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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 abuse 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 abuse prevention. Current members are as follow:
  • Alessandra Jann-Jordan, MSW,  PACT (Parents and Children Together)
  • Alyssa Foster, MPH, The Catalyst Group, LLC
  • Anna Ah Sam, PhD, Independent Evaluator
  • Richard Kim, PhD, The Catalyst Group, LLC
  • Sothy Eng, PhD, UH Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Alyssa O‘Hair, MPH, MA, CPS, Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT)
  • Michael Sparks, MA, SparksInitiatives
  • Michelle Park, CPS, Coalition for Drug-Free Hawai'i
Ex-Officio Members
  • Cheryl Labuguen, CPS, Hawai'i State Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
  • Kathleen Gauci, PhD, HI-PFS EBW Coordinator, UH Center on the Family
  • Sarah Yuan, PhD, HI-PFS Evaluator, UH Center on the Family
  • Wayne Buente, PhD, HI-PFS Adaptation Manager, UH School of Communications

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 if you have questions or suggestions regarding the EBW.

June 2021

Jun 02 Wed
ADAD Zoom Training: Substance Use Disorder Ethics

Description: Attendees will become familiar with:

  • Introductions and networking
  • Discussion of “need of know” and relevance to field work
  • 12 Ethical Principles of CSAC Code of Ethics




Jun 04 Fri
Hawaii Training: “Ice," Cannabis Use Disorder, and the Opioid Crisis

Description: Upon completion of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least three statistical findings that validate the current surge of opioid, stimulant, and marijuana abuse in the US;
  • List and describe natural brain neurotransmitters that are mimicked or disrupted by the abuse of external substances;
  • Discuss the symptoms of stimulant, opioid, and cannabis use disorder and provide at least four symptoms of their withdrawal syndromes; and
  • Name currently employed and developing treatment strategies for opioid, stimulant, and cannabis dependence.





Jun 09 Wed
ADAD Zoom Training: Addressing Tobacco in Substance Use Settings

Description: Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the high rates of tobacco use in individuals with behavioral health issues, specifically substance users
  • Understand the medical, financial, occupational, and other consequences of tobacco use in individuals with addictions
  • Gain increased awareness about the need for integrated tobacco treatment within the behavioral health setting and the barriers which keep smokers with addictions from accessing tobacco treatment. (This can include staff who use tobacco or policies that allow for continued tobacco use in the treatment setting.)
  • Become familiar with tools for assessing tobacco use including carbon monoxide measurements, DSM criteria for tobacco use disorder and withdrawal syndromes, assessments of nicotine dependence and stages of change
  • Describe the rationale for treatment as effective methods for increasing the success of quit attempts




Jun 21 Mon
ADAD Zoom Training: Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking, Sexting and the Law

Upon completion of this workshop the clinician/staff/educators will have a clear understanding of:

  • All forms of CyberBullying, CyberStalking and the psychological impact on young people.
  • Sexting in context to teenagers and young adults in the 21st century and legal implications.
  • How parents, educators and clinicians can safeguard children, teenagers and young adults from Cyber-Abuse.
  • Medical, Psychological, Sociological and Behavioral impact on humans as a result of Cyber-Abuse.


Jun 25 Fri
ADAD Zoom Training: Working with Challenging Families

Description: This workshop is designed to incorporate the skills necessary to build better relationships with families who may be resistant or hesitant to services. Training will focus on assessing client strengths, reviewing various behavioral theories, approaches and techniques, and identifying strategies for addressing conflict in relationships.