The proposed team-building pilot relies on team science and cultural exchange frameworks to assemble a multidisciplinary team of USC scholars (from social work, nursing, and medicine) and promote transdisciplinary approaches to ‘wicked problems’ (Brown, Harris, & Russell, 2010). We will implement team-building activities and assess the process of becoming a transdisciplinary team while conducting a research study addressing Emergency Department (ED) responses to the opioid epidemic. The efficacy of ED responses to the opioid epidemic can be considered a ‘wicked problem’ since it is influenced by contradictory and changing factors and is seemingly intractable for any given discipline (Brown, Harris, & Russell, 2010). There is growing interest in leveraging the knowledge, expertise and skills of experts from different disciplinary backgrounds while dealing with wicked problems. However, it is still elusive how multidisciplinary teams draw from their own disciplines to create a new way to understand and respond to a wicked problem. We will respond to this gap in knowledge by identifying and implementing team building activities that may provide the substantive connection to activate team members’ discipline specific contributions to three phases of research – 1) problem identification and conceptualization, 2) research design and implementation, and 3) interpretation and translation of results.

The proposed team building activities will be tied to the conceptualization, development and implementation of a current pilot study on barriers and facilitators of opioid treatment in EDs. The proposed team building pilot is necessary to implement at the early stage of intervention development to understand the team building process. As the team currently acts multidisciplinary in which individuals from different disciplines (social work, nursing and medicine) collaborate, but stay within their disciplinary boundaries (Choi & Pak, 2006), more targeted team building activities are needed to help members transform into a transdisciplinary team. That is, crossing disciplinary boundaries and merging concepts, terminology, and methods (Giro, 2002) to enhance capacity to generate innovative frameworks  methodologies, and policies towards solving the identified problem (Choi & Pak, 2006; Hall et al., 2012).

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.