SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences faculty members have received a grant to implement training and course materials for the purpose of curbing the risks of alcohol and drug addiction.

Katie Williams, assistant professor of dental hygiene, and Melissa Dittberner, lecturer in addiction studies and prevention, were awarded a $41,159 Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant from the South Dakota Department of Social Services.

The grant will be used to implement training and course materials into the dental hygiene curriculum for use in electronic health records, said the University on their website.

“SBIRT is a wonderful way from professionals to open up the line of communication about addiction issues and get people the help that they might need,” Dittberner told KELOLAND News. “This grant/program will equip USD’s dental clinic with the language and skills they need to help build those bridges and make connections.”

SBIRT will then be taught to senior dental hygiene students annually, beginning in the Fall of 2022.