Scott P. Novak to Lead Abt’s Opioid and Substance Use Research Projects

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New behavioral health researcher joins Abt Associates

Leading behavioral health researcher Scott P. Novak, Ph.D. has joined Abt Associates as a principal associate.

Novak conceptualized and implemented the first international study of prescription drug misuse in the European Union, and led the first comparative effectiveness study of medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder in the United States. He is perhaps best known for pioneering the method of combining web-panel recruitment with targeted sampling as a cost-effective alternative to probability studies for recruiting hard-to-reach populations into public policy evaluation research. Novak will apply his expertise in substance use and disorders—including tobacco use, mental health, and criminology—as he directs several of Abt’s opioid and behavioral health research projects.

Prior to joining Abt, Novak worked for Battelle Memorial Institute as a senior researcher. He also worked for more than a decade as a senior research scientist in RTI International’s Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Division. During his tenure, he served as a project director on approximately 20 separate governmental and commercial projects addressing issues such as health services, clinical epidemiology, public health, criminology and economics research in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, crime, and physical health, including HIV and AIDS.

“Scott’s research has been at the intersection of programs, policy and practice, and will complement Abt’s data-driven approach to fighting the opioid epidemic and other health challenges,” said Melanie Whitter, Abt principal associate and behavioral health lead.

Novak has authored more than 100 papers and presentations, and he is a regular member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Prior to 2004, Novak was an assistant professor of Community Health Policy at Brown University in Providence, R.I. He holds a doctorate in quantitative sociology and an M.A. in medical sociology from the University of Kentucky, and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Harvard University, where he specialized in biostatistics and psychiatric epidemiology.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is an engine for social impact, harnessing the power of data and grounded insight to bring people from vulnerability to security worldwide. We provide research, consulting and technical services globally, working in the areas of health, environmental and social policy and international development.

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Amy Dunaway
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