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The Evidence-Based Workgroup (EBW) is a required component of the SAMSHA-funded 2018 Hawai‘i Partnerships for Success (HI-PFS) Project with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. One of the goals of HI-PFS is to enhance the state system of substance misuse prevention in its utilization of a data-driven and evidence-based approach. The EBW will assist in this process through building the State’s capacity in developing and implementing evidence-based programs, practices, and policies.


The EBW consists of volunteer members representing program evaluators, experts, and ex-officio in the field of substance misuse prevention. Current members are as follow:
  • Sothy Eng, PhD, UH Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Richard Kim, PhD, The Catalyst Group, LLC
  • Stephanie Strutner, MPH, CPS, Catalyst Evaluation Group
  • Alyssa O‘Hair, MPH, MA, CPS, Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT)
  • Michelle Park, CPS, Coalition for Drug-Free Hawai'i
  • Michael Sparks, MA, SparksInitiatives
Ex-Officio Members
  • Wayne Buente, PhD, HI-PFS Adaptation Manager, UH School of Communications
  • Tehani Diaz, MPA, Hawai'i State Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
  • Sandé Flores, MPH, HI-PFS Evaluation Coordinator, UH Center on the Family
  • Kathleen Gauci, PhD, HI-PFS EBW Coordinator, UH Center on the Family
  • Cheryl Labuguen, CPS, Hawai'i State Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
  • Sarah Yuan, PhD, HI-PFS Evaluator, UH Center on the Family

Focus Areas

  1. Developing policies and guidelines regarding:
    • adaptations and implementation of culturally relevant evidence-based programs to meet fidelity requirements; and
    • evaluation of evidence-based and innovative/emerging programs, practices, and policies;
  2. Advising the selection of evidence-based programs, practices, and policies;
  3. Assisting ADAD in reviewing and providing feedback on evidence-based adaptation requests; and
  4. Providing structured presentations and training on specific topic areas, as needed.


The EBW meets quarterly during the months of March, June, September, and December.

Contact the Workgroup

For questions related to evidence-based selection, adaptation, and implementation of prevention strategies, contact your contract specialist, who can bring your inquiries to the workgroup. The EBW welcomes ideas, questions, and suggestions on issues that the workgroup can contribute to/work on. The workgroup will prioritize such and work as a group to address them during their quarterly meetings. The EBW also encourages suggestions for presentation topics and volunteers to share their experiences in the areas of evaluation plans, methods, and results dissemination; and data-driven approaches for selecting and implementing prevention programs, policies, and practices.

Please email Kathleen Gauci, PhD, Evidence-Based Workgroup Coordinator, at [email protected] if you have questions or suggestions regarding the EBW.