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Behind the Blue

Some stories require a little more – a little more discussion, more context, more depth and breadth. That’s the idea behind “Behind the Blue” – a weekly podcast created by UK Public Relations and Marketing. It is designed to explore through probing interviews the in-depth the stories that make UK the university for Kentucky and that have impact across the institution, the Commonwealth and, in some cases, the world.
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Oct 1, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2019) – The University of Kentucky recently received an $8.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, to establish a Clinical Research Center as part of the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to support research on quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in criminal justice settings nationwide. The awards, totaling an estimated $155 million, will support the multi-year innovation network, including 10 research institutions and two centers that will provide supportive infrastructure.

At UK, the grant will be used to create the Kentucky Women’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (WJCOIN) to enhance access to opioid use disorder treatment for women as they transition from jail back to the community. In Kentucky, women represent the fastest-growing demographic in the criminal justice system and are also susceptible to unique vulnerabilities that can lead to opioid overdose.

Michele Staton, associate professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Behavioral Science, will serve as principal investigator on the project. Staton will lead a team of experts from across UK’s campus including the colleges of Medicine, NursingPublic Health and Arts & Sciences; the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research; and UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Telecare.

On this week’s edition of “Behind the Blue,” UKPR’s Allison Perry sits down with Staton, along with Katherine Marks, a UK College of Medicine research assistant professor and project director for the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and Sarah Johnson, director of addiction services with the Kentucky Department of Corrections, to discuss the partnerships, increases in patient care, and community support this grant will enable in their work.

[Editor’s note: In one response, Johnson mentions that there are 9 correctional facilities across the state participating in the research. She later noted, after the interview, there are actually only 6 participating correctional facilities.]

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

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