January 2017

2016 Year in Review

2016 was an exciting and productive year for CHERISH! CHERISH investigators received 4 new grants, including a $2.1 million dollar PCORI grant to Dissemination and Policy Director Zachary Meisel for a comparative effectiveness study of opioid risk communication strategies. CHERISH investigators also published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Annals of Internal Medicine, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and Health Affairs, and we had frequent blog and news posts on our website and on social media.

CHERISH investigators also traveled nationally and internationally to present their research findings. Dr. Kathryn McCollister presented on “the Economic Consequences of Substance Use Disorders” at EuHEA in Hamburg, Germany, and joined Dr. Schackman and Dr. Brandon Aden in presenting a symposium on measuring the value of addiction health services at the 2016 Addiction Health Sevices Research conference. Dr. Ben Linas gave an oral presentation at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases’ The Liver Meeting 2016, where CHERISH was profiled on AASLD TV, increasing our exposure on a national level. Dr. Zachary Meisel and Dr. Karen Lasser, pilot grant recipient, presented preliminary results of their respective studies on substance use health policy needs assessment and integrating HCV treatment in primary care at the Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation.

CHERISH awarded new pilot grants to Dr. Michael Pesko at Weill Cornell Medical College and Dr. Kit Delgado at the University of Pennsylvania. We ended 2016 by hosting our first ever introduction to health economics two-day training short course at Weill Cornell Medical College. We are excited to welcome Dr. Sean Murphy to the CHERISH family and look forward to many more developments in 2017!

Check out our 2016 Year in Review video below to hear what CHERISH professionals have been up to in the past year.


Congratulations Corner

Welcoming Sean Murphy, Consultation Service Director

CHERISH is proud to welcome Dr. Sean Murphy as the CHERISH Consultation Service Director. Dr. Murphy was previously an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at Washington State University where he completed his doctorate in economics. He will be joining the Weill Cornell Medical College faculty in February of 2017. His research interests include health economics, chronic disorder management, substance use and mental health disorders and econometrics. Dr. Murphy’s recent publications focus on economic evaluations of opioid use disorder interventions and treatment. Dr. Murphy is an investigator in the CHERISH Methodology Core and will be responsible for extending the CHERISH investigator network and managing the consultation service.

The CHERISH consultation service is available to researchers nation-wide in substance use disorder treatment, HIV and HCV fields. Consultation requests are made through the CHERISH website and, if a match with a consultant occurs, consultations are provided free of charge for up to approximately 6 hours of consultant time.

Since its launch in December 2015, CHERISH consultants have completed twelve consultations. Several of the studies focus on HCV and/or HIV, linkage to care, and treatment in the substance use disorder setting. CHERISH consultants were able to provide valuable guidance on research aims, methods, and data, as well as assistance in responding to comments from reviewers for previously reviewed grant applications. Those who have received consultations have commended the usefulness of this service, as well as the expertise of our consultants:

Consultation was outstanding. Consultant was available, approachable with questions, gave expert advice, and we have proposed to collaborate. Consultant helped design economic evaluation for grant application and also provided descriptive language for application. The consultant, who is mid-career, had expertise that was well-suited for my needs, but additionally, the director of the center also provided feedback on my grant application. I got comprehensive feedback within one week. I was very impressed – service exceeded my expectations.

This consultation was incredibly high yield – I was very impressed with the efficiency, timeliness and assistance that resulted from just two 1 hour calls. This consultation led us to revise a grant aim and allowed us to incorporate appropriate text. I would highly recommend this service to others. THANK YOU!!

This is an incredibly helpful service and I am very grateful to be able to take advantage of it. I can say without a doubt that the consultation made my grant application much stronger. In fact, I don’t believe I could have incorporated an economic analysis without Dr. Schackman’s help.


We have health economic evaluation expertise in:

  • Budget impact and costing
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Cost-benefit
  • Quality of life
  • Qualitative data collection
  • Statistical analysis / econometrics

We can help with:

  • Planning a study
  • Analyzing existing data
  • Preparing a grant application, manuscript, presentation, or report


To learn more about CHERISH services for researchers, please visit:

Economic Evaluation Training Short Course

On December 1 – 2, 2016 CHERISH sponsored our first two-day training short course, “An Introduction to Economic Evaluation in Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV Treatments.” The course provided an introduction to multiple economic evaluation methods used to evaluate health care services, with a focus on substance use disorders, HIV and HCV, and provided more in-depth exposure to cost-effectiveness analysis. Students were introduced to concepts of decision analysis, measurement of cost, health utilities and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), as well as a briefer introduction to cost-benefit analysis, budget impact analysis, and simulation modeling techniques. Interactive case excercises applied these concepts to economic evaluation of HIV screening in substance use treatment programs.

CHERISH also sponsored an optional third day of training on TreeAge healthcare modeling for investigators and students of all levels, offered at a discounted rate for trainees. The course was met with a great deal of positive feedback from the 36 attendees, including 16 trainees and 20 investigators from a total of 13 institutions.

To learn more about upcoming training, please visit:

CHERISH at The Liver Meeting

AASLD TV 2016, produced by WebsEdge/Health, provided coverage of The Liver Meeting, the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases held November 11 – 15, 2016 in Boston, MA. Each daily program consisted of conference news, interviews with The Liver Meeting presenters, and pre-recorded film segments. WebsEdge profiled CHERISH, among other organizations, by creating a short documentary-style film focusing on our efforts and their implications for liver disease research. The profile was screened online, around the conference center, and on a dedicated television channel in select guest hotel rooms during the conference.

CHERISH HCV and HIV Core Director Benjamin Linas presented several posters at The Liver Meeting. Additionally, an oral presentation by Dr. Linas held during the Health Services Research: Cost Effectiveness and Economics of Care Parallel Session addressed the question, “what is the cost-effectiveness of HCV treatment among liver transplantation candidates?”

Dr. Linas was joined by Center Director Dr. Bruce Schackman in a poster presentation on the cost-effectiveness of an HCV screening and treatment linkage intervention in US methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs.


CHERISH & LDI Joint Blog Posts

The Effect of Vaping Minimum Age Laws on Teen Smoking and Birth Outcomes

CHERISH pilot grant recipient, Michael Pesko, PhD, presented new evidence for the substitution effect in a blog post cross-posted to the CHERISH website and the Leonard Davis Institute Health Policy$ense blog. This post was linked to the publication of Dr. Pesko’s study, “The Effect of E-Cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age Laws on Traditional Cigarette Use and Birth Outcomes Among Pregnant Teenagers” in the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series in November of 2016. The topics discussed in this paper are echoed in the Report of the Surgeon General on E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults issued in December 2016.

Answering the Call: Facing Addiction in America

In November 2016 the Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, released the groundbreaking, comprehensive report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Sarah Gutkind of the CHERISH Administrative Core and Julia Mitchell of the CHERISH Dissemination & Policy Core tackled the the topics addressed in this report in a blog post published to the websites of CHERISH and the Leonard Davis Institute. As researchers, the Surgeon General challenges us to broaden our perspectives and explore models of integrated SUD care, models of ongoing chronic care, and models of coordinated specialty care, and this blog post reaffirms that researchers at LDI and CHERISH are up to the challenge.

This article has been cross-posted at the University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute website.
Read in full at www.cherishresearch.org/blog.

Find Us

CHERISH researchers continue to travel around the country to discuss economic analysis research methods and their application to substance use, hepatitis C, and HIV treatment interventions. Please join us if we’re presenting in your neighborhood!

Bruce Schackman, PhD, MBA

  • Poster presentation:
    Cost-Effectiveness of HCV Screening and Linkage in MMT: Relevance of HIV Co-Infection

The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections 2017
February 13 – 16, 2017 – Seattle, WA

Kathryn McCollister, PhD

  • Pre-Congress session:
    New Insights Into the Economics of Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
  • Social event TBD

12th iHea World Congress: Revolutions In the Economics of Health Systems
July 8 – 11, 2017 – Boston, MA

Bruce Schackman, PhD, MBA & Sean Murphy, PhD

  • workshop:
    Introduction to Economic Evaluation in Substance Use Disorders

Summer Institute on Longitudinal Research & 2017 International Conference on Global Health
August 15 – 17, 2017 – Universal City, CA