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Meet the National Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment ATTC (National SBIRT ATTC)

February, 2013

Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in October 2012, the National SBIRT ATTC seeks to advance SBIRT national as a timely public health model—a model worthy and in need of advancement to reach its full potential impact on the health of Americans. As the new National SBIRT ATTC, we will coordinate multiple national SBIRT initiatives by offering a Suite of Services to advance the adoption of SBIRT practices within systems.

The Institute for Research, Education and Training (IRETA) is the parent organization of the National SBIRT ATTC. Formerly the Northeast ATTC for Pennsylvania and New York, IRETA has been designated a national SBIRT focus center because of our decade-long work to promote its use in a range of settings among a variety of professionals. IRETA served as the lead training organization for the state of Pennsylvania’s 2003-2008 SBIRT grant and now works with emergency room nurses, anesthesiology students, and an intraprofessional healthcare collaborative serving rural Pennsylvanians, among others, on SBIRT training and implementation.

To further expand our capacity and deepen our expertise, we are partnering with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to help healthcare and EAP providers utilize the SBIRT model.

The goals of the National SBIRT ATTC are to:

  • Serve as the national subject matter expert and key resource for SBIRT;
  • Broaden the ATTC scope of implementation practices and system transformation approaches for SBIRT through the development of an SBIRT suite of services;
  • Develop strategies to expand the workforce(s) that utilize SBIRT and work toward the consistent application of the SBIRT model to ensure fidelity and sustainability.


SBIRT Suite of Services

We’ve been working hard over the last four months to get the National SBIRT ATTC up and running. We have launched many of the resources and activities that will make up our suite of services and plan on adding more. So far, these services include:

  • National Registry of Qualified SBIRT Trainers – A list of experienced SBIRT trainers across the US
  • Monthly Live Webinars – Online presentations on SBIRT-related topics designed for a practitioners in a variety of settings
  • Webinar Library – Previously recorded webinars available on-demand at no cost
  • Technical assistance and consultation - Email us at [email protected]
  • Online Resources – Categorized links to the wealth of SBIRT resources online
    SBIRT Toolkit for Practice - Materials for clients, practitioners, and organizations to use
  • The SBIRT Alert eNewsletter – An SBIRT-focused e-newsletter includes announcements of upcoming webinars and trainings, publications and resources, links and articles of interest
  • Request and Response – Information about SBIRT projects, financing, and training in response to emailed requests. Have a question about SBIRT in your state? Email [email protected]


Meet the National SBIRT Staff

Peter Luongo, PhD (Principal Investigator): joined IRETA as Executive Director in August 2011. He served for 7 years as the SSA for the State of Maryland and prior to that served in senior executive positions in Montgomery County, MD health and human services. He has served as PI and Co-PI for federal grants and is considered an expert clinician, teacher of clinicians and organizational consultant.

Holly Hagle, PhD (Program Director): has been working with SBIRT since 2003 and has been the lead in implementation since 2006 in all IRETA SBIRT funded projects including the two HRSA funded projects with the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, PA and NY state SBIRT projects, and multiple other SBIRT training and implementation projects.

Dawn Lindsay, PhD (Evaluator): has been on the staff of IRETA since April 2011. She is the NIDA Blending Liaison for the SBIRT ATTC and managed recruitment and data collection for the recent ATTC Workforce Survey. She also oversees other research and evaluation projects for IRETA. She has eight years of past experience conducting federally-funded research in adolescent substance use disorders.

Eric Goplerud, PhD (National SBIRT ATTC Partner): serves as Director of NORC’s Department of Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Criminal Justice Studies. The Department conducts large and small-area survey research, policy analyses, program evaluations, technical assistance and training across a broad array of behavioral health and justice issues

Tracy McPherson, PhD (National SBIRT ATTC Partner): is the Senior Research Scientist at NORCs Department of Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Criminal Justice Studies. She has been at NORC since 2011. She co-leads the BIG Initiative and Hospital SBIRT Initiatives.


SBIRT is changing: Connect with us to learn more

SBIRT continues to evolve. Since researchers began to study its effectiveness in 1993, we have learned a great deal about workflow, financing, screening tools, and the range of behavioral health issues it can address. The environment is also changing— the Affordable Care Act’s effort to reduce our country’s steep healthcare costs and its emphasis on prevention and wellness are creating a fertile environment for SBIRT practices to grow. Stay in the loop about SBIRT’s evolution by connecting with the National SBIRT ATTC.


The following learning opportunities are on the horizon now:

  • Patient Privacy and Confidentiality in the Changing Health Care Environment: HIPAA, 42CFR Part 2 and Health Care Reform, February 28, 2013 1:00 p.m. – 2:30pm EST Presenter: Karla Lopez, Staff Attorney Legal Action Center. The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States addressing the needs for persons with substance use disorders. They are national subject matter experts on federal regulations governing confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records (42 C.F.R. Part 2) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations. For further information: [email protected]
  • Join us on a live webinar – Our next webinar is Guide to Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): An Introduction to Screening - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00 - 3:00 (Eastern)This training will introduce health professionals to the use of valid, brief screening tools and determining recommended level of intervention based on level of risk. Participants will learn how to:
    • Administer and receive copies of brief, validated screening tools that can be integrated into routine practice to identify unhealthy alcohol use, tobacco use, and drug use, including prescription medication misuse (e.g., AUDIT-C/AUDIT, CAGE, CRAFFT, NIAAA single item screeners, DAST, ASSIST.
    • Introduce screening to patients and be able to relate screening score results to level of risk and appropriate level of intervention.

Subscribe to the SBIRT Alert to receive updates on these and other learning opportunities.

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