Systems Thinking and Methods to Reduce Opioid Overdose and Related Fatalities

March 5, 2020 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Social Work Building, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, Room C03

Event Organizer

Social Intervention Group

HEALing Communities Event Series | Open to the public | Registration required | 1 CE Hour available | Livestream available


Professor of Health Policy and Management
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

Research Associate Professor
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

Assistant Professor
Albert Einstein College of Medicine


About the Event

At this event, the second in the HEALing Communities series, three systems science scholars and HEALing investigators—Terry TK Huang (bio) and Nasim Sabounchi (bio), both of CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and David Lounsbury (bio) of Albert Einstein School of Medicine—will talk about how systems thinking will be used to address the overdose epidemic in the massive HEALing Communities Study. From implementation science to community engagement, systems science methodologies, like system dynamics modeling, engage stakeholders in a participatory process that often yields compelling, graphic ways of informing both challenges and solutions to complex systems problems. The aim of this process is to generate useful models to better understand how diverse community stakeholders work in partnership to address opioid use disorder (OUD), and how to effectively implement evidence-based interventions to reduce overdose morbidity and mortality at the local level. These models will also likely inform the maintenance and sustainability of effective interventions over time and policy decisions in New York State and nationally.

About the HEALing Communities Event Series

The HEALing Communities event series convenes four times a year to explore one of the many different aspects of the NIH-sponsored HEALing Communities Study—an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. The School of Social Work received an $86 million grant—the largest NIH grant in the history of Columbia University—to reduce overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years in selected communities in New York State. (Other study sites, with the same goals and funding, were created in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Ohio.) University Professor and Willma Albert Musher Professor of Social Work Nabila El-Bassel (bio) is the lead investigator of Columbia’s HEALing Communities research team, which includes faculty from across Columbia University. Her Social Intervention Group, within the Columbia School of Social Work, is the series sponsor.