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about us

OUR APPROACH

Flexible and collaborative, our team will work with you in the research and evaluation planning process to assure that the activities are realistic, and the results are useful and actionable. As research and evaluation tools are developed, we consider their burden, utility and continuity beyond our contracted work. In many instances, the logic models, plans, modified protocols and other tools we develop with our partners are sustainable beyond the initiative. 

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As applied researchers, we value the voices and perspectives of those in the organizations and communities where we work. We often collect data through interviews, focus groups and community listening sessions. In addition, technical assistance, research and evaluation activities are designed to help our partners use data to inform program development and implementation as well as inform ongoing programmatic and policy decisions.

our mission

To improve the overall health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities impacted by substance use, through the investigation of innovative interventions and the use of data driven decision-making to identify real-world policy and programmatic solutions.

our vision

We envision a future where the adverse health as well as social and economic consequences of substance use are greatly reduced.

Our team

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Dr. Mary Lindsey Smith

Dr. Smith is Director of Substance Use Research & Evaluation (SURE) and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Southern Maine Catherine E. Cutler Institute, where she is responsible for designing and implementing health services research and evaluation projects related to addressing substance use disorder. Most of her research and evaluation work has focused on macro-level issues and has been designed to help systems reduce illness burden as well as healthcare utilization and costs. She has extensive research and clinical expertise in the area of substance use and behavioral health disorders which has been the primary focus of her research agenda for over 20 years.

 

Dr. Smith specializes in mixed-methods research, the use of quantitative data from surveys, clinical information and administrative data in combination with qualitative data from focus groups, interviews and document review. She has experience designing and implementing evaluation, research, as well as technical assistance projects at the local, state, and federal levels and has worked on projects funded by the National Institute of National Institute of Health,  National Institute of Mental Health, Veterans Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Human Resources & Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Justice.  Dr. Smith holds a Masters (2004) and Doctorate (2009) in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She also received additional clinical experience and health research training during her Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the VA Pittsburgh Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) and the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP).

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Katie Rosingana

Katie Rosingana is a Research Associate at the Cutler Institute who designs, conducts, and participates in mixed-methods research and evaluation projects for community, state, and national partners. She serves as principal investigator and/or project director for multi-year, multi-level projects and leads qualitative research teams within the Cutler Institute. Ms. Rosingana’s work currently focuses on interventions at the patient, provider, and systems-level for substance use disorder treatment, health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries, health systems change, rural health care, and patient-centered care. Ms. Rosingana’s career-long experience with Medicaid policy and programming, congruently focused on program implementation/performance and beneficiary experience, inform her work on health care quality improvement projects and their impact on quality of care and cost.

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Rachel Gallo

Rachel Gallo is a Research Associate at the Cutler Institute and leads or participates in grant funded projects which focus on improving healthcare delivery and health outcomes. She is a founding member of the Cutler Institute's Data Innovation Project, which works with community organizations to enhance their ability to integrate data-informed decisions into their workflows through technical assistance and workshop facilitation.Ms. Gallo’s work primarily focuses on  the utilization of quantitative data to support evaluation, research, and continuous quality improvement efforts at local, state, and federal levels. She has extensive experience working on projects that involve multiple partners or stakeholders. With a background in Epidemiology, Ms.Gallo’s professional interests lie within the intersections of data collection and analysis; program evaluation; data visualizations; and the utilization of data to make policy and programmatic decisions.

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Karen Pearson

Ms. Pearson is a Policy Associate in the University of Southern Maine’s Cutler Institute, Maine Rural Health Research Center, and Flex Monitoring Team. Her research interests include the role of EMS in the rural healthcare delivery system, behavioral health, substance use, patient safety, population health, and long-term care. She brings her skills in bibliographic systems and qualitative analysis to rural- focused projects within the Cutler Institute, including federally funded research on access to substance/opioid use disorder treatment and recovery. She contributed to the publication of an evidence review of rural tobacco prevention and control, and has worked on rural telehealth projects. Ms. Pearson has directed several projects, including community paramedicine in rural areas, and was the co-principal investigator on a statewide evaluation of community paramedicine and the lead author on the report and award-winning journal article.

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Mark Richards

Mark Richards is a Research Analyst within the Cutler Institute’s Substance Use Research & Evaluation (SURE) Unit within the Population Health and Health Policy Program. Mark is focused on qualitative data collection, analysis and summarization. He assists in the development of interview, focus group, community listening session protocols and uses these methodologies to collect information directly from care professionals, people with lived experience such as those with substance use disorders, health system leadership and other partners. He also contributes to the analysis, summarization, editing and reporting of qualitative data. Additional areas of expertise include conducting in-person and virtual interviews with diverse populations, focus group facilitation and data collection management and tracking.

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Evelyn Ali

Evelyn Ali is a Research Analyst at the Cutler Institute who implements mixed-methods research and evaluation projects for government and regional community partners. Ms. Ali’s work is focused on assessing access and quality of healthcare for rural communities and persons with mental health and substance use disorders. Ms. Ali is interested in understanding the unique needs of partner organizations and the communities they serve in order to employ effective qualitative data collection tools, interpret data meaningfully for partners, and create powerful, impactful presentations, briefs, and reports that fit their needs.

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Katharine Knight

Katharine Knight is a Research Analyst at the Catherine E. Cutler Institute who participates in the design, development, testing, and ongoing maintenance of the data collection, cleaning, analysis and reporting system that support applied research activities. Ms. Knight’s work focuses on substance use research and evaluation projects for community and state partners. Ms. Knight has expertise in utilizing analytical software to quantify data and observe trends & patterns to contribute to the improvement of public health (especially communities impacted by substance use).

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Tyler Egeland

Tyler Egeland is a Research Assistant at the Cutler Institute who assists in mixed-methods research and evaluation projects for community, state, and national partners. Mr. Egeland’s work currently focuses on interventions at the patient, provider, and systems-level for substance use disorder treatment, health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries, health systems change, rural health care, and patient-centered care. His experience developing and employing qualitative data collection tools helps to describe the factors influencing SUD treatment access and maintenance.

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