Dr. Ginny Sprang, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry and executive director of UK’s Center on Trauma and Children (CTAC), has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
When Sprang began her research she focused on the field of traumatic stress, investigating event-specific factors that influenced how trauma manifested in people of all ages. Her experience as a psychotherapist working with violence exposed children began to shape the trauma research she conducted. For 21 years, Sprang has conducted child trauma research at UK and served as a local and national leader in the field.
In 1999, the seeds for the eventual Center on Trauma and Children (CTAC) were planted and in 2007, the center was officially established at UK. In 2013, the center became part of the UK College of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry. The center currently conducts research and has two clinical laboratories, one that focuses on assessment technologies and another that is an evidence-based trauma treatment center.
The treatment lab at CTAC will benefit from the $2 million award and focuses on a few goals. First, they aim to reduce disparities in access to mental and physical care experienced by traumatized children and families in the state. Next, they want to enhance and expand service delivery to traumatized children across the state, focusing on military families housed at or near Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. They will also work to build community capacity of professionals to address the needs of children and families suffering from traumatic stress through training and workforce development initiatives. Finally, the funding will help the center research the effectiveness of interventions currently being used in a variety of clinical settings.
This award also helps the center maintain its standing in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). The mission of the NCTSN is to raise the standard of care for traumatized children, families and communities throughout the U.S. In order to be a member of this competitive network, a center must receive and maintain funding, which Sprang has helped to make possible, originally in 2009 and again in 2011, 2012 and now through 2021. “For UK to have a center in this prestigious network, puts us on the map as a center of excellence for assessing and treating child traumatic stress,” Sprang said.
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