SECSAT Central Staff

J. Paul Seale, MD, PI

J. Paul Seale, M.D., a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Medical Center of Central Georgia (Macon). He is Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Family Medicine at Mercer University School of Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. From 2004-2006 he served as principal investigator of a NIH-funded study entitled “The Georgia-Texas Improving Brief Intervention Project,” training faculty and residents in 8 residency programs in alcohol screening and brief intervention.

From 2008-2013 he served as co-medical director for Georgia’s SAMHSA-funded state screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) initiative. He now serves as head of the Southeast Consortium on Substance Abuse Training, a SAMHSA- funded residency SBIRT initiative disseminating SBIRT training and implementation to physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners five southeastern states. He also serves on the clinician advisory boards of the Physicians’ Clinical Support Systems for both Opioids and Medication Assisted Treatment (funded by SAMHSA), as well as the National Addiction Transfer Technology Center’s Hospital Brief Intervention Group. Since 2010 he and two faculty colleagues have provided buprenorphine therapy to patients at their family medicine residency clinic.




J. Aaron Johnson, PHD

Dr. Aaron Johnson is Interim Director of Augusta University's Institute of Public and Preventive Health and Principal Investigator of the SBIRT training grant at Augusta University (GRISAT). He also serves as Director of Evaluation on the SECSAT training grants based at Mercer University, the University of Georgia (UGAISAT), and Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. His research is focused on the implementation of evidence-based practices in substance abuse prevention and treatment. More recently, his research has incorporated technology as a means of enacting behavior change within this field.

Data collected during SBIRT training have resulted in several publications and numerous presentations describing the changes in knowledge, attitudes and behavior resulting from this training. In addition, Dr. Johnson has published several validation studies of brief alcohol and/or drug screening tools for use in general medical settings as well as studies examining the implementation of alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention (SBI) in medical settings including primary care, emergency department, trauma unit, and urgent care. Dr. Johnson is currently conducting a pilot study using an existing smartphone app, developed as a recovery support tool for alcoholics leaving addiction treatment, with recent parolees identified as high risk for substance use disorders. The intervention group receives a smartphone with app while the control group receives supervision as usual. Follow-ups conducted at 1, 3, and 6 months post-release will determine if the app reduces alcohol and drug use days.

Amanda J. Abraham, PHD

Dr. Amanda J. Abraham is Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. Dr. Abraham is the Principal Investigator of the UGA SBIRT Interprofessional Training Grant. Her research focuses on the adoption, diffusion and implementation of evidence-based practices for substance use disorder treatment, organizational change, workforce development, and the impact of federal and state policy on the accessibility and quality of SUD treatment.

Dr. Abraham currently serves as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on numerous federal grants including a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to evaluate the impact of Georgia Medicaid policy on inappropriate prescribing of opioid analgesics and opioid overdose deaths. Dr. Abraham’s recent publications focus on geographic disparities in access to opioid use disorder treatment for Medicaid enrollees and the impact of state policy on the availability of medications to treat opioid use disorder.