Community Rounds
August 31, 2022

Practitioner and Stakeholder Perspectives on Opioid Use and Treatment Across Rural Northern New England


Valerie Harder, PhD, MHS,
Julia Shaw, MPH

Our speakers are Valerie Harder, PhD, MHS, Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Co-Director of UVM CORA’s Surveillance and Evaluation Core at the University of Vermont, and Julia Shaw, MPH, Manager of the Surveillance and Evaluation Core at UVM CORA. This presentation explores data from UVM CORA’s Baseline Needs Assessments in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, sharing insights gathered from practitioners and stakeholders about their concerns about opioid use and their perceived barriers to and beliefs about opioid use disorder treatment. Learn what others in the field are saying!

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe which substances are of highest concern to practitioners and stakeholders in rural northern New England
  2. Identify the top barriers to opioid use disorder treatment in rural northern New England
  3. Discuss differences between rural practitioner and stakeholder beliefs about medications for opioid use disorder
  4. Describe rural first responders’ beliefs about medications for opioid use disorder


Valerie Harder

Valerie Harder, PhD, MHS,

Dr. Harder is Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), at the UVM Larner College of Medicine. Dr. Harder is Director of the Health Services Research Team at VCHIP, focusing her research on measuring the impact of public health interventions to improve physical and mental health outcomes of youth and young adults statewide. Her research team leverages large administrative health data sources to assess the impact of quality improvement efforts, targeted interventions, and statewide policies. In addition, she leads evaluations assessing improvement projects around health systems in primary and specialty care. Dr. Harder received her doctorate in mental health epidemiology and her master’s in biostatistics both from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Julia Shaw

Julia Shaw, MPH

Julia comes to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction with 10 years of experience in HIV, hepatitis C, and health care system research and policy advocacy. She is passionate about health care access and health equity. Prior to joining CORA, Julia was the Policy Analyst at Vermont’s Office of the Health Care Advocate, where she advocated on behalf of Vermonters for health care system improvements. Previously, she managed a number of HIV prevention and reproductive health research studies at the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at the Miriam Hospital and Brown University, where she gained experience in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. Julia holds a Master’s in Public Health from Brown University and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University. She has directly served Vermonters as a volunteer HIV Test Counselor at Vermont CARES since 2013.