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Creighton School of Medicine Selected as One of Four Centers of Excellence

Creighton School of Medicine Selected as One of Four Centers of Excellence

Creighton University School of Medicine has been selected as one of four academic medical sites to serve as national Centers of Excellence for Physician Information, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced today.

The centers will be national models supporting the advancement of drug addiction awareness, prevention, and treatment in primary-care medical practices. The centers will target physicians-in-training, including medical students and resident physicians in primary-care specialties such as internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics.

“Drug addiction is a major public health issue. About 6 percent of all Americans have a drug abuse or dependence problem. Yet, the problem is significantly underdiagnosed and undertreated by the medical community,” said S. Prizada Sattar, M.D., Creighton assistant professor of medicine and principal investigator for the Creighton Center of Excellence for Physician Information.

Creighton already incorporates the issue of illegal and legal drug abuse into its medical curriculum and conducts research on the subject, Sattar noted. Creighton is particularly recognized for its expertise on methamphetamine, a serious and growing problem in the Midwest and elsewhere. At Creighton, the departments of medicine, psychiatry and pharmacology will be involved in the center’s creation.

The Centers of Excellence are being developed in collaboration with the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Research Education Consortium. Creighton is also one of 16 academic medical sites involved in the consortium.

Creighton and the other centers of excellence will identify knowledge gaps about drug addiction, develop educational materials and resources to address those gaps, and determine the most effective means of delivering this information. The centers will explore a variety of subjects, including prescription drug abuse, methamphetamine abuse and addiction, substance abuse coupled with mental illness, and other issues related to drug abuse.

“This AMA-NIDA collaboration is part of NIDA’s ongoing activities to provide physicians and other medical professionals with the tools and skills needed to incorporate NIDA-funded research findings into their clinical practice,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

In addition to Creighton, NIDA Centers of Excellence for 2007 will be located at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in collaboration with Drexel University College of Medicine; the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and the Massachusetts Consortium of Medical Schools, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance.

Posted: 1/25/07