Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University is becoming a global leader in addiction and mental health education.
A group of educators and leaders from Marshall University have been chosen to share their expertise at the 2018 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Interprofessional Education Collaborative’s Addiction Educational Interprofessional Summit, “Enhancing Addiction Education Across the Health Professions,” in Washington, D.C., Aug. 16 and 17.

The Marshall team includes Amy Saunders, director of Student Health Education programs and chair of Marshall's Recovery Coalition; Dr. Marianna Footo-Linz, chair of the psychology department; Lyn O'Connell, clinical coordinator of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); Dr. Penny Koontz, a faculty member in the psychology doctoral program; Dr. Brittany Riley, faculty in the School of Pharmacy; and Dr. Gretchen Pfost and Dr. Rania Karim, both faculty members in Marshall's School of Physical Therapy.

At the summit, the team will lead a panel session sharing their efforts to increase addiction and mental health education across all health professions fields at Marshall and in the community. They will share expertise about using SBIRT as a catalyst for increasing interdisciplinary education. The information will be presented to other health professionals and medical schools in the hope that similar collaborative models will be created.

The Substance Use Recovery Coalition at Marshall is composed of over 50 faculty and staff members who are working collaboratively to address the national crisis. The panel will share addiction education projects that have been implemented at the university, in the community and in professional organizations.

”We are excited to share the lessons learned as we have worked to increase addiction and mental health education in the health professions over the last several years,“ said Saunders.  ”We are hopeful that other universities will be able to start similar collaborative models. We are fortunate at Marshall and in Huntington to have so many wonderful people willing to work together--it's our greatest strength!”

Marshall President Jerome Gilbert said that establishing Marshall University as a global leader in addiction studies is among his goals. The university is committed to developing best practices to help our friends and neighbors recover, Gilbert added.