Dennis McCarty, PhD



BA (1971) University of Kentucky
MA (1976) University of Kentucky
PhD (1978) University of Kentucky

Primary Mission within the Department

Through collaboration with colleagues in the department, policy makers in state and local government, and practitioners in community treatment programs, I seek to enhance treatment of alcohol and drug use disorders, improve the quality of treatment services, and link policy, practice and research.

Specific Activities

  • Director:
    • Substance Abuse Policy Center in the Oregon Health Policy Institute – the SAPC works with state and local policy makers to improve the quality of services and the use of data on substance abuse treatment.
  • Co-Principal Investigator:
    • Western States Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse) – the Western States node is one of 13 research centers collaborating to test emerging drug abuse treatments in community treatment settings (in partnership with U. of California, San Francisco, Jim Sorensen, PI).
  • Principal Investigator:
    • Medication Research Partnership – Collaboration with Aetna Healthcare and addiction treatment centers contracting with Aetna to facilitate system changes and increase the use of pharmacological therapies for treatment of alcohol and drug use disorders (research team includes investigators from Treatment Research Institute, University of Wisconsin, and University of California, San Francisco).
  • Investigator
    • NIATX 200 – A cluster randomized clinical trial testing process improvement strategies with 200 outpatient addiction treatment centers located in Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Washington (subcontract from University of Wisconsin – David H. Gustafson, PI).
    • System Dynamics of Pharmaceutical Opioid Misuse --  Construct a system dynamic model of opioid misuse to assess potential impacts associated with the Food and Drug Administration’s implementation of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies for Class 2 long acting opioids (subcontract from Portland State University – Wayne Wakeland, PI).
    • Payer/Treatment Agency Intervention to Increase Use of Buprenorphine – Ten counties in Ohio are collaborating to facilitate adoption and use of buprenorphine for treatment of opioid dependence (subcontract from U. of Wisconsin – Todd Molfenter, PI).

Experience and Interests

Dennis McCarty, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and Principal Investigator for the Western States Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. Dr. McCarty collaborates with policy makers in state and federal government and with community based programs to conduct studies that examine the organization, financing, and delivery of publicly funded substance abuse treatment services. He is the Principal Investigator on grants and contracts funded through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Between 1989 and 1995 he served as the Director of the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He was appointed to three Institute of Medicine committees and was a co-editor for two reports "Managing Managed Care: Quality Improvement in Behavioral Health Care" and "Bridging the Gap Between Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships with Community-Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment."

Recent Publications

Hartzler, B., Donovan, D., Tillotson, C., Mongoue-Tchokote, S., Doyle, S., McCarty, D. (2012).  A multi-level approach to predicting community addiction treatment attitudes about contingency management. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42, 213 - 221.  doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2011.10.012

Hoffman, K.A., Green, C.A., Ford, J.H., Wisdom, J.P., Gustafson, D.H. & McCarty, D. (2012).  Improving quality of care in substance abuse treatment using five key process improvement principles.  Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, on-line in advance of print January 27, 2012, doi: 10.1007/s11414-011-9270-y

Korthuis PT, Feaster DJ, Gomez ZL, Das M, Tross S, Wiest K, Douaihy A, Mandler RN, Sorensen JL, Colfax G, McCarty D, Cohen SE, Penn PE, Lape D, Metsch LR.  (2012).  Injection behaviors among injection drug users in treatment: The role of hepatitis C awareness. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 552 – 555.  (On-line in advance of print December 14, 2011).  doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.12.001

McConnell , K.J., Gast, S.H.N., Ridgely, S., Wallace, N.; Natalie, J., Rieckmann, T.; McFarland, B.F. & McCarty, D.  (2012).  Behavioral health insurance parity: Does the Oregon experience presage the national experience with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act?  American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 31 – 38.  doi:10.1176/appi.ahp.2011.11020320.

McConnell, K.J., Ridgely, M.S. & McCarty, D. (2012).  What Oregon’s parity law can tell us abou the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act on substance abuse services.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Available on-line in advance of print February 28, 2012. Doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.02.006.

Quanbeck, A., Madden, L., Edmundson, E., Ford, J.H., McConnell, K.J., McCarty, D., Gustafson, D.H. (2012).  A business case for quality improvement in addiction treatment: Evidence from the NIATx collaborative.  Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 39 (1), 91 – 100.  (Available on-line September 15, 2011). DOI 10.1007/s11414-011-9259-6.

Schmidt, L.A., Rieckmann, T., Abraham, A., Molfenter, T., Capoccia, V., Roman, P., Gustafson, D.H. & McCarty, D. (2012).  Advancing Recovery: Implementing evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders at the systems level.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73 (3), 413 - 422.