Research & Publications
As a clinician-educator, Dr. Spelman's academic work focuses on optimization of health care delivery to military veterans.
Extensive Research Description
Dr. Spelman's academic work includes development of educational curricula on the unique health concern of veterans, and quality improvement facilitating treatment of opioid use disorder in primary care and mitigating overdose risk within the VA system.
She lectures locally, regionally, and nationally on this subject, and in 2018 received a teaching “Community Partner Excellence Award” from the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac “Urban Studies tract”. She authored multiple chapters in the Yale Office Based Medical Curriculum aimed at educating health trainees about the specific health concerns of veterans (including depression, PTSD, mild TBI/concussion, and general care of veterans).
Her practical narrative review on the subject of post deployment care (published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine of 2012) has been downloaded over 12,000 times from the journal website, and cited in 197 PubMed articles. A more recent publication, also in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, describes a model for virtual care transition in response to the COViD-19 pandemic.
She serves as the regional primary care clinician lead for the SCOUTT initiative in the VA (Stepped care for opioid use disorder treatment), facilitating roll out of buprenorphine into primary care in VA Connecticut and regionally within the VA New England healthcare system. She has also participated in a national academic detailing workgroup, the “Opioid use disorder leadership toolkit workgroup”, developing a national toolkit that would enhance provider support for medication assisted therapy within the VA.
She developed and leads the “Consult Committee” within VA Connecticut, a multi-disciplinary group focused on improving and streamlining consult menus and templates within the electronic medical record.
Local quality improvement has focused on reducing overdose risk and distributing naloxone to patients who are on opioids for chronic pain, via monthly group visits for these high-risk patients in primary care. This work has resulted in two regional VA Connecticut awards in 2017 (the I-CARE award for excellence, and the Innovation Award from Primary care for VA Connecticut), as well as a publication in 2017.
Finally, she has published opinion pieces in regional newspapers on topics relevant to veteran care, including use of medical marijuana in chronic pain, and distribution of naloxone.
- Medical marijuana for chronic pain: the good, the bad, and the hazy area in betweenSpelman JF. Medical marijuana for chronic pain: the good, the bad, and the hazy area in between. Hartford Courant. Opinion/Op-Eds. July 7, 2019.
- Why every Connecticut home should have NaloxoneSpelman JF. Why every Connecticut home should have Naloxone. Hartford Courant. Opinion/Op-Eds. August 21, 2018.
- Pain and Comorbidities in VeteransSpelman J, Burgo L, Chowdury S, et al. Pain and Comorbidities in Veterans. Painview, American society of pain educators. 10(2) Summer/Fall 2014.
- 61 year-old with lower extremity edema, proteinuria, and microscopic hematuriaSchwartz A, Spelman J. 61 year-old with lower extremity edema, proteinuria, and microscopic hematuria. SGIM Forum. 2009, 32(5): 6.
- A 61-year old man with acute kidney injury and pruritic skin nodulesHow J, Spelman J. A 61-year old man with acute kidney injury and pruritic skin nodules. SGIM Forum. 2013; 36(11).
- PTSDSpelman J. PTSD. Rosenbaum JR, Hay S, Whitman LD, Eds. Yale-Office based Medicine Curriculum, 9th edition. Volume 3, 2016.
- Depression: ScreeningSpelman J. Depression: Screening. Rosenbaum JR, Hay S, Whitman LD, Eds. Yale-Office based Medicine Curriculum, 8th edition. Volume 2, 2016.
- Medical needs of returning veteransSpelman J. Medical needs of returning veterans. Rosenbaum JR, Hay S, Whitman LD, Eds. Yale-Office based Medicine Curriculum, 9th edition. Volume 5, 2017.
- Disclosing medical errors in clinicSpelman J. Disclosing medical errors in clinic. Rosenbaum JR, Hay S, Whitman LD, Eds. Yale-Office based Medicine Curriculum, 9th edition. Volume 6, 2018.