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Stephanie Hutter-Thomas, PhD, CPH, RPS

Founder & CEO








Dr. Stephanie Hutter-Thomas is the Director for the Buprenorphine Implementation Research & Community Health (BIRCH) project, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry. The BIRCH project aims to integrate and scale-up treatment services in primary care settings for people with OUD, HIV, and HCV in West Virginia. She also serves as Co-Investigator for the new Mountain Maryland Forward project, in partnership with the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR).  This new project is funded by the US Department of Labor and the Appalachian Regional Commission through a 3-year WORC grant. Mountain Maryland Forward aims to provide workforce trainings, paid internships, employer trainings, and ongoing support for people in recovery from substance use disorder and employers providing second chances. 

In 2021, Stephanie formed Appalachian Recovery Concepts, L.L.C. for the purpose of providing ongoing consulting and education to Maryland programs as an independent consultant. In August of 2022, Stephanie formed The Underdog Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation aimed at providing support and professional development opportunities for peer support specialists.  This new foundation is still under construction and involves a partnership with longtime friends/colleagues, Robert and Amanda Zellner. Program launch is slated for Spring 2024 and will include CPRS trainings, continuing professional education, mentoring opportunities for peers, expungement clinics, and  soft skills development. Prior to her current roles she served as program manager for the AmeriCorps Program Conquering Opioid Abuse Together (COAT) at Frostburg State University from 2017-2020. In that role, she worked alongside a team of national service members, providing trainings to Western Maryland communities impacted by the opioid crisis.

In 2019, Stephanie also took on the role of Research Program Coordinator for the BeSuRe West pilot project by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, organizing data collection efforts to examine socio-behavioral determinants of HIV, HCV, and overdose risk among people who inject drugs in Western Maryland. She went on to serve as a project researcher in Western Maryland for the Statewide Ethnographic Assessment of Drug Use and Services study known as SEADS, characterizing the lived experience of people who use drugs in Maryland.

She is a member of the UMD IRIS Leadership Committee, the Opioid Research Consortium of Central Appalachia (ORCCA), the Studies To Advance Recovery Support (STARS) network; and serving her second commissioner-appointed term with the Allegany County (MD) Mental Health Advisory Council. In recent news, Stephanie was selected for fellowship as part of the 2023-2024 Appalachian Leadership Institute.  This fellowship experience is sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission to provide free education and networking opportunities to select leaders throughout all 13 Appalachian states. As a Western Maryland native with lived experience, Dr. Hutter-Thomas is committed to serving the Appalachian region through advocacy, community education, and evidence-based practices.




January 2022 - Present

West Virginia University School of Medicine, Dept. of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry
Buprenorphine Implementation Research & Community Health (BIRCH) study


February 2020 - September 2022

University of Maryland, College Park

Maryland Rural Opioid Technical Assistance (MarylandROTA)

October 2022 - Present

Reinforcing Overdose Prevention Through Training & Advocacy (MarylandROPTA)


January 2022 - May 2022

Hagerstown Community College
Maryland Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) training program


August 2017 - March 2020

Frostburg State University, Office of Civic Engagement
AmeriCorps - Conquering Opioid Abuse Together (COAT Program)


June 2018 - August 2019

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
BeSure West Pilot Study


June 2018 - August 2019

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Statewide Ethnigraphic Assessment of Drug Use & Services (SEADS)


August 2019 - May 2020

Frostburg State University, Departments of Psychology & Sociology
Courses include:

  • Introduction to Sociology

  • Statistical Methods in Psychology

  • Drugs & Human Behavior

  • Research Methods in Psychology


June 2017 - June 2019

Allegany College of Maryland - Adult Basic Education Program
WEX/High School Diploma Program instructor


August 2016 - May 2017

Allegany College of Maryland
Courses include:

  • Introduction to Psychology

  • Human Growth & Development


December 2013 - December 2018

Health Educators, Inc.
Blood Borne Pathogens & Infection Control training for Body Art Professionals


July 2006 - September 2016

Skinethics, LLC
General business management & body art services


University of Maryland, School of Public Health

Graduated August 2021

Graduate Certificate - Principles of Public Health


Capella University, Harold Abel School of Psychology

Graduated June 2017

PhD – General Psychology


Capella University, Harold Abel School of Psychology Graduated August 2013

MS – Industrial Organizational Psychology


Frostburg State University, School of Business

Graduated August 2001

BS – Accounting

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