We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kerner as the Senior Project Director for the NIDA HEALing Communities Study, a four-year NIDA-funded trial to develop and test a County-system Hub and Spoke Empowerment model to reduce the incidence of fatal overdoses in sixteen heavily impacted counties in New York State.
Dr. Nabila El-Bassel, Primary Investigator, University Professor and Director of SIG, says,
We are thrilled to have Dr. Kerner onboard to serve a s the Senior Project Director for the HEALing Communities Study. She comes with a strong research and project management experience in health, addiction and community-based research. We are eager for Dr. Kerner to join us and be part of this exciting and important project.
Dr. Kerner has been working in the behavioral health field since beginning her career in psychology, and is inspired by the opportunity to serve in a role that will have an immense impact on the individuals and communities affected by the opioid epidemic across New York State. She says,
I am really excited to be joining the Social Intervention Group team at Columbia and collaborating with world renowned researchers on this important study.
The role also has her returning to her early career roots in substance use research, which is where she began her journey into psychology studying treatments for alcoholism. Dr. Kerner is glad to be back working in Morningside Heights, where she lives with her dog, Magic, and previously served as Director of Quality Initiatives and Outcomes at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. For the past four years, she has been traveling across the state with the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program team as a Senior Project Manager with Public Consulting Group. In this capacity, she engaged broad partnerships around the state and provided implementation support for the DSRIP initiative, with a focus on the behavioral health portfolio.
Prior to joining the DSRIP effort, Dr. Kerner served as Director of Treatment Services for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Mental Health and looks forward to collaborating again with local government and community providers. She adds,
The success of the HEALing Communities Study depends on coordination of all systems and sectors so that we can implement and evaluate a true public health response to the opioid epidemic. I am honored to have been chosen for this key role and am confident that the findings from our study will provide hope for individuals and families suffering from our opioid crisis.