Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center on the Continuum of Care

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Collaborative Projects

Treatment Organizations

Caron Treatment Centers

The Center is working with Caron to help it develop, implement, improve, and evaluate continuing care interventions for patients after they complete residential treatment. Caron has implemented telephone-based continuing care protocols that monitor patient status and progress, provide brief counseling, and facilitate involvement with local service providers and self-help. More recently, Caron has also developed a cutting-edge, multi-modal continuing care protocol that includes a mix of case management, telephone contacts, regular urine drug testing, and family involvement, and is coordinated through an innovative web-based program.  Dr. McKay has consulted on the development of this program and its evaluation.

Penn Center for AIDS Research

Dr. McKay serves as a co-chair of the new HIV and Addictions Scientific Working Group for the University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).  This new group is charged with increasing the involvement of addictions researchers here at Penn in HIV/AIDS research, through the development of innovative, multi-disciplinary research proposals and projects.

Cities and States


Dr. McKay and Tyrone Thomas provided technical assistance and training to Arkansas around the implementation of our Telephone Monitoring and Adaptive Counseling TMAC continuing care protocol. The state implemented the protocol in approximately 10 sites in 2008, with funding provided by a Robert Wood Johnson Advancing Recovery grant.


Dr. McKay has provided technical assistance to the State of California, a SAMHSA Access to Recovery grantee to disseminate our TMAC continuing care protocol to over 60 California clinics providing substance abuse treatment to adolescents. This project was done in late 2008 and 2009. The TMAC protocol currently was used for clients ready to step down from in-person outpatient treatment to less intensive services. This collaboration was part of California's Access to Recovery Effort (CARE) and materials are available at


Dr. McKay and Dr. Van Horn provided technical assistance and training to the State of Colorado to implement Telephone Monitoring and Adaptive Counseling to extend the reach of addiction treatment services to rural and lower-income residents.



The Center on the Continuum of Care consulted with the state of Delaware to develop, implement, and evaluate telephone-based continuing care.


Starting in 2014, Dr. McKay has been providing consultation to the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health on efforts to improve the full continuum of care for substance use disorders.  The City is in the process of moving to a recovery-oriented system of care, with a stronger emphasis on extended monitoring and support, as well as greater involvement of community and peer organizations in the recovery process.

Rhode Island

The Center worked with Rhode Island to develop, implement, and evaluate telephone-based continuing care protocol at a number of programs, as well as a second protocol designed to follow and re-engage patients who drop out of treatment early on.


The Center provided training and technical assistance to the State of Tennessee to implement TMAC in 2010 as part of a program funded by a SAMHSA Access to Recovery grant.


International Work


Since 2013, Dr. McKay has been collaborating with researchers from Stavanger University Hospital on a longitudinal treatment outcome study of poly-drug users.  This collaboration has yielded a number of manuscripts that are currently under review, and will likely lead to collaborative grant applications in Norway and the USA on the use of text messaging and other new communication technologies in the treatment of substance use disorders.