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Cutting-Edge Training Technology to Help Prevent Substance Abuse Released by MedRespond, Peer Assistance Services, Inc. and NORC at the University of Chicago

Press Release

5/13/2013, Bethesda, MD.–In a collaborative effort to provide state of the art screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) training for health care professionals, MedRespondPeer Assistance Services, Inc., and NORC at the University of Chicago announced the launch of the SBIRT Substance Use NursingMentor™ software that prepares health care professionals to identify, intervene and recommend treatment for patients at-risk for substance abuse. The SBIRT Substance Use NursingMentor is an online training platform that uses computational linguistics, search and streaming media to teach SBIRT skills through engaging simulated interactions. This new program integrates MedRespond’s Synthetic Interview (SI) technology with Peer Assistance Services’ and NORC’s SBIRT training curriculum into a streamlined training experience that allows health care professionals to receive SBIRT training credits in a convenient and cost-effective manner.

"We are delighted to work with Peer Assistance Services and NORC on this important project,” says Ginny Pribanic, President and CEO of MedRespond. “By combining our Synthetic Interview technologies with Peer Assistance Services’ curriculum and NORC’s expertise in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, health care professionals’ SBIRT training requirements can be effectively and easily completed.”

MedRespond’s technologies simulate real-world health-care training, mentoring and coaching conversations with patients about their high risk substance use. MedRespond holds an exclusive license in the health care sector for the patented Synthetic Interview® (AI) engine from Carnegie Mellon University that powers online simulated conversations. When integrated into health-care products such as SBIRT Substance Use NursingMentor, MedRespond software delivers seamless, conversational and immersive communication experiences: anytime – anywhere.

“We are launching this product with the Colorado Nurses Association in May 2013, and expect additional state nurses associations to adopt SBIRT Substance Use NursingMentor program as well,” says Elizabeth Pace, CEO of Peer Assistance Services. “Standardized alcohol screening is widely acknowledged as an efficient and cost effective approach to reducing alcohol-related morbidity and mortality – and we are pleased that the online training will be promoted by the Colorado Nurses Association to streamline training and improve health care.”

“SBIRT Substance Use NursingMentor delivers valuable substance abuse treatment instruction to the greatest number of health care professionals in the least amount of time.”

Dr. Eric Goplerud

Senior Vice President

“SBIRT Substance Use NursingMentor delivers valuable substance abuse treatment instruction to the greatest number of health care professionals in the least amount of time.”

About MedRespond - the Art of Health Care Conversations

A leader in the development and distribution of health-care training and coaching software, MedRespond enables personal, interactive and conversational communications between health enterprises and their patients / clients. Integrating computational linguistic and search technologies with streaming media, MedRespond’s patented technologies streamline health-care communications, maximize client / patient satisfaction, and minimize health-care support costs. From mentoring applications to train health-care professionals, to coaching applications to optimize consumer health-care, MedRespond improves patient-care and health-care outcomes in a user-friendly, efficient and cost-effective manner.

About Peer Assistance Services

Peer Assistance Services, Inc. is a Colorado non-profit agency dedicated to quality, accessible prevention and intervention services in workplaces and communities, focusing on substance abuse and related issues. PAS has experience in implementing statewide prevention and early intervention programs for 30 years.  Key programs include prescription drug abuse prevention, workplace prevention, health professional case management programs, and screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment practice in multiple healthcare settings.  At the core of PAS are the values of integrity, respect, compassion, perseverance and vision. We incorporate these values into all that we do in the service of our mission. 

About NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.

Contact: For more information, please contact Eric Young at NORC at or (703) 217-6814 (cell).