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WVU to provide frontline training against opioid and substance abuse disorders

Educators and clinicians at West Virginia University’s School of Medicine will train the next generation of frontline healthcare providers with more interdisciplinary educational experiences when it comes to battling substance use disorders and the myriad of related medical and psychological services that accompany those cases.

Through a three-year, $710,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Barbara Cubic, Ph.D., director of behavioral health and clinical psychologist in WVU’s Department of Family Medicine, will implement a training model to improve access to care while preparing trainees to assess, diagnose and treat addictions. 

“Presenting with addictions creates so much complexity when it comes to providing care in family medicine settings,” Cubic said. “These patients often have depression, anxiety, amongst other health concerns. We want providers to be able to provide a ‘warm hand-off’ of the patient in real time to psychologists so that they get the appropriate care.”

Clinical psychology students from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will train at four practicum sites that include:

  • Comprehensive Opioid Addiction Treatment Program (COAT).
  • Inpatient Family Medicine Service.
  • Outpatient Family Medicine Clinic.
  • Center for Hope and Healing

At each site, psychology trainees will work alongside medical residents specializing in family medicine to provide clinical services to patients. They will train under the joint supervision of licensed clinical psychologists and attending physicians. 

“Ultimately, we can improve patient care by continuing to improve training, which this grant helps allow us to do in a more targeted way,” Cubic said.

For more information about the School of Medicine, visit medicine.hsc.wvu.edu.

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under D40HP33379 from the Graduate Psychology Education Programs ($710, 308 awarded, 0% financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

-WVU-

cat 9/11/19