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Haylea Hannah named 2020-21 Warren G. Magnuson Scholar

Sixtine Gurrey | April 9, 2020
3 minutes to read

Haylea Hannah, a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology

The Department of Epidemiology is proud to announce that Haylea Hannah, a doctoral candidate in our department, has been named the University of Washington School of Public Health’s 2020-2021 Magnuson Scholar.

The Magnuson Scholars Program is among the UW’s highest honors. Each year, the program recognizes one graduate student in each of the six UW Health Sciences schools who excels in both academics and research. Each student receives $30,000 toward their education in the 2020-2021 academic school year.
Under the mentorship of Associate Professor Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Haylea’s dissertation will look at the population-level impact of policies that offer opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in California county jails using a mixed-methods approach. 
“I’m incredibly honored to even be in the same conversation as Senator Warren G. Magnuson, the current scholars from the additional Health Sciences Schools, and all of the amazing researchers who make up the pool of former Magnuson Scholars,” said Haylea. “My dissertation has many truly invaluable stakeholders without whom these dissertation aims would not be possible. Having this extra support will make a huge difference in making sure I’m able to be as involved and engaged as possible as I carry out these research aims! ”

Drug overdose is the leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, with the majority of these deaths involving opioids. Individuals with an OUD are more likely to have some involvement in the criminal justice system, prompting states and counties to consider the criminal justice system as a key access point for equitable treatment and harm reduction. Medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, can be highly effective in the treatment of OUD, and some evaluations of jail-based treatment programs have demonstrated the impact of jail-based treatment initiation of these medications in both the short and long term. However, there is limited data on the population-level impact of adopting policies that offer these treatments in county jails. 

Haylea’s dissertation will attempt to fill this gap. The first aim of her dissertation will characterize treatment experiences, barriers, and preferences through interviews with those living with an OUD who were formerly incarcerated within three counties in California. Another aim will leverage a controlled interrupted time series approach to evaluate the impact of offering medications for OUD treatment in county jails on county-level, opioid-related, non-fatal emergency department visits, arrest, convictions, and fatal overdoses in California. Her third aim will be a cost-effectiveness analysis to inform the costs and potential cost savings of this policy. 
“I’m hoping evidence from my dissertation will evaluate and inform how medications for opioid use disorder treatment impact those living with an opioid use disorder,” said Haylea.”By providing insight in county-level population impacts, costs, and individual-level preferences and experiences with treatment, I hope that more county and state criminal justice systems will consider developing or expanding existing medication-based OUD treatment policies and programs.”
Learn more about Haylea’s work.