Meet the Team

We embrace the ethos, “Nothing About Us, Without Us”. The Project CONNECT team reaches far and wide, including people who use drugs, industry partners, first responders and healthcare workers, community members working in harm reduction and recovery settings, and academics and researchers.

Together, we developed the TxCOPE platform using Community-Engaged research practices, to ensure that TxCOPE will meet the needs of all Texans impacted by substance use and overdose.

Community Advisory Board

The community advisory board (CAB) is comprised of members from harm reduction, recovery, healthcare providers, first responders, and people with lived experience. We began with four county specific CABs in Travis, Bexar, Williamson and El Paso and now have one unified statewide CAB. These CABs explored regional needs and considerations. We have now combined the four CABs into a unified statewide CAB.

Co-Design Partners

Our co-design partners were comprised of organizations that provide harm reduction services within their communities. They have actively worked alongside us to build TxCOPE and learn what best suits the needs of harm reduction groups across the state.

Bexar County Organizations

  • Bexar Area Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Street Medicine San Antonio
  • 210 Street Reach

El Paso County Organizations

  • Punto de Partida
  • Project Vida

Travis County Organizations

  • ASHwell
  • Texas Harm Reduction Alliance
  • Vivent Health

Williamson County Organizations

  • Williamson County EMS, Mobile Outreach Team

Executive Team

Kasey Claborn, PhD, Principal Investigator, Steve Hicks School of Social Work and Dell Medical School

    Frederic Courtois, MSW, Associate Director Division of Community Engagement

    Ariel Britt, MSW, Associate Director Division of Policy and Community Impact

    Ashley Welch, MA, Project Coordinator, Steve Hicks School of Social Work

    Andrea Daugherty, Technical Security Lead, Dell Medical School

    Scientific Team

    Justin Benzer

    Justin Benzer, PhD

    Dell Medical School

    Suzannah Creech

    Suzannah Creech, PhD

    Dell Medical School

    Scott Graham, PhD

    College of Liberal Arts

    Patrick Boswell

    Dell Medical School

    Fiona Conway

    Fiona Conway, PhD

    Dell Medical School

    Ruben Parra-Cardona

    Ruben Parra-Cardona, PhD

    Steve Hicks School of Social Work

    Research Team

    • Kyle Lozada, Senior Outreach Program Coordinator
    • Katie McCormick, Graduate Research Assistant
    • Jake Samora, Research Associate
    • Mina Chitti, Research Associate
    • Katherine Ogle, Research Assistant

    Technology Development Team

    Maven Wave LLC is a digital transformation firm, they provide consulting and specialize in digital delivery skills and cloud-powered applications. They are a leading Google Cloud Premier Partner, and are working with Project CONNECT staff to build the overdose reporting and prevention platform.

    Project CONNECT Thanks our Funding Partners

    This project is supported by Texas Targeted Opioid Response, a public health initiative operated by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission through federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant award number 1H79TI083288.

    Google Cloud

    The syringe service exchange feature and the ability to track certain harm reduction items is supported by a donation from the San Antonio Nexus Connection (SANC).