MAARC: Approach & Strategy

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Our Approach

Opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose are growing crises within justice involved contexts. To understand and intervene, the University of Chicago (UC) and its collaborators propose a research plan that couples bi-directional data sharing, analytics, and modeling to foster new scientific insights into interventions at the nexus of OUD and justice contexts. Toward this end, the Methodology and Advanced Analytics Resource Center (MAARC) team will conduct opioid clinical trials implemented within justice contexts. UC and key affiliates, such as Argonne National Laboratory and NORC, will support clinical trials with forecasting, rapid real-time assessments, explication and exploration of trial findings, and cost-effectiveness analysis. The proposed MAARC is comprised of four dynamic Cores: Data Analytics Support Core (DASC); Advanced Methods and Research Core (AMRC); Population, Policy, Practice and Survey Core (P2S); and an Administrative Core (ADMC). These Cores will work toward complementary research aims.

Our Strategy

DASC will: a) establish rigorous standards for data collection activities and trials; b) create a secure computing infrastructure based on the Gen3 Data Commons platform; and c) offer comprehensive resources to JCOIN Clinical Research Centers (CRCs).

P2S will: a) Provide CRCs and policy makers with survey data to improve drug treatment strategies for OUD; b) increase understanding of changing practices related to addressing opioids in justice settings; c) conduct spatially extended treatment analyses to evaluate outcomes for OUD-related harm reduction and criminal justice policy variations.

AMRC will: a) determine social and spatial network drivers of OUD; b) develop predictive models of non-fatal overdose within justice contexts; c) extend and maintain an agent-based modeling framework of OUD interventions within JCOIN contexts to enhance clinical trial capacity, including cost-effectiveness of tested interventions.

ADMC will a) integrate the existing MAARC infrastructure to ensure the efficient conduct of advanced analyses, data management, and policy tracking and guidance; b) evaluate MAARC activities using metrics to inform decisions for quality improvement across the MAARC and extended JCOIN research missions; c) provide administrative and fiscal management to MAARC Cores to maximize bi-directional interaction with community and clinical trial stakeholders, and to ensure each meets its specific aims in compliance with federal, institutional, and JCOIN policies.

Together, the overarching, long-term mission of these aims is to reduce OUD and overdose, revolutionize opioid interventions, and to impact associated epidemics such as mental health disorders, hepatitis C, and HIV.

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