Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

NCRG on the Road: March Madness

by: NCRG Staff | May 1, 2013

NCRG Communications and Outreach Manager Amy Kugler

This post was written by Amy Kugler, the NCRG’s Communications and Outreach Manager

Even though March is a great month to watch some of the ups and downs of the NCAA college basketball tournaments, those of us on staff for the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) were busy traveling to Chicago, Ill., for the seventh Annual Education Summit and to Seattle, Wash., for the first session of the 2013 NCRG Treatment Provider Workshop Series. What a busy month!

Dr. Jon Grant, Principal Investigator of the NCRG Center of Excellence at the University of ChicagoFirst, we had such a great time at the Annual Education Summit, held in partnership with the NCRG Center of Excellence in Gambling Research at The University of Chicago. Each year, this event is a unique opportunity to gather legislators, researchers, academics, industry members, mental health professionals and community leaders together to discuss the latest research on gambling disorders and explain more about the resources that the NCRG has to offer. It was an honor to hold it at The University of Chicago, and we were pleased to announce the next round of funding for the NCRG Centers of Excellence in Gambling Research at The University of Chicago and Yale University. Margo Bristow, board member for the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, also announced a state-wide initiative that will gather more stakeholders to address gambling disorders in Illinois. We’ll also cover this new partnership in a blog post in the future.

During this year’s Annual Education Summit, we also were fortunate to bring together 20 early stage investigators who show great promise in their work on gambling disorders and addiction.  With the goal of cultivating the next generation of researchers, we held an all-day workshop for them that was led by Ken Winters, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota; Tammy Chung, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Jon E. Grant, J.D., M.D., M.P.H., from The University of Chicago. This was the first time that the NCRG convened a workshop of this type, and we look forward to replicating it in the future.

Early stage investigators discuss research ideas during an all-day workshop

Chicago wasn’t the only stop for the NCRG in March. I was able to travel to Seattle, Wash., to meet and partner with the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling (ECPG) on the first session of the 2013 NCRG Treatment Provider Workshop Series led by Sarah Nelson, Ph.D., from the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a division of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Nelson explained the basics of gambling disorders screening and assessment strategies, and resources to use such as the Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (funded by the NCRG).  What I valued about this workshop is that there were many counselors who mostly saw clients with substance use disorders, but they realized that they should be screening for gambling disorders as well. Also, members from almost all of the tribes in Washington State attended this training! (For more information on the ECPG, check out last week’s blog post that highlighted the organization and its programs.)

While I was in Washington, I also had the opportunity to meet with our NCRG-funded researcher Ty Lostutter, Ph.D., from the University of Washington, and potential partners with the Washington Indian Gaming Association. Maureen Greeley, executive director for ECPG, and I also were able to meet with the University of Washington’s athletic department to discuss more about programs that address gambling and gambling-related harms on college campuses, specifically Overall, it was a month packed with fun travel and fantastic new partners (and lots of college basketball games on the television)!

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