Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Angela Carman

Committee Member

Dr. Robin Vanderpool

Committee Member

Dr. Christina Studts


The opioid epidemic has had sweeping, devastating effects on the United States. Kentucky has the fifth highest overdose mortality rate in the nation and the Northern Kentucky counties, specifically Kenton and Campbell, have been especially affected. Their opioid overdose mortality rates are the third and fourth highest in the state, respectively. In order to contribute to ongoing Northern Kentucky community efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is proposing to implement The Brief Negotiation Interview (BNI) in our emergency departments in order to provide more comprehensive care. The BNI is a motivational interviewing strategy that has been combined with initiation of medication-assisted treatment in order to increase access to addiction treatment. This strategy has been utilized within University research hospitals but will be novel as an implementation strategy in a privately-owned healthcare system. We will utilize the three emergency departments that will serve as implementation locations for this proposal are St. Elizabeth Edgewood, Covington, and Ft. Thomas. Within these EDs, social workers will be the primary interventionists and engage participants in the motivational interview in order to come to a mutual agreement for treatment. If participants present with withdrawal symptoms, they will begin their MAT regimen while still in the ED. This proposal will be evaluated through both a process and outcome evaluation. Primary outcomes of interest are self-efficacy to seek addiction treatment and actual engagement in formal treatment. Secondary outcomes include drug use and overdose mortality over time. Upon completion of the evaluation, results will be disseminated through our membership in health association networks and the program will be implemented within all St. Elizabeth locations. We plan to use existing partnerships and community coalitions throughout the implementation process and plan to develop new partnerships as well. We hope that this intervention can contribute to the larger community efforts to save the most vulnerable within our community.

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