For three decades, our faculty have engaged in innovative research and clinical efforts to develop novel treatments for opioid-use disorder. Our work began with the seminal studies demonstrating buprenorphine (BUP) treatment efficacy, which contributed to its FDA approval.
- Stacey Sigmon
Stacey Sigmon, PhD
Director, UVM CORA
Dr. Stacey Sigmon is the Primary 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 to 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 OUD treatments, including innovative medication delivery.View Dr. Sigmon’s publications
- Sarah Heil
Sarah Heil, PhD
Associate Director, UVM CORA
Dr. Heil is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Vermont and a faculty member of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health. Dr. Heil earned her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1997, then completed National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowships in substance abuse research at Wayne State University and the University of Vermont. She joined the faculty at Vermont in 2002. Continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since that time, her research interests revolve around the reproductive health needs of women with substance use disorders, with a recent focus on helping these women avoid unintended pregnancy. Dr. Heil has more than 100 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
- Nicole Greer
Nicole Greer, BS
For the past 14 years, Ms. Greer has managed the administration, strategic plans, grants, and fiscal governance of four scientific research organizations, with the past seven years being 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 UVM CORA 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 abuse and prescription medications. It is with Nicole’s experience that she facilitates the goals of the HRSA Maternal and Child Environmental Health Network (MCEHN) 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, Ms. Greer works to help expand federal grantees’ reach, and strategically position them for future growth and impact.
- Nancy Bercaw
Nancy Bercaw, BA
Nancy Stearns Bercaw has written about health, science, education, and technology for publications around the world including the New York Times, Korea Herald, Huffington Post, and U.S. News & World Report. She is the author of two health-related books: “Brain in a Jar” and “Dryland.” Since 2017, she has served as chief of staff and communications and marketing advisor for Ajman University in the United Arab Emirates. She is an outside communications consultant with UVM CORA, leveraging her experience as a communications specialist with the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health from 2015 to 2017.
- Gail Rose
Gail Rose, PhD
Director, Best Practices Core
Dr. Rose is 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.
- Rick Rawson
Rick Rawson, PhD
Senior Advisor, Best Practices Core
Dr. Rawson is a Research Professor at the Vermont Center for Behavior and Health at the University of Vermont and a Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. He received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Vermont 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 recently evaluated the Vermont hub and spoke system of care for individuals with opioid use disorders and is now evaluating a program at the UVMMC inducting opioid users onto buprenorphine in the emergency department. He has led addiction research and training projects for the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the U.S. State Department, and Institute of Peace. Dr. Rawson has published 3 books, 40 book chapters, and over 250 peer-reviewed articles and has conducted over 1,000 workshops, paper presentations, and training sessions.
- Jennifer Lyon-Horne
Jennifer Lyon-Horne, MS
Manager, Best Practices Core
Jen Lyon-Horne has over 20 years of experience working with children, adults and families to address substance use and mental health needs, including identifying and problem -solving the barriers individuals experience in accessing appropriate treatment. Throughout her career, Ms. Lyon-Horne has partnered with other providers, agencies and organizations to promote multidisciplinary treatment for clients.
- Stephen Higgins
Stephen Higgins, PhD
Co-Director, Education & Outreach Core
Dr. Higgins is Director of the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Center on Behavior and Health, and Principle Investigator with five NIH grants on the general topic of behavior and health. He is the Virginia H. Donaldson Endowed Professor of Translational Science in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology 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 300 journal articles and invited book chapters and editor of a dozen volumes and therapist manuals in the area of behavior and health.
- Diann Gaalema
Diann Gaalema, PhD
Co-Director, Education & Outreach Core
Dr. Gaalema is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her current research interests include motivating health-related behavior change and the use of tobacco in vulnerable populations such as those with chronic medical conditions. Currently she is the PI on a NIH-funded project aimed at increasing cardiac rehabilitation participation among low income patients and is the site-PI on a NIDA/FDA funded project examining the effects of cigarettes of varying nicotine levels on behavior in those with depression or anxiety disorders.
- Nellie Stidham
Nellie Stidham, BS
Research Assistant, Education and Outreach Core
Nellie Stidham received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Vermont, where she focused her studies on substance use disorders and their neurobiological origins. Her undergraduate thesis investigated engagement in Vermont recovery services and its impact on quality of life in adults. She has a background in clinical care and has experience working at a community recovery center and a short-term detox center. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Pharmacology and researches neonatal abstinence syndrome as part of her studies.
- Jennifer Noel
Jennifer Noel, LCSW
Program Manager, Education & Outreach Core
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 BA in psychology from the University of Vermont and an MSW from the Boston University School of Social Work.
- Andrea Villanti
Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH
Co-Director, Surveillance & Evaluation Core
Dr. Villanti is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Vermont Center on Behavior & Health, at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. She also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the University of Vermont Department of Psychological Sciences. 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.
- Valerie Harder
Valerie Harder, PhD, MHS
Co-Director, Surveillance & Evaluation Core
Dr. Harder is Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), at the University of Vermont 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
- Nathaniel Schafrick
Nathaniel Schafrick, MS, MPH
Data Analyst, Surveillance & Evaluation Core
Nate brings data analysis and mapping expertise to the UVM CORA 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 an M.P.H. in Epidemiology and an M.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan.
- Caitlin McCluskey
Caitlin McCluskey, BS
Research Assistant, Surveillance and Evaluation Core
Caitlin McCluskey is the research assistant for UVM CORA’s Surveillance and Evaluation Core, supporting qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts in northern New England. Prior to joining UVM CORA, she worked with UVM’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) 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 the University of Vermont and has an interest in substance use disorders.
- Julia Shaw
Julia Shaw, MPH
Manager, Surveillance and Evaluation Core
Julia comes to CORA 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, Julia 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.
- John Brooklyn
John Brooklyn, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Medicine and Psychiatry, UVM Larner College of Medicine
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 an Assistant Clinical 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.
- Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson, MD
Co-Director of Clinical Affairs, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UVM Larner College of Medicine
Dr. Jackson is an assistant professor at the University of Vermont 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.
- Sanchit Maruti
Sanchit Maruti, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UVM Larner College of Medicine
Dr. Maruti is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont 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 University of Vermont 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.
- Marjorie Meyer
Marjorie Meyer, MD
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, UVM Larner College of Medicine.
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 in pregnancy and works closely with the state to develop clinical processes for optimization and coordination of care for all medically complicated, high risk pregnancies.
- Brady Heward
Brady Heward, MD
Co-Director of Clinical Affairs, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Dr. Heward is an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont 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 UVMMC 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 the University of Vermont. Dr. Heward has particular interest in health disparities, access to care, and risk and protective factors for adolescent and young adult substance use.
- Robert Althoff
Robert Althoff, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychological Sciences
Robert Althoff, MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychological Science at the University of Vermont. With a background in cognitive neuroscience and behavioral genetics, Dr. Althoff studies emotion regulation and suicide risk prediction. He is the Medical Director of Psychiatry at CVPH in Plattsburgh and is Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry at the UVM Health Network. He is also the Associate Editor for JAACAP, the world’s premier journal for child and adolescent psychiatry.
- Megan Detweiler
Megan Detweiler, RN
Director of Nursing, Chittenden Clinic
Megan Detweiler 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 (CARN) and active member of the International Society on Addiction Nursing (IntNSA). Her background has primarily focused on outpatient community care, first in central Pennsylvania and for the last 8 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 VT. 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.
- Jeanne Ryer
Jeanne Ryer, MSc, EdD
Director, NH Citizens Health Initiative
Dr. Ryer is the Director of the NH Citizens Health Initiative (NHCHI), 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.
- Mary Lindsey Smith
Mary Lindsey Smith, PhD, MSW
Senior Research Associate, University of Southern Maine, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy
Dr. Smith is a Research Associate at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, where she is responsible for designing and implementing health services research and evaluation projects. 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 nearly 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 Mental Health, Veteran’s Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and National Institute of Justice.
- Janet Thomas
Janet Thomas BS, RN
Project Director, NH Citizens Health Initiative
Janet Thomas is a nurse, quality-improvement practice facilitator and project director at NH 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.