CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 8, 1999
UI receives Wellmark grant to produce substance abuse
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Substance Abuse Counseling
Program and the Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center (Prairielands
ATTC) have received a $95,000 Wellmark Foundation grant to develop a training
program and produce a CD-ROM to help healthcare professionals detect and assess
drug and alcohol abuse.
The primary purpose of the grant is to train frontline
professionals such as physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists
and dentists in the early identification and assessment of substance abuse
problems among their patients. People with substance abuse health problems
also benefit from early intervention and follow-up after treatment, which
will be incorporated in the training. The CD-ROM will include information
that professionals will find helpful when working with substance abusers,
especially pregnant women and Native Americans with substance abuse problems.
Anne Helene Skinstad, the projects principal
investigator and coordinator of the Substance Abuse Counseling Program, said
she expects the CD-ROM to be ready for pilot testing in Iowa and South Dakota
within a year.
"Usually, when you develop a CD-ROM, its
limiting because information can get outdated so quickly," said Skinstad,
who is also an assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Educations
Division of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development. "But
in this project, the disk will be interactive with the Internet and users
will have access to the very latest information."
The CD-ROM is a cooperative project involving addiction
experts at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and in the University
of Iowas Colleges of Education, Public Health and Nursing as well as
the College of Medicines departments of family medicine and pharmacology.
Duane Mackey at the University of South Dakota is the coordinator for Prairielands
ATTC in South Dakota and is assisting the project's development related to
The Wellmark grant is for one year, but Skinstad said
the project could be extended another year so results of the pilot testing
can be incorporated before the CD-ROM is made more widely available.
The CD-ROM project is related to a curriculum being
developed by a five-member team of addiction experts at the Prairielands ATTC
to help healthcare and counseling professionals recognize substance abuse
problems in the people they serve and refer them to treatment.
The Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center,
directed by Skinstad, is one of 13 regional Centers funded through the Center
for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) within the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Service Administration (SAMHSA). The Prairielands ATTC will receive
$525,000 annually for the next two years to enhance substance abuse education
within Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The Center began operation
in October 1998 and is located within the Substance Abuse Counseling Program,
which has been preparing masters level professionals in substance abuse
counseling for more than 25 years at the University of Iowa.
In addition, the Prairielands ATTC has four Centers
of Excellence to address the special needs of sub-populations with substance
"Were going to focus on substance abuse
among four primary populations: Native Americans, patients with medical or
psychiatric disorders, women and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered
persons," said Skinstad, an internationally known expert on substance
abuse and education. "But the overriding theme is substance abuse issues
in rural and frontier states."
She said the Prairielands ATTC team will create online-based
instruction and other alternative methods of providing substance abuse education
for the target region, which is predominantly rural and frontier and has many
Native American communities.