Press Releases

Caron Treatment Centers Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Medical Research Center

The Pennsylvania-based center will focus on genetic testing, relapse prediction and therapeutics to treat substance use disorder

Wernersville, PA – June 30, 2021 - Caron Treatment Centers, a leading, internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment, research, prevention, and addiction medicine education, announced today the creation of The Fran and Doug Tieman Center For Research on its Pennsylvania campus.

“I’m both humbled and honored to be part of Caron’s legacy in this way,” said Tieman, who steps down today after leading Caron for 26 years. “It’s been my life’s work to help people understand that addiction is not a moral failing, it’s a chronic disease that can be managed. Recovery can be a reality for millions; however, we must embrace the essential role that science plays in the prevention and recovery process. For me, this new center is a “moon landing” that I hope will lead to lifesaving advances for generations of families.”

The Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research is the first-of-its-kind to be located at a nonprofit addiction treatment facility. It will focus on brain chemistry and medical research with the goal of leveraging advancements in science to guide prevention and treatment. The center, which is currently under construction and will officially open later this year, to date has been funded by private donors with $6 Million raised through the leadership efforts of Caron Board Chair Thomas J. Flynn and long-time Board Member Benjamin J. Zintak III. A public campaign, announced at last night’s Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence Dinner, aims to boost those funds to $8.5 Million.

“The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the mental health of Americans, further highlighting the epidemic of untreated or undertreated substance use disorder,” said Bradley F. Sorte, who will lead Caron as President and CEO starting tomorrow. “We need research more than ever to facilitate objective standards and outcomes, which are commonly used in physical medicine but remain inconsistent across the behavioral healthcare sector. The new Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research will help change that.”

Caron has demonstrated a track record of success in independent and collaborative medical research through its team of experts. At this time, Caron is already engaged in research related to relapse prediction, new therapeutics in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and genetic testing.

“When your loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, every moment counts,” said Dr. Scott Bunce, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, a frequent collaborator with Caron. “The establishment of this center on Caron’s campus will make a significant difference in our ability to conduct research and evolve the way we understand, prevent, and treat substance use disorders in real-time.”

In addition to ongoing research projects, the Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research will focus on expanding academic partnerships to foster research and train healthcare professionals to understand and apply evidence-based journal articles in their practices. In the long-term, the Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research will also seek to establish a pipeline program to engage high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in research and healthcare.

“Collaboration is really important because nobody can do research alone. Research is most effective when you bring together stakeholders with different perspectives and ideas,” said Dr. Olapeju Simoyan, MD, MPH, BDS, FAAFP, FASAM, Caron’s Founding Medical Director of Research. Dr. Simoyan will oversee the center’s day-to-day operations with support from Dr. Erin Deneke, Ph.D., Caron’s Senior Director of Research, Dr. Jonathan Harris, Ph.D., Corporate Director of Neurocognitive Services, and Dr. Joseph Garbely, DFASAM, FAPA, Caron’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Medical Research and Education.

“Our goal for the Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research is to increase the probability of recovery for individuals struggling with substance use disorder to 100%,” said Garbely. “We believe that by improving our understanding of relapse, increasing treatment options, educating health care providers about substance use disorder and identifying tools and markers to help prevent it, we can achieve this goal.”

About Caron’s Fran and Doug Tieman Center for Research Team

In addition to her work at Caron, Dr. Simoyan is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine. She also holds a clinical faculty appointment at Penn State College of Medicine. Prior to joining Caron, she was the program director of the addiction medicine fellowship at Geisinger Marworth.

Dr. Simoyan earned her medical degree from Penn State University College of Medicine, after which she completed an internship in psychiatry/family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/Western Psychiatric Institute. She completed her family medicine residency at the Penn State/Good Samaritan Hospital Family and Community Medicine Residency program.

Prior to her medical training, Dr Simoyan received a dental degree from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is board certified in Family Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Dental Public Health and has contributed to international public health education as a Fulbright specialist in Nigeria and an Erasmus Mundus scholar in France and the U.K. She has also volunteered on medical mission projects in Nigeria and Haiti.

Dr. Simoyan is a member of the Addiction Medicine Sub-board of the American Board of Preventive Medicine and serves on the REACH Program Advisory Board, a program that aims to mentor and cultivate culturally responsive fellows and trainees, who are equipped to address healthcare inequities in addiction. Dr. Simoyan is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards and was a second prize winner in the State Department’s Citizen Diplomacy Challenge in 2015.

Dr. Garbely spearheaded a high-level initiative to educate and train physicians in addiction medicine through the establishment of the Resident Training Program at Caron Pennsylvania. Dr. Garbely established an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program at Caron Pennsylvania and Reading Hospital. As the Addiction Medicine Fellowship director, Dr. Garbely is a member of the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine. He is also a clinical associate professor at Penn State College of Medicine, an adjunct associate professor at Drexel University College of Medicine, and a member of the medical staff at Reading Hospital.

Dr. Garbely is also the chairman of the Physician in Training Committee of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), an ex-officio member of the ASAM Board, and a distinguished Fellow of ASAM. Dr. Garbely received his board certifications through the American Board of Preventative Medicine, Addiction Medicine Subspecialty; the American Board of Internal Medicine; the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Deneke has been a co-investigator on several National Institute of Health (NIH) grants, and she has presented at both the local and national level on a wide range of topics. In addition, she has several peer-reviewed publications. She is currently an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, in addition to being a licensed professional counselor. She recently co-authored an article for American Psychological Association’s Spirituality in Clinical Practice Journal on how “cultural humility and civility can help navigate controversy within the arenas of public policy, multicultural training, clinical practice, and scientific research.”

Dr. Harris oversees Caron’s Integrative Neurofeedback Therapy programs in Pennsylvania and Florida, implementing strategies to enhance patient treatment efficacy through brain imaging technology. He also conducts research in collaboration with leading universities to examine how neuroscience can impact the fields of addiction and mental health to improve clinical outcomes.

Caron Treatment Centers
Caron Treatment Centers is an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment, research, prevention, and addiction medicine education. Headquartered in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, our mission is Recovery for Life. For more than 60 years, we have helped thousands of individuals struggling with substance use disorder and their families begin to manage this chronic, treatable disease. Caron provides a continuum of care for teens, young adults, women, men, and older adults. Caron’s signature programming provides concierge treatment for executives, healthcare professionals, older adults and first responders. In addition to the Pennsylvania campus, Caron provides services in Palm Beach County, Florida, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and New York City. Caron accepts several major insurance plans and provides financial assistance for those who qualify. For more information, please visit caron.org or @CaronTreatment.

Media Contact:
Karen Pasternack, Senior Director of Media Relations, Caron Treatment Centers
kpasternack@caron.org
610-413-6938

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