ten elementary, middle, and high schools in Denver and other contiguous counties, seven outpatient clinics located in six communities, case management services for homeless clients, beds for nonmedical detoxification in three facilities, a 32-bed short-term intensive residential treatment program for adults, an 18-bed rehabilitation program for adolescents, and 22 beds of transitional housing for homeless clients in early recovery. Most recently, Arapahoe House entered into a partnership with the University of Colorado Medical School and three additional treatment programs and formed a not-for-profit managed behavioral health care organization that contracts with the State of Colorado and manages drug abuse treatment services for individuals in several geographic areas of the state.
Working with research investigators from the University of Denver, Arapahoe House has participated in research and demonstration programs funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Mental Health Services. As chief executive officer, Dr. Kirby guided the development of the nonprofit corporation and crafted the research collaborations that contributed to the agency's evolution and expansion. He believes in a team approach. Research questions and study design are negotiated in partnership with the investigators. Researchers challenge and clarify clinical thinking and clinicians add practical perspectives. Together, the team identifies and designs the interventions that are most likely to be feasible. Research funds are used to supplement and expand a core staff of five who are responsible for the center's ongoing evaluation and outcome studies.
Although Arapahoe House prefers to be the applicant and recipient of research funding (the organization has negotiated a federal indirect rate), Dr. Kirby recognizes that universities are more competitive applicants for some funding. Thus, the applicant organization is usually determined by the nature of the proposal. The relationship with the research team is built on 14 years of collaboration, and the researchers and clinicians have developed substantial mutual trust and respect. They recognize that the collaboration is stronger because of the complementary strengths and abilities.