What We Do:
The Services Research Branch supports a national program of health services research to improve the quality of the drug abuse treatment system.
Improve the quality of drug abuse treatment services, through research on:
- Prescription drug abuse, chronic pain management, and primary care - Program Contact: Richard Denisco
- Workforce issues, and implementation science - Program Contact: Lori Ducharme
- Economics and financing - Program Contact: Sarah Duffy
- Criminal justice systems - Program Contact: Bennett Fletcher
- Recovery support, re-engineering, and measurement issues - Program Contact: Tom Hilton
- Health disparities, and HIV/AIDS - Program Contact: Dionne Jones
Staff Biographies for Services Research Branch:
Redonna K. Chandler, Ph.D. - Branch Chief
Redonna K. Chandler, Ph.D. is currently the Chief of the Services Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She provides scientific leadership on research intended to improve the quality of drug abuse treatment services with a special emphasis on the implementation of evidence-based interventions, data harmonization, and HIV. She has also served as the Deputy Branch Chief and Health Scientist Administrator providing guidance and oversight for a large portfolio of research grants seeking to deliver effective drug abuse treatment to individuals in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining NIDA, she worked for the Bureau of Prisons implementing and evaluating evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs federally sentenced offenders. Dr. Chandler was trained as a psychologist and received her doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on a range of topics including measuring drug treatment process and outcomes, treating offenders with substance abuse disorders, addressing co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders, and substance abuse problems of adolescent girls. As a licensed psychologist she is an active member in the American Psychological Association and has served as an officer for the Society for the Psychology of Women.
Dionne J. Jones, Ph.D. - Deputy Branch Chief
Dr. Jones is currently the Deputy Branch Chief of the Services Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She joined NIDA in 1998 and manages a grant portfolio that includes women and gender issues, rural services and treatment issues, criminal justice populations, HIV/AIDS, co-occurring disorders, and health disparities. Dr. Jones has planned and organized meetings on various topics germane to health disparities, and subsequently compiled paper presentations which were published in special supplemental issues of Public Health Reports (2002) and the Journal of Urban Health (2005) for which she was a Guest Editor. Before joining the federal government, Dr. Jones served in a number of administrative and research capacities at nonprofit and for profit organizations, including the National Urban League, The Lewin Group, and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. In addition, she was managing editor of The Urban League Review, a semi-annual policy research journal of the National Urban League, and newsletters for several professional associations. She has published journal articles, book chapters, and a monograph in a number of public health-related areas.
Richard A. Denisco, M.D., M.P.H. - Medical Officer
Dr. Denisco joined the Services Research Branch in September 2005. His grant portfolio emphasizes nicotine/tobacco use, chronic pain and prescription drug abuse and primary care medicine linkages. He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his medical degree from the University of Florida. He completed residency at the University of Florida and Fellowship at the University of Florida and the Texas Heart Institute, receiving Board Certification in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Dr. Denisco has served as an attending Anesthesiologist and Department Chair, and as the Medical Director of two Chronic Pain Management and Rehabilitation Centers. He was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. His professional background also includes membership in ASAM and work with a community-based treatment center. He has served on state and local legislative committees, where he developed an interest in public health and medical policy and analysis. In 2005 he received a MPH degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
Sarah Q. Duffy, Ph.D. - Health Economist
Dr. Duffy joined NIDA's Services Research Branch (SRB), where she is responsible for NIDA's economics and performance equality measurement portfolios, in 2006. Prior to joining NIDA she spent eight years as a senior research economist at the Office of Applied Studies at SAMSHA where she used data from large national data collection project, including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), to conduct economic and health services research on substance abuse treatment and costs. Prior to joining SAMHSA, Dr. Duffy worked for the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality where she published several articles in the substance abuse treatment, health services research, and economics literatures. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Bennett Fletcher, Ph.D. - Senior Research Psychologist
Dr. Fletcher is a Senior Research Psychologist in the Services Research Branch. He joined NIDA in 1987. In 1989 he established a major longitudinal treatment effectiveness research project, the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies (DATOS). During his tenure in SRB, Dr. Fletcher has created research programs to study the impact of the organization, financing, and management of health services on the quality, cost, access to, and outcomes of treatment for drug abuse disorders. In 2002 Dr. Fletcher helped establish NIDA's national Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS), a cooperative multicenter research program to develop and test integrated approaches to improve the outcomes of criminal justice-involved individuals with drug disorders who are re-entering the community. Dr. Fletcher is the Institute's science officer on CJ-DATS, which in its second phase is conducting implementation studies to translate research-based processes and intervention into practice.
Lori J. Ducharme, Ph.D. - Program Official
Dr. Lori Ducharme joined NIDA in September 2008. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Ducharme was on the research faculty at the University of Georgia, where she was part of a collaborative investigator team studying the organization, delivery, and quality of addiction treatment services in the nation's specialty behavioral health care system. There, her research focused on the diffusion, adoption, and implementation of evidence-based behavioral and pharmacological therapies to treat substance use disorders. She has also previously worked as a project manager in contract research settings, focusing on large-scale evaluations of Federal performance monitoring systems related to drug abuse detection and treatment. In addition to improving the quality of treatment services at the program level, her research interests also include strategies to maximize the recruitment, retention, and performance of a skilled clinical workforce. At NIDA, Dr. Ducharme manages a portfolio of research studies that focus on the organization and management of addiction treatment programs; practice improvement in community-based organizations; and implementation research.
Thomas Hilton, Ph.D. - Program Official
Dr. Tom Hilton joined NIDA's Services Research Branch in 1999. His grant portfolio at NIDA emphasizes addiction recovery research (ARR). ARR integrates longitudinal studies of support services to help reengineer how proven treatment and recovery services are dynamically linked in ways that optimize service interface with patient cognitive-emotional absorptive capacity. Projects focus on implementing, adopting, and sustaining evidence-based policies, treatments, and business practices that improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of SA treatment. ARR projects extend to dynamic models of addiction recovery from the point of first admission for treatment, examining associated health services systems, and the role played by patient neurological and cognitive-emotional health in achieving and sustaining recovery. Tom also has a portfolio of grants advancing research methodology and psychological measurement. Related to that portfolio, Tom is a Science Officer for the NIH Roadmap Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System known as PROMIS. Tom has over 30 years experience in studying and conducting large-scale organizational change. NIH's only industrial/organizational psychologist, he has conducted health service delivery research in industrial, general-medical, and addiction inpatient and outpatient settings. His work frequently addresses issues in human resource management, career development, personnel selection and screening, workteam performance, labor relations, and organizational change. Prior to joining NIH, he worked in a variety of offices within the Department of the Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration.