CSULB’s Center for Behavioral Research and Services (BRS) received a $50,000 grant from the city of Long Beach’s Department of Health and Human Services as a special supplement to an existing project.
Led by center director Dennis Fisher and Health Care Administration’s Grace Reynolds, the project aims at increasing cooperation and data sharing between CSULB and the Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach Inc. (SAF).
“We’re very pleased to receive this grant,” said Fisher, the center’s director since 2000. “The goal here is to foster greater integration and coordination between the city’s contractors. This funding enables us to share information about mutual clients with SAF without a lot of paperwork. Together, we have started several different projects that examine the craving for and dependence on methamphetamine.”
“We’re a very stable provider,” explained Reynolds. “The city often calls on us to provide research and data analysis as well as to give presentations before various organizations.” The data the center acquires through its new collaboration with SAF will go toward research on such topics as the dangers of mixing Viagra and methamphetamine as well as publishing papers by CSULB graduate students on sexual addiction and the link between methamphetamine use and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The Center for Behavioral Research and Services is a multi-function unit of CSULB and is dedicated to psychosocial research and services related to community health and social problems. The establishment of this unit was prompted and facilitated by the 1993 merger of the CSULB-based AIDS Research and Education Project and the Long Beach AIDS Network, a community-based HIV service organization originally founded by the city of Long Beach's Department of Health and Human Services.
The CBRS conducts social and behavioral research focusing on health and substance-use related issues, including HIV risk, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases. CBRS also operates programs to reduce HIV risk in historically underserved populations.
The CBRS employs approximately 20 individuals and conducts most of its activities in the Long Beach and South Bay areas, although it has participated in or conducted national and international programs. The CBRS also operates a mobile unit that brings HIV testing and counseling and immune assessment services to drug users both in and out of treatment, visiting drug treatment programs and neighborhoods with a high prevalence of drug abuse, alcoholism, and homelessness.
Another reason for CSULB’s recognition is the multidisciplinary nature of its grant proposals. “More and more funding agencies want to see demonstrable proof of local collaboration,” said Reynolds. “We want to demonstrate linkages, cooperation and true collaboration within the city of Long Beach. That works out well for all the agencies involved. The day has passed when one entity gets all the funding on its own.”
Reynolds also pointed with pride to the center’s staff.
“We are experts in statistics and analysis,” she explained. “The center collects that data from every client who walks in the door. For instance, the city recently asked us to interview 30 methamphetamine users, but we exceeded that by more than their wildest dreams. We contacted and obtained data from 128 methamphetamine users. It was such a huge success that it surprised even them.”The current grant is further proof of the CBRS’s success, said Fisher. “The city prefers to deal with a stable agency such as ours,” he said. “We are always being site visited by our funding agencies. They go over our records, they observe our counseling and other programs and they inspect our food bank. CBRS has proved it puts a lot of effort into what it does and is able to do a good job.”