The Center for Human-Animal Interactions Research and Education (CHAIRE) received a feasibility study grant from The Ohio State University’s $1.35 million Opioid Innovation Fund (OIF). CHAIRE was one of eight grant recipients; the initial funding window received 89 funding proposals. OIF is dedicated to understanding the opioid crisis and inspiring new and existing partnerships to develop programs that alleviate the opioid burden in Ohio. According to the Center for Disease Control, Ohio is second only to West Virginia in the number of opioid overdose deaths each year.
CHAIRE will use the grant to conduct a feasibility study to determine if certified-therapy dogs help alleviate stress of children in the child welfare system during supervised, mandatory, parent-child visits with their opioid misusing parents. The short-term goal of this study is to develop procedures for integrating therapy animals into mandated family visits for children involved with the child welfare systems. The long-term goal is to develop a new intervention approach that will increase the likelihood of reunification while reducing trauma for abused or neglected children.
The Department of Animal Sciences’ Dr. Kelly George, assistant professor – professional practice, represented CHAIRE at a ceremony held on March 22, at the James Cancer Hospital, for award recipients. Dr. William Martin, dean of the College of Public Health, announced the eight winning proposals. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, also attended. “I’m very impressed and gratified to see the kind of creativity, energy, and resources that are being put into this,” said Collins.
While housed within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), CHAIRE also has vital partnerships with the College of Veterinary Medicine and The College of Social Work. The CHAIRE initiative was inspired by the Department of Animal Sciences’ departmental academic review, which determined the department’s purpose is to obtain and communicate data-based answers to questions involving traditional topics like efficiency and quality as well as the ethics, challenges, and opportunities that may be embedded in those questions and other queries. Whether the context is the animal industry, conservation of animals, animal companionship, or other animal roles, those seeking answers deserve information based on facts, an idea embedded in the department’s motto: “Advancing knowledge for the betterment of animals and humans”. To learn more about CHAIRE, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, follow CHAIRE on Facebook (@OSUCHAIRE), or visit chaire.osu.edu.