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This event was the Office of Research and Evaluation's February Evidence and Impact Webinar celebrating the power of service and the AmeriCorps’ evidence story. 

Date and Time: Thursday, Feb. 29, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST


As a nation, COVID-19 was a collective experience that exacerbated a localized opioid crisis in underserved communities. Our agency investments in people, partners and communities reinforces that AmeriCorps programs contribute to much needed capacity building, deliver evidence informed programming, and support community resilience. As a federal agency, the pandemic helped “stress test” the call for service as a solution to community challenges like substance and opioid misuse, and we rose successfully to partner and reinforce local capacities by investing in innovative interventions to disrupt the epidemic. We now have a growing and emerging body of evidence supporting AmeriCorps work in diverse health and substance use disorder fields. This webinar discussed our approach for growing evidence-building innovations, presented our findings, and shared practices responding to localized community health capacity needs. 

Webinar Objective

Our audience learned: 

  • About the innovative evidence-building approaches the Office of Research and Evaluation utilize to increase the AmeriCorps investments in evidence-based Public Health and Healthy Futures focus area investments.
    • Bundled Evaluation methodology and findings on Peer Coaching for Substance Use Disorder
    • SEED methodology to develop community driven action plan to reduce opioid misuse.
  • From a practitioner in the field on the implementation of their national service opioid recovery program, the evidence-informed peer recovery elements that contribute to workforce capacity building and strengthening community response to local needs.


  • Lily Zandniapour, Ph.D., Research and Evaluation Manager, Office of Research and Evaluation, AmeriCorps
  • Sara Perrins, Ph.D., Life Cycle Evaluation Bundling, ICF, Peer Recovery Coach Models
  • Emily Zimmerman, Ph.D., MS, MPH, Virginia Commonwealth University, Research Grantee Cohort 2018 and 2022 
  • Carlin Rafie, Ph.D., MS, RD, Virginia Tech University, Research Grantee Cohort 2018 and 2022
  • Charlene Hipsher, Board Member, Align9!
  • Ashley Lederman, DC, MS, MPH, Research Analyst, Office of Research and Evaluation, AmeriCorps
  • Megha Patel, Ph.D., Research Analyst, Office of Research and Evaluation, AmeriCorps
  • Reflection: Catherine Hartnett, Executive Director, Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation
  • Call-to-Action: AJ Pearlman, Director, Public Health AmeriCorps

Webinar Recording

Webinar slides

Webinar Transcript

Webinar Date

February 29, 2024 - 3:00 PM (Eastern Time Zone)