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Director’s Message

The Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities (ARSH) celebrated

many accomplishments in 2015. ARSH continues to be a leader in sponsored research at Nova

Southeastern University. Our international research on prescription drug diversion; our local,

national and international drug epidemiology studies; and our ongoing South Florida-based

research among vulnerable populations yielded more than 20 publications this year, as well as

numerous scientific presentations at local, national, and international conferences. We look

forward to the fruition of a number of new initiatives in 2016, including the potential expansion

of our prescription drug diversion studies to all of Canada.

The year also marked a number of new research collaborations, including projects and proposals

with researchers from institutions across the U.S. and internationally. These include ongoing

and expanded initiatives in China and Israel, as well as new efforts to address substance abuse

and HIV prevention among adolescents and young adults.

We are especially proud of the successes of our early investigators in 2015. Associate Director

Mance Buttram was awarded the NSU President’s Research and Faculty Development Award to

study patterns of misuse and diversion of medications prescribed for pre-exposure prophylaxis

to prevent HIV infection. Maria Levi-Minzi was named Evaluator for a SAMHSA grant that aims

to assist young men who have sex with men in linking to HIV testing and treatment resources.


We are pleased to announce the formalization of our ongoing collaborations with newly

designated Affiliate Faculty in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Hilary

Surratt, former Co-Director of ARSH, has relocated and is now with the Center for Health

Services Research in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Maria Pagano,

Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University, serves as Co-investigator and

biostatistician on several ARSH projects.

The work we do requires a team effort. We wish to thank all of our research staff, external

collaborators, and the NSU community for your vision, commitments and talents. We share

ARSH’s successful year with all of you.

Steven P. Kurtz