Professor part of efforts to fight opioid epidemic



Pitt School Work Professor working with federal, state, and University partners to address Pennsylvania’s opioid addiction problem

University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Assistant Professor Gerald Cochran is part of a newly funded three-year, three million-dollar project to help improve opioid addiction treatment in rural Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate Schools of Public Health and Social Work will partner to double the number of primary care physicians delivering high-quality medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in rural Pennsylvania, with a special focus on people covered by Medicaid.

“The opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic affects all Pennsylvanians, from the most urban areas to the most rural,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “My administration has been working diligently to serve all of our citizens, no matter their location, and help folks struggling with addiction overcome their disease. I’m thrilled that we have been given the opportunity to expand our efforts through this federal grant.”

Dr. Cochran will be working with the evaluation and analysis team to monitor outcomes.

The project’s Principal Investigator is Dale Adair, MD, FAPA, Medical Director and Chief Psychiatric Officer of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services.

Co-investigators include Dr. Cochran; Evan Cole, Todd Bear, and Julie Donohue of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; Jan Pringle of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy; Joyce Change of the University of Pittsburgh Division of General Internal Medicine; and Walid Gellad and Adam Gordon of the Pittsburgh Veterans Administration and Pitt Internal Medicine.

Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Primary Care Practices project begins in September 2016. 

For more information please contact Director of Marketing and Communications Shannon Murphy at shm87@pitt.edu.