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Cynthia Zubritsky, PhD
Director, Policy Research and Evaluation

Dr. Zubritsky has a background in psychology, with specific training and expertise in developing system integrative tools for consumer-driven behavioral health systems  with the expertise to collaborate on the qualitative data collection components.

Previous work on a five year health disparity study with Philadelphia-based Community Mental Health Centers, focusing on the consumer response to the implementation of an electronic prescribing system, provided her with the opportunity to develop and implement consumer focus groups, surveys and interviews targeted toward a similar intervention.

As the Director of Integrated Programs she completed ethnographic and survey research with a variety of mental health and substance abuse service programs participants and service recipients.  Her extensive experience in working with state mental health agencies on a variety of mental health studies has always included the measurement of consumer response to the study’s targeted goals.  Examples of this work include: consumer response to the Olmstead decision (2006); older adults’ response to randomized integrated treatment programs (SAMHSA sponsored PRISM-E study) a consumer assessment of needs for the Delaware State Hospital (2009); and consumer and stakeholder response to the development of integrated mental health and substance abuse programs in two states.  Qualitative data is a key element in understanding the outcome and impact of the targeted intervention. She has successfully administered multiple studies, collaborated with other researchers, and produced peer-reviewed publications from multiple projects.

Her research experience has taught her the importance of collaboration amongst researchers, service site and research participants. This application builds logically on her prior work in studies investigating issues of treatment engagement and comparison of innovative models of care.


Philadelphia Integrated System of Care

PISCE is building upon and expanding Pennsylvania’s existing System of Care (PASOC) initiative. The PASOC project targets youth ages 11-18 who have complex mental health challenges and multi-system involvement. The project uses High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) services as the intervention to provide planning and integration of multiple services across the youth continuum, for the youth and their families. bringing The PISCE project brings HFW services to scale in the city, as the major strategy to provide diversion from residential treatment and increased home and community based services to youth and their families.

Role: Evaluation Director
Funder: SAMHSA

Learn more: http://prugal.com/about-us/the-pacts-grant/

Delaware Drug Court Expansion & Enhancement (DDCEEP) Project

The Delaware Drug Court Expansion and Enhancement Program (DDCEEP) expands and enhances drug court services for individuals involved in the Delaware criminal justice system who also have a substance use or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder. The Project serves adult individuals referred to the Delaware Drug Court through the Delaware specialty courts program. The Project’s goal is to increase access to and availability of services to criminal justice clients, increase engagement of and treatment for individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, and improve the quality of substance use disorder services through the implementation and evaluation of three evidenced-based practices, Risk-Need-Responsivity, Enhanced Motivational Interviewing, and Forensic Cognitive Therapy.

Role: Evaluation Director
Funder: SAMHSA

Learn More: dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsamh/diversion.html

Certified Older Adult Peer Specialist; COAPS Institute@Penn

The Certified Older Adult Peer Specialist (COAPS) program was created to meet the complex co-morbidity challenges of older adults while maintaining independence in the community. COAPS is a multi-state program that trains older adults in behavioral health recovery to provide behavioral recovery services and wellness coaching to older adults in community and residential settings. Over 500 COAPS have been trained and certified in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts. COAPS is a collaboration between Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, the PA Department of Aging, and the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Role: Director
Funder: CMS

Learn More: olderadultpeerspecialists.org

Penn Medicine ENGAGE: Emergency Engagement for Opioid Use Disorder

The purpose of the ENGAGE project is to increase treatment of individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) through early engagement, increased access to substance use assessment, and withdrawal management to all OUD patients who present at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center with symptoms of overdose or withdrawal. This Project includes the development 24/7 Emergency Engagement and Ambulatory Stabilization services, access to Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) or Care Coordinators (CC) in the Emergency Department, increased buprenorphine waivered providers, 23-hour observation services, and warm hand off services to appropriate services.

Role: Evaluation Director
Funder: SAMSA