The center is designed to take addiction prevention, treatment and recovery to the next level
Caron Treatment Centers, an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment, research, prevention and addiction medicine education, officially opened The Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research on its Pennsylvania campus earlier this month.
The Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research, named for Caron’s former president and CEO, is the first of its kind to be located at a nonprofit addiction treatment facility with a focus on medical research. Caron has a demonstrated track record of success in medical research. However, the revamped building, featuring state-of-the-art equipment and labs, will now offer much-needed space to facilitate more studies. It will also allow for recruitment of individuals interested in participating in research from outside Caron.
“We need research now more than ever to significantly expand solutions to these chronic health issues so we can prevent unnecessary tragedies and significantly improve outcomes for individuals and families.”—Bradley F. Sorte, president and CEO of Caron
The focus of the Center for Research includes crucial components of substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery such as identifying genetic markers associated with increased risk for addiction, relapse prediction and repurposing medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat other diseases.
“All it takes is a glance at the headlines to see the abysmal state of mental health and substance use disorder in America,” says Bradley F. Sorte, Caron’s president and CEO. “We can’t afford to wait. We need research now more than ever to significantly expand solutions to these chronic health issues so we can prevent unnecessary tragedies and significantly improve outcomes for individuals and families.”
An Academic Bent
The Center for Research will also focus on expanding academic partnerships to foster research and train healthcare professionals to apply the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatments in their practices. The Center for Research is also establishing a pipeline program to engage high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in research and healthcare.
Joseph Garbely, DO, DFASAM, FAPA, is the chief medical officer and executive vice president for Medical Strategy, Education and Research at Caron Treatment Centers; Olapeju Simoyan, MD, MPH, BDS, FAAFP, FASAM, is the founding executive director of Research. Garbely will oversee the center with Simoyan managing the day-to-day operations with support from Erin Deneke, PhD, Caron’s senior director of Research.
“Addiction is a disease of the brain so it’s important for us to understand the biological mechanisms involved,” says Simoyan. “Just as with cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, research is essential to advance our field.”
To date, Caron has raised $7.9 million to fund ongoing research and the new building, through the individual donors, family foundations and local businesses. Caron’s board of trustees collectively has donated more than $2 million.
“Research done well requires proper funding, precision, patience and diligence,” says Garbely. “By making this investment, we can substantially improve our understanding of relapse, increase treatment options and identify tools and markers to make addiction a significantly more preventable and treatable disease.”