Leah Hamilton, PhD, MPhil, is an addiction health researcher focused on improving screening, assessment, and linkage to appropriate treatment and harm-reduction services for substance use disorders and associated behavioral health issues. She is particularly interested in improving access to these services among people involved in the criminal justice system through interventions rooted in implementation science.
At KPWHRI, Dr. Hamilton is a collaborative researcher on 2 large pragmatic trials: the Primary Care Opioid Use Disorder Treatment (PROUD) trial and the Michigan Sustained Patient-centered Alcohol-Related Care (MI-SPARC) trial. The PROUD trial is a pragmatic implementation trial of nurse care management for treatment of opioid use disorders in primary care. Dr. Hamilton’s involvement includes analysis of quantitative outcome data including implementation and survey data. MI-SPARC is a multi-site implementation trial that seeks to improve alcohol screening within small primary care clinics in Michigan. Dr. Hamilton’s involvement in MI-SPARC includes the design, oversight, and analysis of study data.
Prior to joining KPWHRI, Dr. Hamilton completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Population Health at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, where she contributed to a Clinical Trial Network study of screening and assessment for substance use in primary care settings (CTN-0062Ot), and a National Institutes on Drug Abuse-funded R01 study (R01DA045872) examining the impact on overdose mortality of public health policies that aim either to restrict the supply of opioids or to reduce opioid-related harms. She completed her PhD in Criminal Justice at Temple University in Philadelphia in 2019, and MPhil at Cambridge University, Institute of Criminology, in the UK in 2010, during which she worked on multiple studies of substance use and behavioral health among justice-involved populations.
Screening, assessment, and linkage to care; addiction within justice-involved populations; harm reduction; policy impacts on overdose mortality
Unhealthy alcohol and drug use, health-related quality of life (HRQoL)
Justice involvement in addiction, and other aspects of behavioral and physical health
Implementation science; electronic health record (EHR)-integrated screening, assessment, and brief intervention/referral to care
Co-occurring substance-use and mental health disorders
McNeely J, Hamilton L. Screening for unhealthy alcohol and drug use in general medicine settings. Med Clin North Am. 2022 Jan;106(1):13-28. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2021.08.002. PubMed
A trial led by KPWHRI researchers found that adding nurse care managers helped more people get needed treatment.
KPWHRI Collaborative Scientist Leah Hamilton, PhD, MPhil, answers questions about her recent and upcoming projects.
Kaiser Permanente Washington shows price may not be a barrier to primary care implementation, Dr. Kai Yeung reports.