Dr. Scott Walters, Chair of HEALing Communities Study


Published: July 1, 2019

I am pleased to share Dr. Scott Walters, Regents Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems in our School of Public Health, has been appointed Steering Committee Chair for the landmark HEALing Communities Study (Helping to End Addiction Long-term).

The $350 million HEALing Communities Study is the largest investment to date by the National Institutes of Health (together with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA) to address the national opioid crisis.

The goal of this 4-state, 60-community, randomized controlled study is to speed scientific solutions in order to reduce opioid deaths by at least 40% over a 3-year period. Four independent research sites will implement a set of evidence-based practices delivered across health care, behavioral health, and justice systems. The study will track how strategies are being implemented in communities and measure their impact on outcomes such as drug fatalities, medication access, prescribing patterns, and treatment initiation. The HEALing Communities Study will create a national model to address the opioid crisis across the country.

“As Steering Committee Chair, I will serve as the stage manager for the study,” said Dr. Walters. “My job is to keep track of all the moving parts of the project and make sure everyone has the resources needed to keep things progressing. What makes this project unique is the sheer scope and magnitude of the opioid problem in our country.”

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Walters as this is an incredible opportunity for him and UNTHSC. I look forward to the great things the HEALing Communities Study will accomplish with Dr. Walters serving in this role.