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Kenneth J Ruggiero PhD

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  • Professor
  • College of Nursing
  • SmartState Technology Application Center for Healthful Lifestyles
Academic Focus
  • technology-enhanced mental health care
  • stepped care interventions for PTSD and depression
  • addressing access-to-care barriers in mental health treatment
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Ken Ruggiero, PhD, is Professor and SmartState Endowed Chair of the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL), as well as Director of the Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program. He received his BA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and MA and PhD from West Virginia University, and completed his internship and NIMH postdoc at MUSC. Dr. Ruggiero’s research centers on the development, testing, and implementation of technology-enhanced interventions. Most of his early research focused on brief, web-based self-help interventions. Over time, this work evolved into the use and evaluation of technology-based stepped care approaches for victims of disaster and serious injury. He is PI on an active NIH grant (through 2021) to conduct a randomized controlled trial of Bounce Back Now, a smartphone-based intervention for disaster survivors in partnership with the American Red Cross. He is also Co-PI on an active Duke Endowment grant (through 2020) to adapt and implement the Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program in three partnering trauma centers in South Carolina. A second major line of research focuses on the evaluation and implementation of tablet-based resources to improve quality of care in child mental health treatment. This work aims specifically to improve child engagement and provider fidelity in delivery of best practices. He is PI on an active R01 (through 2022) to conduct a randomized controlled trial to examine tablet-facilitated vs. standard evidence-based treatment with 120 providers and 360 families.

Dr. Ruggiero has had continuous extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2001. He has led as PI five NIH, four VA, and six Department of Homeland Securities grants, and has served as Co-I on numerous grants funded by DoD, NIDA, and SAMHSA. He has over 175 scholarly publications and 225 presentations, a high percentage of which were led by former interns, postdocs, and junior faculty members whom he has mentored. He was recently awarded the inaugural 2017 MUSC Population Health Award. He is a standing member of an NIMH review panel, and serves on four editorial boards. He has served as a formal mentor on NIAAA and NIMH T32s, an NIH F32, two NIMH R25s, an NIMH minority fellowship supplement, and NIH K23, KL2, and VA career development awards.