development, implementation, and interpretation of investigations that examine the need for substance abuse treatment and the effects of major policy initiatives in the state.
Carol Leonard from the Navajo Nation and Philip May, Director of the University of New Mexico's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA) offered another collaboration strategy. Their partnership illustrates a culturally sensitive approach to the combination of research and community oriented prevention and treatment. Importantly, the collaboration allows academic researchers to study a population (Native Americans) and service system (traditional practices) that would otherwise be difficult to investigate; the Navajo Nation gains through increased support from federal funding authorities and enhanced credibility of the findings from demonstration programs.
The basis for partnerships between research and practice may be strengthened when treatment agencies employ investigators to develop assessment and monitoring protocols. Chestnut Health Systems in Illinois provides an example with its in-house research staff that collaborates with clinical and management staff to develop client information and outcomes monitoring systems. The researchers use the information not only to evaluate specific interventions but also to help practitioners improve the quality of care.
The Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), which has effectively linked cancer research and treatment for almost fifteen years, provides another model of collaboration. As described by Arnold Kaluzny from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, this network, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) brings together treatment providers and researchers in more than 30 states to get faster answers to research questions and bring state-of-the-art treatment to communities.
The Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation (the Consortium) provides a structure for communication and cooperation among policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. Representatives from the Iowa Substance Abuse Program Directors Association and investigators from four Iowa universities (University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, and Drake University) joined with policymakers from the state agencies responsible for corrections, education, Medicaid, public safety, and public health to develop a forum to promote the collection of data and the use of research in policy formation and clinical practice. Convened in 1991 by the Governor's Alliance on Substance Abuse, the Consortium has become a vehicle for practical investigations, collaborative design and implementation of studies, multidisciplinary cooperation,