By Carol Newman
Dr. Jeff Konin, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Athletic Training in the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University (FIU) is spearheading the efforts for the recently established Global Initiative for Cannabinoid Research and Education.
“We are excited to devote a sincere interest and multi-disciplinary effort toward the study of cannabinoid science and the timely and much needed education for our community,” Konin emphasized. To date, faculty from the areas of athletic training, nursing, analytical chemistry, epidemiology, occupational therapy, speech/language pathology, public health, and psychology comprised the initiative’s team.
The stated mission reads as follows: “The Global Initiative for Cannabinoid Research and Education is committed to high-quality education, contemporary and evidence-based research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities.”
Dr. Konin also speaks to the fact of how important it is to build partnerships with this initiative as the cannabis space is growing so rapidly. “There is so much we want to do, and so many areas that could benefit from the research ideas and educational dissemination that we have planned. It is not only essential, but we welcome with open arms anyone in the industry that has an interest in collaborating with us,” Konin added.
The Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ vision is to be globally recognized as the higher education destination organization that is innovative, inquiry-driven and technologically advanced, drawing diverse top-class faculty, students, staff and others for positive transformation of society with a focus on the healthcare needs of underserved populations. The University was just named as the #78 best public University in the nation according to the U.S. News and World Report 2022 National University Rankings.
Dr. Ora Strickland, Dean of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences at FIU excitedly shared, “The work of our Athletic Training faculty and students to gain evidence about the effective use of cannabinoid products is crucial for the quality of care of athletes and others that are faced with pain from injuries or who have anxiety or sleep disturbances. This database evidence will provide guidance for use of these products.”
Additionally, the initiative is being facilitated by the efforts of the Department of Athletic Training and under the guidance of its Doctoral program. FIU’s Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) degree is one of only 8 in the entire country, and the only one that has a focused effort on cannabis research and education. This exciting endeavor has fostered the ability to recruit some of the very best individuals from all over the country to pursue FIU’s innovative degree and have the opportunity to work with industry leaders.
Dr. Michelle Odai, the Chair of the Department of Athletic Training stated, “This initiative adds to the rich history of success and innovation within the Department of Athletic Training at FIU. We look forward to research and educational outcomes that will enhance the field of sports medicine and beyond.”
To learn more about FIU’s cannabinoid research and education initiative visit their website at go.fiu.edu/GlobalCannabis. Anyone wishing to collaborate and partner with the program can contact Dr. Konin at firstname.lastname@example.org.