College of Health Establishes Center for Substance Use Research and Community Initiatives

College of Health Establishes Center for Substance Use Research and Community Initiatives

Ball State University announced today a new initiative
that strives to establish its
College of Health as a
leading academic institution for addictions research and community interventions
to address substance misuse.

The newly formed Center for Substance Use Research and
Community Initiatives (SURCI) will operate as a paradigm for student and
community engagement and research innovation, with an emphasis on facilitating
high-impact, interdisciplinary, evidence-based, and community-engaged
addictions research and interventions. These efforts, organizers believe, will
promote and strengthen mental and behavior capacities at the local, regional,
state, and national levels.

SURCI’s imperatives are also of particular importance to
the Muncie and Delaware County communities, where recent studies have
highlighted a critical need for both the prevention and intervention of
substance misuse.

“Ball State’s College of Health continues to move boldly
forward in making interprofessional education, practice, and research its
paradigm across each of its disciplines. The formation of the Center for
Substance Use Research and Community Initiatives is the latest example of this
focus,” said
Dr. Scott Rutledge,
College of Health dean. “SURCI strives to become a national model for addressing
addictions issues in local communities, and we are committed to continue working
hand-in-hand with our community partners to expand and enhance these critical
services across the state of Indiana.”

Through the Center’s partnership and affiliation with the
Addictions Coalition of Delaware County
(ACDC), SURCI will collaborate with local elected officials and key community
service providers such as Open Door Health Services, IU Health, Meridian Health
Services, and Centerstone Health Services to achieve its research and service
objectives. The specific goals of the SURCI are to:

• Engage
in new and innovative research that brings national recognition to Ball State
as a leading institution in the fields of addictions research and community

• Serve
as a resource, communication, training, and support hub for faculty, staff,
students, and community members engaged in the provision of substance misuse
services; and

• Increase
evidence-based, community-engaged interventions that expand the availability of
addiction services in the East-Central region of Indiana and enhance access to
those services for vulnerable populations

SURCI will be led by Dr. Dane Minnick,
assistant professor of Social Work, in conjunction with
Dr. Jean Marie Place,
associate professor of Health Science, who will serve as the Director of
Community Research and Administration, and
Dr. Jonel Thaller,
associate professor of Social Work, who will serve as the Director of Community

Additionally, Dr. Munni Begum,
professor of Mathematical Sciences, will serve as the Center’s Director of Data
Analytics, while SURCI’s Community Education and Training Team will consist of:
Dr. Kristin Trainor,
assistant professor of Social Work;
Dr. Beth Goldsby,
assistant professor of Nursing; and
Dr. Sheila Abebe,
assistant professor of Nursing.

Ball State faculty and staff members interested in
joining SURCI or proposing a collaborative project are encouraged to contact the
Center at

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