Dr. Sigmon is the Principal Investigator of the HRSA grant for the UVM Center on Rural Addiction. She is a tenured Professor of Psychiatry at UVM and researcher with the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health in the Larner College of Medicine. Dr. Sigmon also helps lead the Chittenden Clinic Opioid Treatment Program—the first and largest clinic of its kind in Vermont. Dr. Sigmon’s scientific research focus is on developing efficacious opioid use disorder treatments, including innovative medication delivery.View Dr. Sigmon’s publications
CORA is led by University of Vermont faculty who have over three decades of engagement in innovative research and clinical efforts to develop novel treatments for opioid use disorder. Our work began with the seminal studies demonstrating buprenorphine treatment efficacy, which contributed to its FDA approval. Our center’s team of clinicians, faculty, and staff have extensive backgrounds and expertise in public health, research, and treatment of substance use disorders.
Dr. Heil is the Associate Director of the UVM Center on Rural Addiction. She is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychological Science at UVM and a faculty member of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health. Dr. Heil earned her PhD from Dartmouth College in 1997, then completed National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowships in substance abuse research at Wayne State University and UVM. She joined the faculty at UVM in 2002. Continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since that time, her research interests revolve around the reproductive health needs of people with substance use disorders, with a recent focus on helping these people avoid unintended pregnancy. Dr. Heil has more than 150 publications to her credit and is an elected Fellow of two divisions of the American Psychological Association. She has served on the Board of Directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the editorial board of the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. View Dr. Heil’s publications
Dr. Peck is the Director of Clinical Operations for the UVM Center on Rural Addiction. He is an Assistant Professor with joint appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychological Science at UVM. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Mississippi. His primary research and clinical interests are two-fold. First, he has conducted research focused on the development and evaluation of novel treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD). Second, he has worked extensively to address co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in individuals with substance use disorders, particularly around the delivery and evaluation of cognitive-behavioral treatments for PTSD. Dr. Peck is currently conducting a randomized clinical trial aimed at developing and evaluating a novel Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy protocol for improving PE therapy attendance and PTSD symptom severity among individuals with co-occurring PTSD and OUD. Link to Dr. Peck’s publications.
For the past 14 years, Nicole has managed the administration, strategic plans, grants, and fiscal governance of four scientific research organizations. For the past seven years, she has focused primarily on supporting the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists and their work within a federal grant to decrease maternal and child morbidity and mortality associated with pre-and post-natal environmental and other toxic exposures. Nicole brings to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction her specialty in conducting outreach programs to vulnerable populations and her knowledge in the area of trainings and education to deliver the latest scientific research regarding substance use disorder and prescription medications. It is with Nicole’s experience that she facilitates the goals of the HRSA Maternal and Child Environmental Health Network program. She has expertise in serving as a liaison to government, corporation, and academia as it relates to foundation support, new science in the field, and opportunities for collaboration. Through her efforts, Nicole works to help expand federal grantees’ reach, and strategically position them for future growth and impact.
Dr. Mallett comes to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction with a Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Psychology, and a PhD in Higher Education Administration. For the past seven years, Ashley has worked within the higher education field in leadership, grant administration, and project management at rural community colleges, focusing on student success, program development, department growth, and sustainable funding through collaborations and partnerships. Ashley utilizes her experience in higher education and grant administration to support each of the four Cores and leadership with a variety of tasks including strategic planning, compliance, technical assistance, and reporting.
Laura has worked in project management and communications for nonprofit, consulting, and Fortune 50 companies over her 30-year career. Her areas of focus have included client and member support, governance, finance, compliance, and website design. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Psychology. Her immediate past assignment was with an international, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers, and their babies. Through her work with scientific research organizations for the past ten years, Laura brings her knowledge and expertise of communications, administrative support, and program implementation surrounding public health initiatives to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction.
Prior to joining the UVM Center on Rural Addiction Rene’s professional experience included working as a paralegal, office manager and bookkeeper, mortgage loan officer, elementary teacher, and an operational services administrator. While her career path has varied, what has remained constant is her enjoyment of working alongside dedicated people performing meaningful work. Rene is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those who have been impacted by SUD, particularly OUD, and is honored to have the opportunity to devote her energy and skills to supporting the mission of CORA. Rene has a Master’s Degree in Teaching for Social Justice from Marlboro College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a focus in History from Norwich University and an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Champlain College, magna cum laude. She is also a licensed elementary teacher in Vermont. Rene was raised in rural southern Vermont, and is thrilled to be living in the Burlington area.
Dr. Nareff came to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction after 20 years in the field of wildlife biology. She has a PhD in Forest Resources Science from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining CORA, Gretchen worked for the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She received her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from UVM in 2002 and after living in numerous states, was thrilled to return to Burlington to join the team. She brings her project management, data analysis, and editorial skills to the team and oversees CORA’s budget and spending.
Dr. Rose is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UVM. As a researcher, she has directed and contributed to projects broadly focused on clinical, health services, and patient self-directed care for behavioral health and substance misuse. In particular, her work has focused on the application of various technologies to the identification and treatment of substance misuse in outpatient settings, and on the integration of behavioral health in primary care. Dr. Rose received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa. Link to Dr. Rose’s publications. View Dr. Rose’s publications
Ms. Hansen comes to CORA with over 20 years in Biological Sciences Industry and Education experience. Cheryl held project coordinator and head of department positions while establishing several specialized curricula and outreach programs. Collaborating with principal investigators at institutions such as Uniformed Services University, University of Maryland, and NIH, Cheryl initiated and promoted science research programs and internships for the advancement of girls in STEM. Prior to teaching, she worked in the field of Genomics and Molecular Biology, optimizing procedures for the sequencing and analysis of whole species genomes. She completed her Bachelor of Science at SUNY Brockport and her Master of Science at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Rawson is a Research Professor at the Vermont Center for Behavior and Health at UVM and a Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. He received a PhD in experimental psychology from UVM in 1974. Dr. Rawson conducted numerous clinical trials on pharmacological and psychosocial/behavioral addiction treatments for the treatment of individuals with opioid, cocaine, and methamphetamine disorders. He led addiction research and training projects for the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. State Department, exporting science-based knowledge to many parts of the world. He is a member of the Motivational Incentives Policy Group, a volunteer group that is working to reduce obstacles to the use of contingency management for treatment of stimulant use disorder. He currently provides technical assistance to 8 states on the development of treatment services for individuals with stimulant use disorder. Dr. Rawson has published 3 books, 40 book chapters, and over 250 peer-reviewed articles and has conducted many workshops, paper presentations, and training sessions. View Dr. Rawson’s publications
Prior to coming to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction, Lauren worked as a therapeutic preschool teacher working to support families from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, including children and their caregivers affected by substance and opioid use disorder. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz where she studied Anthropology and Disaster Studies, and a Master of Social Work from UVM.
Stephen has spent the past three years at the Vermont Center on Behavioral and Health as a research assistant on Dr. Sigmon’s Interim Buprenorphine Treatment clinical trials, investigating technology-assisted medication delivery to reduce illicit opioid use and other risk behaviors. Prior to coming to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction, they worked as a Lab Technician III for a Developmental Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. Stephen also led a team of sterile compounding technicians in USP797 High Risk and USP800 Hazardous Drug Compounding cleanrooms for four years.
Peter is the lead research assistant on Dr. Sigmon’s Interim Buprenorphine Treatment clinical trials, investigating technology-assisted medication delivery to reduce illicit opioid use and other risk behaviors. His prior experience includes working with adults to address substance abuse and mental health needs, providing supportive housing assistance to those experiencing chronic homelessness, and working with traumatic brain injury survivors to address life skills needs. Peter obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at UVM in 2012.
Dr. Higgins is Director of UVM’s Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, and Principle Investigator with three NIH grants on the general topic of behavior and health. He is the Virginia H. Donaldson Endowed Professor of Translational Science in the Department of Psychological Science and serves as Vice Chair of Psychiatry. He has held many national scientific leadership positions, including terms as President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the American Psychological Association’s Division on Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse. He is the author of more than 450 journal articles and invited book chapters and editor of a dozen volumes and therapist manuals in the area of behavior and health. View Dr. Higgins’s publications
Dr. Gaalema is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychological Science at UVM. She received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her current research interests include health-related behavior change and the use of tobacco in vulnerable populations such as those with chronic medical conditions. Currently she is the Principle Investigator on a NIH-funded study aimed at increasing cardiac rehabilitation participation among those of lower-socioeconomic status and is the site-PI on a NIDA/FDA funded study examining the effects of cigarettes of varying nicotine levels on behavior in those with depression or anxiety. She is an author on more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of behavior and health. View Dr. Gaalema’s publications
Jennie served as a clinical social worker in Maine with a variety of populations, and eventually ran a private practice. She then made a career shift and taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Jennie has always been interested in issues surrounding addictions. Before returning to her home state of Vermont in fall 2020, she was a Tobacco Treatment Educator for MaineHealth’s Center for Tobacco Independence, where she developed educational resources and delivered presentations virtually and throughout the state. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from UVM and a Master of Social Work from the Boston University School of Social Work.
Elinor recently graduated from Dartmouth College’s Accelerated Master of Public Health program after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at The Ohio State University. Prior internships have provided her with experiences in health communication and conducting secondary research. She is interested in addressing health behaviors and reducing health disparities through education efforts with specific areas of interest including environmental health, reproductive healthcare, mental health, and substance misuse.
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. View Dr. Harder’s publications
r. Villanti is Deputy Director of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy at the Rutgers School of Public Health. She also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the UVM Larner College of Medicine. She has expertise in population surveillance of tobacco and substance use and translational research to improve substance use-related policy and program decision-making, including tobacco regulatory science. She received her doctorate in social and behavioral sciences from the Johns Hopkins University and her master’s in public health degree from Columbia University.
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.
Immediately prior to joining the UVM Center on Rural Addiction team, Juan conducted research and analysis on education and criminal justice issues for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. Juan holds a Master of Science in Economics and Policy Analysis from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Illinois.
Nate brings data analysis and mapping expertise to the UVM Center on Rural Addiction team, with a focus on community outreach. Prior to joining, Nate served in the U.S. Peace Corps, where he worked within local government teams in Botswana on HIV/AIDS issues. He was also a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellow, and later a staff epidemiologist in the Vermont Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Health, where he worked with the Vermont Climate and Health Program. Nate holds a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan.
Meghan assists the Surveillance & Evaluation Core with various data projects. In addition to her work with the UVM Center on Rural Addiction, Meghan is a Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System Research Specialist in the Office of Health Promotion Research at UVM. Meghan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from Vassar College.
Dr. Peasley-Miklus is a Research Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at UVM. Before joining CORA’s Surveillance & Evaluation Core, Kate coordinated NIH-funded studies within the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, including clinical trials on e-cigarette and combustible tobacco cigarette use as well as a population surveillance study on youth and young adult tobacco and substance use. Prior to her work at UVM, Kate was a Research Associate at the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry where she coordinated several multi-site clinical trials on mood disorders in older adults. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University. Link to Dr. Peasley-Miklus’ publications.
Caitlin supports the Surveillance & Evaluation Core with qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts in northern New England. Prior to joining the UVM Center on Rural Addiction, she worked with UVM’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence and Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science projects. Caitlin received an Associate of Art degree at the Community College of Vermont and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Castleton University with a focus on biology and psychology. She is currently pursuing an online Master of Public Health at UVM and has an interest in substance use disorders.
In addition to assisting the UVM Center on Rural Addiction with data management, Mark has been the Data Manager at Vermont Mammography (VMR) since 2003. Mark wears many other hats for VMR, including managing their private computer network, maintaining legacy programming code, Teleform designer and administrator, and supervision of VMR staff responsible for collection of patient health, mammography exam, and pathology data. Prior to coming to UVM, Mark worked as an Information Systems Specialist at Neshobe School in rural Vermont where he supported over 100 staff and 500 students with professional development, technology integration into the curriculum, direct instruction to students, network management, computer repair, and software installation and support. For 20 years, he was co-owner and Vice President of Sales and Service for Western Fire and Safety Equipment Co., Inc. Mark’s most rewarding job was being a stay-at-home dad for four years.
With a background in cognitive neuroscience and behavioral genetics, Dr. Althoff studies emotion regulation and suicide risk prediction. He is the Interim Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UVM Health Network. Dr. Althoff is also the Associate Editor for JAACAP, the world’s premier journal for child and adolescent psychiatry. View Dr. Althoff’s publications.
Dr. Brooklyn is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He has been a strong advocate for integrating people with substance use disorders into medical homes and conceived of the nationally recognized Hub and Spoke model to seamlessly treat opioid use disorders. He is on the UVM Medical Center Family Medicine and Psychiatry faculty as a Clinical Associate Professor and has been involved with the research of heroin, tobacco, and cocaine use treatments there since 1992. His work helped lead to the approval of buprenorphine for opioid users. He is a national mentor for opioid use and substance use disorder treatment and a trainer for students, residents and faculty members throughout the United States. His interests remain in primary care, preventative care, the interface of behavior and health, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, treatment of substance use disorders, mindfulness, and motivational interviewing. Link to Dr. Brooklyn’s publications
Megan is the Director of Nursing at the Chittenden Clinic, where she oversees a team of 20 nurses and a program of nearly 1,000 clients. She is a Certified Addiction Registered Nurse and active member of the International Society on Addiction Nursing. Her background has primarily focused on outpatient community care, first in central Pennsylvania, and for the past 11 years in the greater Chittenden County area of Vermont. Ms. Detweiler has developed nursing policy on evidence-based holistic care and harm reduction as part of nursing leadership at the Howard Center’s Chittenden Clinic, the first methadone clinic and largest hub in Vermont. She is interested in seeing both new and experienced nurses grow in their knowledge of substance use disorders, especially via education that reduces stigma in the healthcare setting.
Dr. Heward is an Assistant Professor at the UVM Larner College of Medicine and a Clinical Instructor at Yale School of Medicine. He specializes in addiction psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry and works clinically at the Addiction Treatment Program at the UVM Medical Center and on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry unit at CVPH. He serves as a mentor in the REACH fellowship (Recognizing and Eliminating disparities in Addiction through Culturally informed Healthcare) through Yale and AAAP. Dr. Heward graduated from medical school at the Yale School of Medicine. He completed a general psychiatry residency, a public psychiatry fellowship, and an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Yale. He completed a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UVM. Dr. Heward has particular interest in health disparities, access to care, and risk and protective factors for adolescent, and young adult substance use.
Dr. Jackson is an Assistant Professor at the UVM Larner College of Medicine and UVM Medical Center where he specializes in both child and adolescent psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. In both the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry he currently serves on committees responsible for preventing and treating substance use disorders in teens. He completed medical school at the University of Utah School of Medicine, residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and completed fellowships in both child and adolescent psychiatry and addiction psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His writing and teaching have included additional emphasis on the role of parents and family members in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.
Dr. Maruti is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the UVM College of Medicine. He is an Attending Inpatient Psychiatrist and is the Medical Director of the Inpatient Psychiatry Service and the Addiction Treatment Program at the UVM Medical Center. Dr. Maruti is the national course director of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) Addictions and their Treatment Course and serves on the Board of Directors of the AAAP. Dr. Maruti is Fellowship trained in Addiction Psychiatry from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and has research expertise in risk assessment, quality improvement, and outcomes measurement. Prior to attending medical school, he worked in a variety of research and development positions in biotech and health care consulting for almost a decade. Link to Dr. Maruti’s publications
Dr. Meyer is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, where she is Vice Chair for Obstetrics, the Division Director for Maternal Fetal Medicine, and the Medical Director for the Birthing Center. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the subspecialty of Maternal Fetal Medicine (high risk pregnancy). She oversees the collaborative, multidisciplinary group of providers for the treatment of opioid use disorder during pregnancy and works closely with the state to develop clinical processes for optimization and coordination of care for all medically complicated, high-risk pregnancies.
Karen is a Policy Associate at the University of Southern Maine Catherine Cutler Institute, with over 20 years with the Maine Rural Health Research Center. She has extensive experience in qualitative methods and expertise in bibliographic management. Her research interests include behavioral health and substance use issues in rural areas, the role of emergency medical services in the rural healthcare delivery system (with an emphasis on community paramedicine), patient safety, and population health.
Katie is a Research Associate at the University of Southern Maine Catherine Cutler Institute. She designs, conducts, and participates in mixed-methods research and evaluation projects for community, state, and national partners and leads qualitative research teams within the Institute. Her current portfolio focuses on interventions at the patient, provider, and systems-level for substance use disorder treatment, health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries, health systems change, rural health care, and patient-centered care. Katie’s career-long experience with Medicaid policy and programming, congruently focused on program implementation, performance, and beneficiary experience, inform her work on health care quality improvement projects and their impact on quality of care and cost.
Jeanne is the Director of the New Hampshire Citizens Health Initiative, a multi-stakeholder statewide effort to create a system of care that promotes health, assures quality, and makes care affordable, effective, and accessible to all New Hampshire residents. Jeanne’s research and professional interests include population perceptions of health and well-being and the use of multi-stakeholder collaboratives in health systems transformation .
Olivia graduated from UMass Amherst with a Master of Science in Microbiology where she focused on Lyme disease research. She has experience working at an urgent care and substance use clinic. Currently, she is a Project Director at the Institute for Health Policy and Practice where she coordinated the former Partnership for Academic-Clinical Telepractice: Medication for Addiction Treatment Project ECHO® and currently coordinates the Substance Use Disorder ECHO series. She is also a member of the UNH Project ECHO Hub team. Olivia has experience in research, data collection and analysis, and event planning.
Dr. Smith is Director of Substance Use Research & Evaluation and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Southern Maine Catherine Cutler Institute, where she is responsible for designing and implementing health services research and evaluation projects related to addressing substance use disorder. Most of her research and evaluation work has focused on macro-level issues and has been designed to help systems reduce illness burden as well as healthcare utilization and costs. She has extensive research and clinical expertise in the area of substance use and behavioral health disorders, which has been the primary focus of her research agenda for over 20 years. She has experience designing and managing research and evaluation projects at the local, state, and federal levels and has worked on projects funded by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Veterans Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Human Resources & Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Justice.
In addition to being a nurse, Janet is a quality improvement practice facilitator and project director at New Hampshire Citizens Health Initiative, working on delivery system and payment reform. She works with a multi-disciplinary team, implementing evidence-based science into practice on topics including medications for addiction treatment for community providers and student nurse practitioners, behavioral health integration, chronic care management in rural and undeserved areas, pediatric mental health access to care, trauma informed care screening, and harm reduction education and technical assistance for persons with substance use disorder.