Faculty and Staff
Ronit Elk, PhD
Research Associate Professor
College of Nursing
College of Nursing
Dr. Elk received her Bachelors of Social Science in Social Work, Honors in Social Science in Psychiatric Social Work, Masters in Social Science, and Ph.D. in Psychiatry, from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Dr. Elk's teaching has primarily focused on mentoring post-doctoral students and junior faculty in obtaining independent research funding.
As a Scientific Program Director of Cancer Control and Prevention Research at the American Cancer Society Dr. Elk has developed national extramural research programs focusing on (a) Cancer health disparities, (b) Palliative Care, (c) Cancer Prevention and (d) Enhancing Quality of Life in Survivors and Families. Her program has funded hundreds of researchers nationwide for over $150 million.
Her prior academic research has focused on enhancing adherence to treatment in medically challenged drug-dependent populations.
Her current research focus is on end of life care, particularly in rural communities, CBPR (community-based participatory research), and in reducing health disparities in a wide range of populations, for example, in LGBT populations, rural minority populations.
Cancer Health Disparities: Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions. (Springer, 2012) co-edited by Dr. Elk, is based on studies funded by her cancer disparities
Breast Cancer for Dummies©. (Wiley, 2003) co-written by Dr. Elk.
Society of Behavioral Medicine, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Center to Advance Palliative Care
Research Studies (Selected)
Reducing Cocaine Use and Increasing TB Treatment Compliance. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $1.5 million. 1994-1997. Principal Investigator.
Behavioral Treatments of Drug Abuse in pregnant Women. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $1.5 million. 1994-1997. Principal Investigator.
Drug Counseling for HIV+ women at the Women's Immunology Clinic. Texas Department of Health - $12,000. 1997-1998. Principal Investigator.
Drug Counseling for HIV+ women at the Women's Immunology Clinic. Texas Department of Health - $16,000. 1996-1997. Co-Principal Investigator.
Behavioral-Pharmacological Treatments to Reduce Drug Abuse & HIV Spread. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $4.5 million. 1989-1994. Co-Investigator.
Smoking Cessation in Women with Heart Disease. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $420,000. 1994-1997. Co-Investigator.
Behavioral-Pharmacological Treatments to Reduce Drug Abuse & HIV Spread. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $3.5 million. 1994-1999. Co-Investigator.
New Medications for Cocaine and Opiate Dependence. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $1.6 million. 1994-1999. Co-Investigator.
Ritanserin and Relapse Prevention for Cocaine Dependence. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $949,000. 1994-1998. Co-Investigator.
Children of Drug Abusers: A Multi-site Study. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $74,000. 1994-1995. Consultant.
Outcomes for Children of Drug Abusers: A Multi-site Study. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $530,000. 1996-2000. Consultant.
Minority Student Supplement (Christine Alliniece). National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $6,000. 1996. Mentor.
Minority Faculty Supplement (Jackie Moore, PhD). National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH. $40,000. 1996- 1997. Mentor.
Post-Doctorate Supplement (Jenifer Rothfleisch, PhD). National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH - $30,000. 1996- 1997. Mentor.
Minority Faculty Supplement (Caroline Tubbs, PhD). President's Multicultural Committee, U. of MN - $11,000. 1997. Mentor.
Current Grant Support
Palliative Care in African American and White Rural Elders: Stage 1: Understanding the Community Perspective. SCTR (South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute), MUSC - $5,000. 2013-2014. Principal Investigator.
Providing Culturally Tailored and Community Driven Telemedicine Palliative Care to Rural African American and White Elders: Developing, Implementing and Assessing a Pilot Program. ASPIRE (Advanced Support for Integration of Research Excellence), USC - $100,000. 2013-2014. Principal Investigator.
Elk, R., Schmitz J, Spiga R, Rhoades H, Andres R, Grabowski J. Behavioral treatment of cocaine-dependent pregnant women and TB-exposed patients. Addictive Behaviors, Jul-Aug; 20(4):533-42, 1995.
Anderson M, Elk, R., Andres RL. Social, ethical and practical aspects of perinatal substance use. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Sep-Oct;14(5):481-6, 1997.
Grabowski J, Arnoni G, Elk, R., Rhoades H, Schmitz J. Baseline assessment, study entry, and stabilization: double-blind clinical trials in drug dependence. NIDA Research Monograph, 175: 158-81, 1997.
Rhoades HM, Creson D, Elk, R., Schmitz J, Grabowski J. Retention, HIV risk, and illicit drug use during treatment: methadone dose and visit frequency. American Journal of Public Health, Jan; 88(1):34-9, 1998.
Elk, R., Mangus L, Rhoades H, Andres R, Grabowski J. Cessation of cocaine use during pregnancy: effects of contingency management interventions on maintaining abstinence and complying with prenatal care. Addictive Behaviors. Jan-Feb; 23(1):57-64, 1998.
Schmitz JM, Rhoades HM, Elk, R., Creson D, Hussein I, Grabowski J. Medication take-home doses and contingency management. Exp Clin Psychopharmacology, May; 6(2):162-8, 1998.
Spiga R, Day JD 2nd, Schmitz JM, Broitman M, Elk, R., Caperton-Brown H. Context modulates effects of nicotine abstinence on human cooperative responding. Exp Clinical Psychopharmacology, Nov; 6(4):390-8, 1998.
Stanger C, Higgins ST, Bickel WK, Elk, R., Grabowski J, Schmitz J, Amass L, Kirby KC, Seracini AM. Behavioral and emotional problems among children of cocaine- and opiate-dependent parents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Apr; 38(4):421-8, 1999.
Rothfleisch J, Elk, R., Rhoades H, Schmitz J. Use of monetary reinforcers by cocaine-dependent outpatients. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 1999 Oct; 17(3):229-36.
Grant, M, Elk, R., Ferrell, B, Morrison, S, von Gunten, C: Current Status of Palliative Care – Clinical Implementation, Education and Research. CA, Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2009; 59: 327-3.