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College of Nursing


Faculty and Staff

Ronit Elk, PhD

Research Associate Professor
College of Nursing

E-mail: elk@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-2684
Office:

College of Nursing 
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street, Room 624
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States 

profile

Background

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.

Teaching 

Dr. Elk's teaching has primarily focused on mentoring post-doctoral students and junior faculty in obtaining independent research funding.

Research 

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.

Dissemination 

A Community Generated Palliative Care Telemedicine Program for Rural African American and White Elders. Step 1: Understanding the Perspectives and Preferences towards End of Life Care of Family Caregivers. Aging and Technology, January 24, 2014. Columbia, SC. (Poster Presentation).

Cancer Health Disparities: Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions. (Springer, 2012) co-edited by Dr. Elk, is based on studies funded by her cancer disparities program.

How Does Industry Reach its Population of Focus so Well and Why We Don't? Lessons for Public Health Professionals from Industry. Keynote Session (Session facilitator, organizer). Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), 2011.

Breast Cancer for Dummies©. (Wiley, 2003) co-written by Dr. Elk.

Professional Service 

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.

Publications (Selected)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.