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College of Nursing

Research Emphasis Areas

Vulnerable Populations

This core focuses on interventions and care strategies for at-risk populations to improve their health and well being.

Bev Baliko is currently in the penultimate semester of a 3-year SAMHSA grant to train residents and graduate students to use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) as a strategy to reach patients in their practices who may use substances at risky levels. (SBIRT) is an evidence-based technique originally developed for use in primary care settings to a) identify persons who have, or who are at risk for, alcohol and substance use disorders, b) utilize motivational interviewing techniques to conduct brief interventions, and c) provide referral to ongoing treatment if needed. Faculty from medicine, nursing, social work and rehab counseling collaborated to develop online didactic training modules that students use to prepare for hands-on practice. In nursing, these modules are integrated into the graduate health assessment course. Dr. Baliko and Dr. Mary Boyd, an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, use virtual technology or on-campus meetings to provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate their competencies. As of Fall 2015, they had trained 112 NP students, and should reach around 200 by the end of the grant (45 students this semester). The training is well-received and NP student evaluation outcomes (knowledge, performance and satisfaction) are equal to or higher than those of other disciplines. As an extension of this project, Dr. Baliko and her team have submitted another grant to include clinical supervision and continue to expand training opportunities in the community.


Beverly Baliko
Robin Estrada
Laura Hein
Patrick Hickey
DeAnne Messias