Two new academic research centers established in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) will work to address critical public health needs across South Carolina and the United States.
Recently approved by the Clemson Board of Trustees, the Centers for Addiction and Mental Health Research and Public Health Modeling and Response will collaborate with Clemson University faculty, staff, students, community partners, clinicians and public health stakeholders to prevent and mitigate public health problems – including, but not limited to, addiction and mental health conditions, infectious diseases, food insecurity and more.
“As a college, we are committed to the development and advancement of research initiatives that positively impact our local community and state,” said Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “And the Centers for Addiction and Mental Health Research and Public Health Modeling and Response have the potential to not only improve the lives of South Carolinians but, more importantly, save them.”
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research will expand on the existing synergy of addiction, mental health and wellness research within the College and across the University to inform policy, reduce harms and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities throughout the state and nation.
Heidi Zinzow, professor and licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychology, and Dr. Alain Litwin, addiction treatment specialist and professor of practice in the Department of Psychology, will serve as co-directors of the center.
“Our state and nation are experiencing public health emergencies where evidence-based research is critical for improving policy and practice,” said Zinzow. “As a centralized unit for research and collaboration, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research has the ability to share knowledge and resources in order to enhance prevention and treatment of mental health conditions. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with addiction and psychological disorders.”
In collaboration with Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center, the South Carolina Center of Excellence in Addiction and other partners, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research at Clemson will conduct research on the prevalence, prevention and intervention for addiction and mental health conditions in an effort to improve treatment options, quality of service, economic status, physical health and overall wellness.
Over time, the center will expand to include approximately 35 faculty members in CBSHS and 15 faculty in other University colleges who conduct similar research on addiction and mental health.
“Our new center will collaborate with diverse stakeholders within Clemson and across South Carolina and the United States as we develop disruptive solutions for preventing and treating addiction and mental health conditions. We will provide support and mentoring for investigators who will be leading the way to develop new knowledge and innovative models of care and prevention,” said Litwin.
The Center for Public Health Modeling and Response
The Center for Public Health Modeling and Response will utilize data-driven approaches to inform clinical and public health decision-making and assist health organizations and communities in their preparedness for – and responsiveness to – public health threats. Lior Rennert, assistant professor and biostatistician in the Department of Public Health Sciences, will serve as director.
Identifying a deficit in utilization of modeling to directly inform public health response, the center is the first of its kind in the nation and will build upon existing public health research across the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and Clemson University to create a comprehensive resource for public health modeling, preparedness and response throughout the state.
Researchers will design and implement modeling frameworks to help health care professionals, patients, public health officials and communities with decisions about diagnostic testing, treatment initiation, lifestyle changes and resource allocation.
“Nationally, there are centers that address one concern or the other – public health modeling or response – but not both,” said Rennert. “Our long-term goal for the Center for Public Health Modeling and Response is to use scientific data to address health concerns of individuals and underserved communities in South Carolina while simultaneously training the next generation of researchers in development of modeling frameworks that directly assist public health response.”
The College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) was established in July 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.
Or email us at email@example.com