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Improving Access to Substance Abuse Treatment for Tennessee

Primary Investigators:
Janey Camp
Brief Description of Project:
According to the Tennessee Department of Health’s Annual Overdose Report prepared by the Office of Informatics and Analytics, overdose deaths related to opioid use has shown a steady increase since 2013  regardless of age or race.  Couple this with the fact that nearly 93% of the state is rural according to the 2010 census  and one can see the potential for health disparities across the state, especially when considering the challenges with providing access to treatment for opioid use.  One of the key challenges identified in treatment is access to treatment facilities.  In this project, we plan to assess the current needs and limitations with regard to treatment accessibility across the state given current transportation mechanisms in place.  Then, we will evaluate and prioritize existing and emerging transportation options (transit, mobility on demand, infrastructure, etc.) through case study analysis of a set of diverse communities that will inform recommendations for TDOT and other transportation managers across the state to mitigate the opioid epidemic in Tennessee.  The key tasks where assistance is needed at present is in collecting and synthesizing (mapping and analyzing) data from across the state on treatment facilities (public and private), and cases of substance abuse by county.  We will also be conducting a survey of treatment facilities about patient transport and treatment offerings, etc. to characterize the existing system and challenges.

Desired Qualifications: 
Strong written and verbal English skills
Ability to work in teams and also work independently
Interest or experience in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Strong organizational skills
A good understanding of data analysis (using Excel, R, Python, or Oracle)

Nature of Supervision:
We will have regular (weekly or more frequent as needed) project meetings with PI and monthly calls with broader project team. The student will also have the opportunity to work with either a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow on the project.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
The student will assist with the following:
* Distribution and/or analysis of survey results from treatment service providers
* Mapping of treatment facilities, transportation options, and patient densities
* Assist with writing of literature review, methodologies and information for the project sponsor
* Performing other data analysis as needed in support of the project 

Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: Janey Camp
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering