Qualitative Research Associate
M.S., Counseling, Johns Hopkins University
Phone: 410-837-3977 x229
Ms. Lertch possesses a rich academic background in mental health with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Community Counseling. She has been working in the field of substance abuse research and mental health services research for the past 10 years, initially at the John Hopkins University and more recently at the University of Maryland. Her clinical experience focused on work with opioid-addicted populations at the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy at the Johns Hopkins University, a program providing treatment for opioid-dependent pregnant women, as well as within a community-based methadone maintenance treatment program.
Since 2008 Ms. Lertch has been training and working in the field of qualitative research. During that time, she served as a research project coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As project coordinator, she worked on several research studies, conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups, as well as assisting with data analyses. Her research focused on gaining an understanding of and giving voice to consumers of mental health services perspectives on family involvement in their health care and evaluating a group intervention, “Ending Self-Stigma,” that was designed to help people with serious mental illness reduce internalized stigma.
Ms. Lertch joined FRI in 2013 to assist with the qualitative component of a NIDA-funded study of methadone treatment for which she is conducting individual semi-structured interviews and assisting with data analyses. More recently Ms. Lertch has begun work on the qualitative component of a randomized clinical trial of extended-release naltrexone treatment for adolescents and young adults, where she will be conducting longitudinal interviews with patient and parent dyads regarding treatment expectations and progress across the 6-month study participation period.