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A 10-month learning community that built research skills towards greater peer workforce integration into the opioid recovery support system. Fellows represented diverse recovery roles: peers, peer supervisors, clinicians, trainers, advocates, other agency staff, graduate students, and staff researchers.  

Fellows met once a month at the University of Maryland, Baltimore between September 2022 - June 2023 to achieve these outcomes:

  • Develop a network with which to collaborate, including through participatory research 

  • Use research to uplift benefits of peer services towards greater workforce integration  

  • Gain deeper understanding of research processes and practices        

  • Use agency data to enhance program management, evaluation, and fundraising 

  • Apply research to improve not just peer services, but all recovery supports 

  • Develop and share findings from research towards community education and advocacy  

Learn more about the IRIS Fellowship by downloading the "Program Summary" and "Fellowship Monthly Topics."

Position Paper

This paper was a collaborative effort between IRIS staff and Fellows, based on a literature review, Fellows' inputs, and interviews with key stakeholders. The paper defines what is effective peer workforce integration (PWI), and identifies barriers to and facilitators for effective PWI. 

Download Position Paper Materials
One Sheet
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Learn From Fellows' Research

Jennifer Carrano.jpg

Examining the Role of Peer Recovery Support Specialists in Supporting Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)

Jennifer Carrano, Research Scientist, Maryland Treatment Centers/Mountain Manor Treatment Center
Carressa Christian.jpg

A Review of Literature on the Benefits of Peer Support Specialists in Treatment Settings Serving Women with Substance Use Disorder

Carressa Christian, Evolve Life Centers, Behavioral Health Consultant
Paul Cooper.jpg

An Examination of Potential Knowledge Gaps in Emergency Department Providers Regarding SBIRT, Stigma, and Emergent Drugs

Paul Cooper, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, MedStar SBIRT Unit
Morgan Dease.jpg

Treatment Refinements for Young Adults with Opioid Use Disorder: A Focus on Mental Health

Morgan Dease, Research Assistant, Maryland Treatment Centers/Mountain Manor Treatment Center
Susan Eldridge.jpg

Bridging the Gap: A Creative Initiative to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Addiction Through Multilingual Health Literacy Engagement 

Susan Eldridge, Marketing & Community Engagement Coordinator, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Office of the Clinical Director, Intramural Research Program
Jessica Golembrosky.jpg

Requirements for Peers to Become Certified in States Across the Country –  Where Does Maryland Stand?

Jessica Golembrosky, Training Coordinator, Voices of Hope
Robert Hamm.jpg

Take the Hand That’s Reaching Out: Examining the Relationship Between Referral Source And Treatment Admission Within Peer-Delivered Mobile Crisis Services

Robert Hamm, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, Harford Crisis Office of Mental Health
Emily Henlein.jpg

The Effect of a Survivor-Led Training about Intimate Partner Violence on Addictions Counselors in an Opioid Treatment Setting

Emily Heinlein, Clinical Research Assistant, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Timothy Ibutu.jpg

Examining Perspectives of Clients Receiving and Staff Delivering Harm Reduction Services at a Community-Based Behavioral Health Care Organization

Timothy Ibutu, Program Manager, Substance Use/Co-Occuring Disorders, People Encouraging People
Xavier Justice.jpg

Assessing the Ability of Peers Working at Recovery Re-entry Homes to Administer a Validated Measure for Activities of Daily Living

Xavier Justice, Trainer, Jordan Peer Recovery
Margret Kaiser.jpg

Tying the Knot: The Importance of Co-occurring Disorder Training Integration for Peers

Margaret Kaiser, Prevention Associate, Office of Drug Control Policy, Department of Community Services, Harford County 
Heather Raley.jpg

Peer Recovery Coaches in Healthcare: A Mixed Methods Study Assessing Financial Value, Perceptions, and Barriers for This Unique Role

Heather Raley, Behavioral Health Consultant, Mosaic Group
Megan Sarikaya.jpg

Utilization of Peer-Delivered Harm Reduction Services Within a Rural County

Megan Sarikaya, Recovery Support & Harm Reduction Supervisor, Calvert County Health Department
Bradley Silberzahn.jpg

The Equitable Inclusion of Peer Research Assistants with Lived Experience in Substance Use: A Review of Existing Literature & Analysis of the Institutional Context of Peer Research Assistant Employment

Bradley Silberzahn, PhD Candidate, University of Texas, Austin
Damian Teat.jpg

Assessing the Need and Desirability of a Syringe Exchange Program: A Mixed Methods Study

Damain Teat, Peer Recovery Advocate, Paul's Place
Charmain Thomas.jpg

Examining Experiences of Clients with Co-Occurring Disorders Within a Treatment Center Utilizing an Integrated Service Model

Charmaine Thomas, Addictions Counselor, TIME Organization
Marcus Webster.jpg

The Kids Aren’t Alright: Increasing Engagement in Adolescent Clubhouses through Peer Supported Substance Use Prevention and Intervention

Marcus Webster, Children & Youth Program Manager, Ashley Addiction Treatment
Questions about the Fellowship? Email Jon from IRIS at
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