist with the following duties: a) manuscript preparation from existing datasets; b) implementing mindfulness and other behavioral interventions to study participants; c) clinical data collection; d) psychophysiological data collection (autonomic and fMRI measures); and e) data analysis. Pre-doctoral fellows will have opportunities to coauthor scientific articles from existing primary datasets, as well as to conduct new research studies, leveraging the resources and interdisciplinary connections of the College of Social Work, which extend into Psychiatry, Psychology, Oncology, Public Health, Anesthesiology, Neuroscience, Family Medicine, Law, and Nursing, among other departments.

The fellowship comes with a competitive stipend in addition to a graduate research assistantship.

Required Qualifications: Dr. Garland is seeking doctoral program applicants with a MSW, strong writing and analytical skills, and clinical experience working with persons suffering from mental health problems, addictive behaviors, and/or chronic pain and other health conditions.

Preferred Qualifications: Applicants with a LCSW, previous experience with mindfulness, quantitative data analysis, computer programming, psychophysiological data collection/analysis, and/or previous study coordination experience on Federally-funded studies will be given preference.

College, University, and Environment: As a major research and teaching university—and the flagship of the Utah System of Higher Education—the University of Utah strives to create an academic environment in which the highest standards of scholarship, professional practice and teaching are observed.  The University is located in Salt Lake City, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, providing ready access to world class outdoor recreational opportunities. 

The University of Utah College of Social Work has a number of excellent research facilities, including the state-of-the-art Bridge Training Clinic, consisting of four therapy rooms with one-way mirrors and videotaping capacity for behavioral observation and coding, as well as a Social Work Neuroscience Laboratory for assessment of neurocognitive and neuroaffective mechanisms of therapeutic change.

Application Process:

Review of applications will begin immediately and the position will be open until filled. Applicants should provide cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of three professional references, and published writing sample(s).

Inquiries regarding the position may be directed to Dr. Eric Garland, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, at eric.garland@socwk.utah.edu, 801-581-3826. Applicants for the fellowship must also apply to the Ph.D program in Social Work; please contact Mirela Rankovic, Program Coordinator, at mirela.rankovic@socwk.utah.edu 801-585-5979, or Dr. Christina Gringeri, Ph.D. Director, at cgringeri@socwk.utah.edu, 801-581-4864.

The University of Utah is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educator. Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Veteran’s preference. Reasonable accommodations provided. For additional information: http://w3ww.regulations.utah.edu/humanResources/5-106.html.

Mind-body Therapies Immediately Reduce Unmanageable Pain in Hospital Patients, New Study Finds

Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

After participating in a single, 15-minute session of one of these mind-body therapies, patients reported an immediate decrease in pain levels similar to what one might expect from an opioid painkiller. This study is the first to compare the effects of mindfulness and hypnosis on acute pain in the hospital setting.

The yearlong study’s 244 participants were patients at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City who reported experiencing unmanageable pain as the result of illness, disease or surgical procedures. Willing patients were randomly assigned to receive a brief, scripted session in one of three interventions: mindfulness, hypnotic suggestion or pain coping education. Hospital social workers who completed basic training in each scripted method provided the interventions to patients.

While all three types of intervention reduced patients’ anxiety and increased their feelings of relaxation, patients who participated in the hypnotic suggestion intervention experienced a 29 percent reduction in pain, and patients who participated in the mindfulness intervention experienced a 23 percent reduction in pain. By comparison, those who participated in the pain coping intervention experienced a 9 percent reduction. Patients receiving the two mind-body therapies also reported a significant decrease in their perceived need for opioid medication.

“About a third of the study participants receiving one of the two mind-body therapies achieved close to a 30 percent reduction in pain intensity,” said Eric Garland, lead author of the study and director of the U’s Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development. “This clinically significant level of pain relief is roughly equivalent to the pain relief produced by 5 milligrams of oxycodone.”

Garland’s previous research has indicated that multi-week mindfulness training programs can be an effective way to reduce chronic pain symptoms and decrease prescription opioid misuse. This new study added a novel dimension to Garland’s work by revealing the promise of brief mind-body therapies for people suffering from acute pain.

“It was really exciting and quite amazing to see such dramatic results from a single mind-body session,” said Garland. “Given our nation’s current opioid epidemic, the implications of this study are potentially huge. These brief mind-body therapies could be cost-effectively and feasibly integrated into standard medical care as useful adjuncts to pain management.”

Garland and his interdisciplinary research team aim to continue studying mind-body therapies as non-opioid means of alleviating pain by conducting a national replication study in a sample of thousands of patients in multiple hospitals around the country.

U launches new Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health

Center aims to be leading hub in Intermountain West for mindfulness research

The University of Utah has launched a new center dedicated to providing a transformative influence on healthcare by unifying research on mindfulness and other integrative behavioral health interventions.

Eric Garland, associate dean for research at the U’s College of Social Work, will serve as director of the new Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development (C-MIIND). The center, which will assume oversight of more than $17 million in federal research grants, will be housed in the College of Social Work.

The University of Utah College of Social Work Associate Dean for Research Dr. Eric Garland.

“The center will advance a vision of a new model of healthcare, in which behavioral health experts work in tandem with medical providers to address the physical, psychological and social needs of people suffering from an array of health conditions,” said Garland, whose research focuses on using mindfulness to help individuals who experience chronic pain.

The center will bring together researchers and clinicians from across main campus and University of Utah Health, including faculty in social work, psychiatry, primary care, anesthesiology, neuroscience, psychology and health, who are pioneering integrative interventions aimed at improving physical and mental well-being. C-MIIND will strive to attract top faculty and provide research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral fellows interested in studying mindfulness and integrative behavioral health.

A focus of the center also will be to train post-graduates and health care providers in innovative therapies to be used in primary care clinics, hospitals, community mental health centers and addiction treatment facilities.

Summer Position Available for Upper Level Undergraduate

The University of Utah

10 hours per week (6/1/17 to 8/15/17)

We are seeking a motivated upper level undergraduate student who is interested in reviewing the literature and assisting in developing text about the general public’s perceptions about peoples of refugee backgrounds.  This summer project will be to develop a grant proposal as well as draft components of an article.  The student for this position needs to be a self-starter, an independent worker, and an excellent writer.  This person must be library resource acquainted and be able to attend weekly meetings (in person, via Skype, or via GoToMeeting, etc.).

This student in this position will compete the following activities over the summer:

  • Conduct thorough literature search on relevant topics
  • Draft summary of literature for a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Draft summary of literature for an article
  • Create and organize UBox folder for work

If you are interested, please e-mail your current resume and a statement of interest to caren.frost@socwk.utah.edu and kathleen.nicoll@gmail.com by Monday, 5/15/17.  Dr. Caren Frost and Dr. Kathleen Nicoll will review all materials and will be planning interviews the week of the 22nd of May.  For questions, please contact Dr. Frost via e-mail.  Possible funding for fall semester 2017 as well.

 

clinical research coordinator

Dear Graduating Students,

I am looking to hire a full-time clinical research coordinator to assist on multiple NIH, DOD, and PCORI-funded research projects focused on mindfulness as a treatment for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse. The position will entail recruitment, enrollment, logistics, clinical assessment (e.g., DSM diagnosis), psychophysiological measurement (brain activity, heart rate variability), and review of mindfulness therapy recordings.

Research experience is required and a MSW is preferred for this position. The ideal candidate will have served as a research assistant or study coordinator on clinical research studies or have both extensive clinical experience (with clients with mental health, addiction, and/or chronic pain) and experience with non-clinical research.

If you are interested, please email me directly (eric.garland@socwk.utah.edu) about the position. Interviews are being conducted now.

Best wishes,

Eric Garland, PhD, LCSW
———————————————–

Presidential Scholar
Associate Dean for Research
Associate Professor, College of Social Work
Associate Director of Integrative Medicine
Supportive Oncology Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute
University of Utah

office: 801-581-3826

Research Analyst

Public Recruitment (Re-Open)

Research Analyst- Administrative Office of the Courts, Salt Lake City

Position #11502

Location: Administrative Office of the Courts, Salt Lake City

(1) Full-Time position with benefits

Salary: $18.80-$28.25
Closing date: March 7, 2017

Job ID #1668328

 

Please note that internal positions are located on the website under “internal postings” and interested parties will need their Employee I.D. number to set up an account in order to apply for this position. Court jobs are accessed through the State Courts website and linked to the StateJobs website.

https://www.utcourts.gov/admin/jobs/

Research Analyst

Public Recruitment

Job #: 10957
Job Title: Research Analyst-Administrative Office, Juvenile Court Administration
Opening Date/Time:   Tue. 12/27/16 12:00 AM Mountain Time
Closing Date/Time:   Tue. 01/24/17 11:59 PM Mountain Time
Salary: $18.80 – $28.25 Hourly
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Salt Lake County, Utah
Department: 020 Judicial Branch
Number of Openings: 1
Benefits: This position is eligible for a full benefits package including medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, plus paid leave to include annual, sick, and holiday pay. The State requires employees to receive their pay through direct deposit. If selected, you will receive more information about these benefit options and enrollment information through our onboarding process and during your first week or two on the job.
Criminal Background Check: You must successfully pass a criminal history check.
Driver License Requirements: Employees hired for this recruitment will be subject to the Driver Eligibility standards found at the following link: http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r027/r027-007.htm#T3
Physical Address: Administrative Office of the Courts, Matheson Courthouse, 450 S State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Recruiter Name: Cheryl Breneman
Recruiter Telephone Number: 801-578-3804
Recruiter Email Address: cherylb@utcourts.gov
Overtime Exempt: No
Schedule Code: AO – Employees of the Judiciary.
Schedule Code Description: (1) Full-time position with benefits, Monday-Friday, 8-5. Some travel may be required.

 

https://www.utcourts.gov/admin/jobs/

Clinical Research Coordinator

University of Utah College of Social Work

Dr. Eric Garland is searching for a Clinical Research Coordinator to work on DOD and NIH-funded trials of an innovative mindfulness-based treatment (Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement, see MORE) for opioid-treated chronic pain patients.

 

Title:  Clinical Research Coordinator

Department:  01657 – CSW TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

Posting Number: PRN12807B

View posting and apply at: https://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/58566

Study Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK

Open Date 06/15/2016
Requisition Number PRN11544B
Job Title Study Coordinator
Working Title Study Coordinator
Job Grade D
FLSA Code Administrative
Standard Hours per Week 40
Work Schedule Summary
Department 00166 – College of Social Work
Type of Recruitment External Posting
Pay Rate Range 31600 to 51000
Close Date

NOTE: May close at anytime.

Open Until Filled

NOTE: May close at anytime.

Yes
Job Summary This position is for a Study Coordinator to work on DOD and NIH-funded trials of an innovative mindfulness-based treatment (Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement, see MORE) for opioid-treated chronic pain patients. The study coordinator will be responsible for regulatory procedures and the conduct of clinical and biobehavioral research related to psychological treatments for chronic pain and prescription opioid- related problems.
Responsibilities Assesses protocol for clarity and subject safety, reviews inclusion/exclusion criteria; clarifies concerns and questions with Principal Investigator and sponsor. Attends and participates in Investigator and staff meetings. Advises team regarding specific study assignments and timelines. Explains and obtains informed consent, medical history and demographics; documents in source file and maintains with historical data, status reports, progress notes, and subject log to help ensure subject safety. Determines length of visits and coordinates related facility and equipment availability. Reports and tracks adverse events (AE). Reports serious AEs to IRB and sponsor. Documents all protocol deviations, reconciles test article accountability at study close out and prepares summary report for sponsor. Completes, audits, corrects CRFs, relays CRFs to sponsor. Assists with negotiating contract budget and payment terms. Maintains documents as required by FDA guidelines.

May maintain contact with IRB and prepare and submit IRB documents. May ensure proper collection, processing and shipment of specimens. May perform functions required of the Clinical Research Assistant as necessary.

Minimum Qualifications Bachelor’s degree in a related field, or equivalency required. IRB CITI Course in the Protection of Human Research subjects certificate obtained within six months of hire and demonstrated human relations and effective communication skills are also required.

Some departments may require IATA DGR training within six months.

Preferences Master’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or nursing; prior clinical trial experience involving direct patient contact;
experience on federal research grants (e.g., NIH, DOD); experience working with chronic pain and substance abuse
Type Benefited Staff
Additional Information
The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, University of Utah policy of equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, veteran’s status, status as a qualified person with a disability, or genetic information. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law.
To inquire about this posting, email: employment@utah.edu or call 801-581-2300. Reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities. To request an accommodation or for further information about University AA/EO policies, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Cr., Rm 135, (801) 581-8365 (V/TDD), email: oeo@umail.utah.edu.

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). To be eligible for retirement contributions, you must be hired into a benefit-eligible position. Certain new hires are automatically assigned to the URS retirement plan and other employees with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in the URS within 30 days of hire. Regardless of whether they are hired into a benefit-eligible position or not, individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS must notify the Benefits Department upon hire. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801)366-7770 or (800)695-4877 or the University’s Benefits Department at (801)581-7447 for information.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.

https://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/55304