NIATx and ATTCs brainstorm: building the Network of Practice

Submitted by: 09/12/2011 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Evidence-based practices and how to implement them is a priority for many substance abuse treatment organizations.  To help with this priority, NIATx has launched a new project, the NIDA-funded Building a Sustainable National Infrastructure for Research and Dissemination of Improved Behavioral Treatment Practices. The informal title for this project is “The Network of Practice.”  It’s aim? To build an Internet-based community focused on adopting evidence-based clinical practices. 

In the first phase of this project, NIATx held a series of six focus groups across the country. These informational groups aimed to indentify the needs and interests of organizations wanting to implement evidence-based practices.  NIATx also invited experts in social media and community organizing to a two-day conference to discuss the best way to use emerging technology to build a virtual community.

Most recently, leaders from the Addiction Technology and Transfer Centers (ATTCs) joined the NIATx team to brainstorm ideas for The Network of Practice. Representing the ATTCs were: Laurie Krom, Director, and Steven Streib, Online Communications Specialist, ATTC National Office; Michelle Berry, Business Improvement Specialist, Mountain West ATTC; Pat Stilen, Director, Mid-America ATTC; and Beth Rutkowski, Associate Director of Training, Pacific Southwest ATTC.

The three ATTCs will bring their experience in disseminating evidence-based practices using technology to help NIATx develop an Internet-based tool.  It may include features such as virtual cafes, a step-by-step guide to implementing an EBP, a library of practical information, and a cost-benefit calculator. 

More than 500 (and growing) organizations have completed an online survey for this project. You can still complete the survey (which takes about five minutes to complete) by visiting:

For more information about the project or to get involved in its development, please contact: Anna Wheelock at or Kim Johnson at

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