Individual Grant Awards

Project: Research project

Project Details


One in three Pennsylvanian eighth graders has used alcohol, significantly higher than the national average (23%). We propose addressing underage drinking in ten rural counties in Central PA through training primary care and school personnel in Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) using telehealth, specifically Project ECHO. Importantly, these counties also have in place Communities that Care (CtC) coalitions, an evidence-based approach that takes communities through a well-defined and structured process to prevent adolescent problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. By identifying CtC partner coalitions for the proposed project, we effectively integrate the SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). Rural communities are particularly critical to address given that alcohol use by rural youths is higher than use by their urban counterparts (37.8% vs. 34.3%). Overall, 31%, 46%, and 61% report alcohol use in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, which is higher than the national average (24%, 43%, 56%, respectively). Our ten selected rural counties have an estimated 2017 population of 78,833 persons aged 10-19 years. Within these counties there are 50 school districts and 631 primary care providers (defined as both family medicine and pediatric providers), important targets for our proposed intervention. One service gap for addressing underage drinking is the lack of appropriate screening, intervention and referral for alcohol use among youth. Guidelines recommend primary care providers incorporate screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) into routine care. Engaging and training primary care providers and school nurses from our 10-county rural catchment area in SBIRT will enhance the infrastructure to increase the capacity to implement, sustain and improve effective substance abuse prevention services. Specifically, our goals include increasing the capacity of primary care providers and school nurses to provide SBIRT to persons ages 9-20 to reduce alcohol use and opioid use and provide treatment and/or referral for those currently using these substances. By the end of 2024, our team will have trained 20% of primary care providers and 20 school nurses within the ten-county catchment area through Project ECHO. As a result, we anticipate benefiting more than 42,000 youth aged 9-20 over the proposed project period.

Effective start/end date1/1/19 → …


  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: $295,479.00


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