Project MERITS I & II – 2009

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2009 has already been a big year for the Project MERITS team! Dr. Lillian Eby received a second grant funded by NIH. This will be our MERITS II New York State project. We have been gearing up for our third round of data collection for MERITS I and our second round of data collection for MERITS II. We will start going out into the field this month and will continue to travel into the fall. A huge thank you to all of our participants and treatment centers that make this project possible!

Coming up in April many members of the team will be heading to New Orleans for the annual Society of Industrial Organizational Psychologist Conference. Several team members will be presenting research at this conference including: Lillian Eby, Ph.D., Lisa Baranik, Sara Curtis, Charleen Maher and Hannah Burk.

As a result of the growth of our project, we have taken on several new team members. Jennifer Shaikun, will be helping out in our coordination and budget management. We are excited to have her join us! Two new graduate students on the grant this year are Hannah Burk and Charleen Maher. They will be starting to travel for the grant this year and they are very excited to get started! We also hope to add a few more graduate students to our team this fall…stay tuned to learn about these new additions!


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The MERITS team is almost done with collecting data for Year 2 of our study. Thank you to everyone who completed our surveys this year! In the new few weeks, we have some exciting projects and events coming up. One of our team members, Sara Curtis, will be presenting her research entitled, “The relationship between clinician recovery status and work attitudes in the substance abuse treatment field” at the Addiction Health Services Research Conference in Boston.  We will also be holding our annual Advisory Board Meeting in Washington, D.C., where we will discuss plans for disseminating findings from Year 2 of MERITS.

We also have some exciting news regarding a new grant, MERITS II. On July 24, 2008, the state of New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) required all state-funded or state-certified addiction treatment programs to be 100% tobacco-free. This regulation is a major change for substance abuse treatment centers in New York. As such, MERITS II was designed to examine the effect of the OASAS regulation using the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) as a platform.

As part of MERITS II, we are now collecting data in addiction treatment programs in New York and have added additional questions regarding tobacco-use in our MERITS I surveys. This will allow us to draw firm conculsions about the effect of the OASAS regulation and how this regulation impacts clinician outcomes, such as psychological, behavioral, and physical strain.

We are currently in the process of securing more funding for this project, and will keep you posted!

Year 01 Summary Report

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Summary Report

The participant summary report for year 1 is complete! You can read it by clicking on the above link. The Project MERITS team spent the past month analyzing and interpreting data that we collected over the past year. The report focuses on the types of centers that were included in the study, demographic and salary information for substance abuse counselors and clinical supervisors, work attitudes, experiences in clinical supervision, and health and stress experiences. We hope that you find the information interesting and informative!

Advisory Board Meeting

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During the Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) conference, hosted at the University of Georgia, members of Project MERITS met with several members of the advisory board (Tom Brewster, Greg Brigham, Nancy Hamilton, & Jeff Selzer). We had an great time catching up and discussed the upcoming summary reports for Year 01 findings, as well as general plans for disseminating the study findings. Thanks to everyone for their input! Also, Lillian, Carrie, Carrie, Lisa, and Chuck presented a poster at AHSR on the relationship between experiences in clinical superivsion, counselor burnout, and turnover intentions which we summarized in Power Point and can be viewed at

Updates to blog

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Welcome to our blog! If you are new to this site, please visit the “What is Project MERITS?” link to learn about this NIDA funded research project. Data collection for year 1 ended in late September 2007. We had a wonderful reception from the research participants and look forward to our year 2 site visits, which will start in March 2008. The Project MERITS staff are analyzing year 1 data, preparing reports, and gearing up for year 2 data collection. Once completed, the reports will be available to download from the blog.

Project MERITS

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Project MERITS finally has a blog!