The UF Health Florida Recovery Center (FRC) is Florida’s premiere addiction treatment program. Combining the principles of recovery, evidence-based addiction treatment, and the vast capabilities of a leading academic medical center, FRC is unlike any other rehabilitation facility in Florida and considered a national leader.
In 2016, Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, UF Psychiatry Vice Chair and FRC Medical Director, was awarded the Pottash Professorship in Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Established in 1991 by Carter A. Pottash, MD, a distinguished psychiatrist and addiction expert, the Pottash award supports a professor in the Department of Psychiatry who is a nationally recognized leader in addiction medicine with a strong clinical focus who shares and pursues research related to addiction treatment and intervention.
In 2017, with the enthusiastic support of the Department Chair, Dr. Regina Bussing, who is a public health trained health services research expert, Dr. Teitelbaum decided to dedicate the professorship to launching the FRC Pottash Initiative, with the goal to establish state-of-the-art treatment outcome studies at FRC. Dr. Bussing notes that such outcome research is sorely needed, because poor quality “addiction treatment centers” have been “springing up like mushrooms everywhere, wasting patient’s time, money and hope for recovery, yet, we still lack proven measuring tools that can separate good from poor programs.”
The first steps of the Pottash Initiative were developing collaborations informed by implementation science. To this end, the team developed and implemented a standard of care assessment process within the clinical setting, with consistent intake, follow- up and discharge assessments. This has allowed the team to accumulate a wealth of data for treatment and research purposes. All patients can consent to have their de-identified assessment data used in future research, and well over 80% elect to do so. Many patients have expressed gratitude for the possibility to contribute to improved understanding of their disease and future treatment development. Deborah Morrison, the research coordinator, is excited that the assessment/research team includes undergraduate students, interns, and medical students.