whom these recommendations are addressed, they are areas of significant interest for a number of foundations.
To accomplish its task, the committee met four times between April and December 1997. Through these meetings and other activities summarized below, the committee obtained information from a rich variety of sources. For example, roundtable and workshop discussions with providers, researchers, and policymakers were held and site visits made by the committee and staff to solicit a broad base of input from representative stakeholders. The workshop and roundtable discussions, held in Washington, D.C., and Albuquerque, New Mexico, yielded data of critical interest to the committee. These workshops were designed to allow researchers, providers, and policymakers to discuss the issues with each other and with members of the committee. A list of participants and the topics discussed are included in Appendix B.
The first workshop was held in Washington, D.C., with participants from 14 states. Providers, researchers, and policymakers presented in separate panels, each hosted by a member of the committee. Providers spoke of the gap between research and practice, as well as the language and culture barriers that hinder collaboration. They expressed concern that research findings were sometimes misinterpreted and misused in the search for lowest-cost alternatives, but they also expressed their need for relevant and practical research, conducted and disseminated in ways that would help them improve treatment and demonstrate cost effectiveness. Other major concerns of this group were the changing policy and regulatory environment, shrinking treatment options and capacity, and growing need for infrastructure and training resources. Examples included, a state where providers were given only ten days to implement new legislation requiring screening and evaluation for all DUI (driving while under the influence) arrestees and another state where a facility was facing the requirement to work with multiple HMOs with one outdated computer and just one person who knew how to use it.
Policymakers, as well as providers, spoke of the long lag time for research findings to reach them and the need for better strategies for translating research information to meet their needs. It was suggested that policymakers and researchers take lessons from business: design audience-specific information and market it aggressively. Policy panelists stated that federal and state policymakers needed to know what worked, and that Congress wanted evidence to support community-based treatment organizations as the front-line of prevention and treatment.
Researchers and providers spoke of financial and political barriers to