About NH Service to Science

New Hampshire Service to Science brings substance use prevention programs* that have been developed in the state through the process of becoming designated as Evidence-Based.

The term “Service to Science” is used by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to identify interventions developed by local and community organizations that have yet to establish their efficacy through research and/or rigorous evaluation. New Hampshire’s process is aligned with SAMHSA’s nomination process which was developed to:

  • determine the strength of theoretical frameworks used in the development of the intervention
  • determine and evaluate intermediate outcomes relevant for the intervention’s intended purpose
  • address the risk and protective factors and cultural context influencing alcohol and other drug behaviors in New Hampshire

Achieving Evidence-Based designation is a rigorous process.  It is important to recognize the different tiers of proven effectiveness along the way.

Tier I: Innovative Program
Innovative programs may be newly developed programs or programs that have been addressing needs in their community for a number of years.  An Innovative Program 

  • is implemented by an established group/organization
  • fills a previously unmet need
  • is based on sound research/theory
  • is implemented in a way that can be replicated
  • addresses and impacts risk and protective factors linked to substance misuse
  • has considered program evaluation and/or there is a desire to expand evaluation efforts

See Applying to NH Service to Science below to see how to become an Innovative Program through Service to Science. 

Tier II: Promising Practice
Programs that are endorsed as a Promising Practice have demonstrated readiness to conduct a high quality, systematic evaluation. The evaluation includes the collection and reporting of data to determine the effectiveness on indicators highly correlated with reducing or preventing substance misuse. The evaluation may use a pre-post approach, an open-trial model, other quasi- or non-experimental model, or an experimental model. In addition to meeting the criteria for an Innovative Program, a Promising Practice successfully

  • provides an explanation for the need for the program 
  • provides a thorough description of the theory and/or research-base on which the program/practice rationale is based and links program activities to research-based outcomes
  • provides a logic model that connects all program activities to indicated outcomes
  • aligns program design with the intended outcomes 
  • demonstrates program delivery/Implementation
  • has developed evaluation design
  • has collected pilot outcomes

The NH Registry of Interventions for Promising Practices endorsed by the NH Expert Panel are: Making Change, Teen Institute Summer Leadership ProgramYouth Leadership Through Adventure,  and Resiliency Retreat. 

Tier III: Evidence-Based
Programs that are endorsed as evidence-based have demonstrated a commitment to refining program protocols and process, and a high quality, systematic evaluation documenting short-term and intermediate outcomes. A program that has achieved Evidence-Based designation has presented to the NH Service to Science Expert Panel and has demonstrated through data collection and evaluation, program development and manualization, and quality improvements that the program is effective in preventing substance misuse in its target population and can be replicated.  An Evidence-Based program meets the criteria of a Promising Practice and has

  • developed a comprehensive staff training and program implementation manual
  • stabilized the # of people served
  • measured program fidelity (content, staffing, intensity, method of delivery, location)
  • measured key outcomes and achieved meaningful results (short-term at minimum)
  • measured and achieved participant satisfaction
  • demonstrated that results are used for quality assurance
  • disseminated results to key stakeholders

The NH Registry of Interventions for Evidence-Based Practices endorsed by the NH Expert Panel are: Take Control, One Voice Youth to Youth and NH Life of an Athlete. Media Power Youth is another New Hampshire evidence-based program and is also NH’s first recognized program listed on the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).


Applying NH Service to Science

Step 1 Complete the New Hampshire Innovative Prevention Program application through SurveyMonkey. This will alert the Center about the intervention and prompt a meeting or site visit to develop a plan for entering in the Service to Science process. You can use this preview of the application to prepare but please complete the application through the SurveyMonkey link above. 

Step 2: Meet with the Center for Excellence team to review the Service to Science process and learn about available resources and requirements.

Step 3: Prepare for and Present to the Expert Panel to become a Promising Practice.   Programs should review the Guidance for the Initial Presentation to NH’s Expert Panel and tailor their presentation to address the listed requirements. 

Programs will receive feedback from the Expert Panel and are encouraged to utilize expertise and TA from the Center to prepare their response. Depending on the level of feedback, the program response may entail another presentation to the Expert Panel or written submission may suffice. 

Once the program meets Promising Practice criteria, the next step is to prepare to demonstrate the necessary criteria for Evidence-Based designation. 

Step 4: Present to the Expert Panel to demonstrate Evidence-Based criteria are met.  Similar to Step 3, the Expert Panel will provide feedback and the program will have support from the Center to develop the practice to a level that will meet the criteria and respond to the Expert Panel’s recommendations. 

Step 5: Celebrate!  The process is rigorous and can take years. Reaching Evidence-Based designation brings a program to a level of effectiveness that ensures the best outcomes for its participants best and can position the program for replication, sustainability, and increased eligibility for funding opportunities. Congratulations!


NH Center For Excellence Expert Panel

The New Hampshire Expert Panel, a panel of experts from the field of substance services who are convened by the NH Department of Health & Human Services (NH DHHS), Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services and its Center for Excellence contractor, reviews and scores Service to Science applications and may endorse a program as a Promising or Evidenced-Based Practice based on a set of criteria examining program design, implementation and evaluation outcomes.

Expert Panel Members:

  • Dean Cascadden, Ph.D., Superintendent SAU #67 (Bow/Dunbarton)
  • Sandra Del Sesto, M.Ed., ACPS, Consultant/Master Trainer, Educational Development Ctr.
  • Valerie Morgan, Administrator (retired), NH DHHS, Bureau of Drugs & Alcohol Services
  • Jennifer O’Higgins, MA, CPS, Senior Policy Analyst, NH DHHS, Div. of Behavioral Health
  • Dorothy Skierkowski-Foster, PhD, Principal, Institute for Prevention Research, Evaluation & Policy

The Expert Panel review process provides opportunities for the refinement and maturation of an intervention, and consultation related to evaluation and outcome reporting. Technical assistance is provided to programs as they prepare to present to the Expert Panel. 

All programs that are listed on the inventory are eligible to enter into the Service to Science process and to apply for NH Service to Science funding.

*We define program as any prevention program, practice or approach