WSU Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery


COVID-19 & Resilliancy Among AIAN Communities

Northwest Rural Health Network Program 


Access to Treatment Among AIAN Adults in the Southwest

The Rising Strong Evaluation


WSU Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery


This training and technical assistance (TTA) grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aims to address the disproportionate impact of the opioid epidemic on rural areas of Washington state. 

Led by Dr. Michael McDonell (Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine) and Dr. Elizabeth Weybright (College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences), with faculty from Nursing, Medicine, CAHNRS, and Extension, the WSU Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (CROP-TR) will leverage WSU's Extension system to provide training to rural communities on the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction. 




Co-Program Directors

Michael McDonell, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Weybright, Ph.D.

Treatment & Recovery Lead Investigator

Liat Kriegel, MSW, Ph.D. 

Grant # 1H79TI082557

Northwest Rural Health Network

Rural Health Opioid Program

Led by Dr. Liat Kriegel, the BHI team will support the efforts of the Northwest Rural Health Network (NWRHN), a network of 15 health systems across 10 counties in Eastern Washington, to address the opioid epidemic in rural communities. The Rural Health Opioid Program (RHOP) will use community based planning and implementation to address individual and community effects of opioid misuse. The goals of the RHOP are to empower rural communities to prevent opioid misuse and provide support and services for those with Opioid Use Disorder. 



Principal Investigators

Liat Kriegel, Ph.D., MSW

Michael McDonell, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Julianne Jett, Ph.D.



Northwest Rural Health Network

Jac Davies, MS, MPH

Executive Director


Rising Strong Evaluation

The Rising Strong Regional Partnership: Family-Centered Treatment with Housing Program (Rising Strong) aims to change outcomes for families at risk of child removal due to parental alcohol and substance use and housing instability. Rising Strong is an alternative program to the removal of children from their parent’s care, offering evidence-based treatment services, along with housing and wraparound services, intended to directly address the complex and interdependent needs of each family. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine if the Rising Strong program is associated with increased child well-being, parent recovery, family stability, permanency, and child safety. 

Our multidisciplinary team led by Dr. McDonell, along with faculty from the College of Nursing, comprise the evaluation team for Rising Strong.



Lead Evaluator

Michael McDonell, Ph.D.


Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, Ph.D.

Ekaterina Burduli, Ph.D.

Research Coordinator

Elizabeth Smith, B.A.

Father Carrying Child Outdoors
Family At Church
Empire Health Foundation Logo
Catholic Chaities Logo



Catholic Charities of Spokane, WA

Nadine Van Stone, M.S., VP of Crisis Response and Shelters


Dawn Kinder, MSW, Director of Rising Strong and Chief Healthcare Integration Officer

Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families

Examining the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on Policy, Substance Use Disorder, Treatment and Resilience Among American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

To address the treatment needs of people with substance use disorders, especially opioid use disorder (OUD), during the COVID-19 emergency, federal regulations guiding addiction services delivery have been modified, including within AI/AN communities. Changes include expansion of telemedicine and virtual behavioral health delivery, adjusting medication dosing strategies for OUD, and altering reimbursement and confidentiality policies and practices for addiction services. We will assess the dissemination, adoption, and implementation of COVID-19  policy and regulations at Tribal, State, and Federal levels by including quantitative questions to the National Tribal Addiction Survey and examine the implementation and outcomes of COVID-19  policy and regulation changes at the Tribal, State, and Federal levels through interviews conducted among providers. 

Grant # 3UG1DA049468-02S1



Supplement Principal Investigator

Katherine Hirchak, Ph.D.


University of New Mexico

Kimberly Page, Ph.D., CTN Principal Investigator


Assessing Fatal and Non-Fatal Opioid Overdoses and Access to Treatment Among American Indian Adults in the Southwest

Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) has been shown to effectively reduce all-cause mortality, fatal opioid overdose, and risky substance use behaviors. Despite the potential availability of MOUD through Indian Health Service, Tribal, and Urban contracted facilities, knowledge of the facilitators and barriers to providing MOUD in Tribal communities at the individual and provider level remains limited.


As a pilot project to the existing NIDA funded R61 (R61DA049382; MPI: Venner, Qeadan, Madden), we are determining Tribal geocoded vital statistics/syndromic surveillance data of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdose alongside geocoded MOUD provider data in New Mexico to assess how access to treatment is protective of overdose. Semi-structured interviews with primarily Tribal and Latinx-serving MOUD providers assess barriers and facilitators to access to MOUD in New Mexico. 




Katherine Hirchak, PhD


University of New Mexico

Kamilla Venner, Ph.D., MPI

Fares Qeadan, Ph.D., MPI

Erin F. Madden, Ph.D., MPI


© 2019 WSU Behavioral Health Innovations

Behavioral Health Innovations is a part of the Washington State University College of Medicine 

Website photography by Kathy Linford of E Squared Designs