Arctic-SBIRT Training

For additional information about the Arctic SBIRT program, please visit their webpage.

In September 2013, CBHRS was one of 12 recipients nationwide of a three-year award to adapt and integrate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Screening and Brief Intervention or Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) curricula into nursing, social work and psychology courses at UAA. The project, called Arctic-SBIRT, has as its primary goal: To prepare Alaska's workforce to provide early identification and intervention for substance misuse through SBIRT training, thereby reducing the health consequences of substance abuse and improving the health of Alaska's population.

To accomplish this goal Arctic-SBIRT will use a partnership approach to achieve 6 objectives:

1. Adapt and implement SBIRT curricula within UAA health professional programs (i.e., nursing, social work and psychology) and the Alaska Family Medicine Residency by augmenting existing substance abuse training and providing rurally tailored and culturally competent case study, simulation experiences and practicum opportunities to improve knowledge, attitude and behavior;

2. Increase collaboration among campus partners by assuring representation of diverse health professions in curricula planning, and on the project Council of Directors (COD).

3. Assure students are provided with SBIRT education that is relevant to their respective disciplines and also rurally tailored and culturally and linguistically appropriate, both within the classroom and in practice settings;

4. Disseminate SBIRT education to expand the reach of SBIRT curricula to a broader number of disciplines (e.g., physician assistant, dental) by expanding the COD and sharing outcomes and lessons learned during the grant period, as well as offering training through existing faculty development programs;

5. Disseminate SBIRT-related stories to increase adoption of SBIRT in clinical settings, by sharing success stories from organizations and students using SBIRT, hosting regional trainings and webinars, and engaging media to heighten awareness of the feasibility and effectiveness of SBIRT in routine clinical practice.

6. Establish institutional policies to sustain the inclusion of SBIRT curricula as a component of graduation requirements and to assure the ongoing training of health professionals beyond the grant.

The Project goals and objectives will be accomplished with the help of many partners and allies. The partners listed below are those who are directly involved in the planning and implementation of this exciting project!

CBHRS Project Coordination Partners:
Diane King, Program Director
Bridget Hanson, Evaluation Director
Alexandra Edwards, Project Manager
Jodi Barnett, Evaluator
Amanda Elkins, Graduate Research Assistant

Academic Program Partners:
Maureen O'Malley, Associate Director, School of Nursing
James Fitterling, PhD Program Director, Psychology
Gloria Eldridge, MS Program Director Psychology
Elizabeth Sirles, Program Director, School of Social Work
Ryan Shercliffe, Manager, Interdisciplinary Simulation Center

Healthcare Partners:
Sarah Dewane, Alaska Family Medicine Residency
Rhonda Richtsmeier, Chief of Public Health Nursing
Richard (Rusty) Tews, Sobering Center Manager, Yokon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC)
Alan Shear, CHAPS Program and SBIRT Instructor, YKHC

Policy Partners:
Diane Casto, Prevention and Early Intervention Services, State of Alaska
James McLaughlin, Behavioral Health, State of Alaska




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