McKenna Parnes recognized by NIDA

Department news | July 5, 2023

McKenna Parnes, PhD, a Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration Postdoctoral Fellow, received an honorable mention in the Substance Use Prevention Services in Primary Care Challenge administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for her substance use prevention model framework, “Girls advocacy and impact network +: A gender-responsive substance use prevention model for girl-identified youth.”

Girl-identified youth (GIY) experience gender-based risk factors that place them at elevated risk for problematic substance use, but few GIY-focused substance prevention programs exist. Dr. Parnes’s submission addressed these gaps by adapting an evidence-based, GIY-specific substance use disorder prevention program to work smoothly within the Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington State GAIN program, an existing GIY peer-based policy advocacy and empowerment organization. In her model, pediatric primary care clinics would receive a referral package with guidelines for screening for GIY-specific risk factors and connecting identified GIY to the prevention program. The cash prize will allow Dr. Parnes to further develop and test the effectiveness of the model.