Thu Vuong

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Post-Doc Res Fellow (UNSW)

Dr Thu Vuong obtained a Master Degree in Public Health from Ohio State University in the USA in 2006 while on a Fulbright scholarship. The focus of her Masters study was health services management and policy. During February 2012 – March 2016, she was pursuing her PhD in drug policy research via scholarships from the Australian Government's Endeavour Award and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. The focus of her PhD was an economic evaluation of compulsory centres for drug users in Vietnam compared to community-based methadone maintenance treatment. Thu’s PhD has provided a solid evidence base for Vietnamese decision makers to assist them in decision making in reallocation of government resources. Thu also presented her PhD study results on a range of conferences in Australia and internationally and was awarded an Early Career Researcher Award at the International Society for the Studies of Drug Policy (ISSDP) Conference in 2016.

Professionally, Thu has had 18 years of experience in public health work in the areas of HIV and drug policy. She has spent most of her career working for global development organisation FHI 360 in Vietnam. She is a key facilitator between the international community and the Government of Vietnam, working to achieve consensus on the most feasible ways to improve drug policy in Vietnam. For example, Thu has worked on a roadmap to shift Government funding for compulsory drug treatment towards evidence-based policy and programs for effective drug treatment. Her professional career includes writing for the International Journal of Drug Policy and a considerable career in freelance writing. Her professional efforts have been recognised by the National Assembly of Vietnam and the International Federation of Non-Government Organizations.

From May 2016, Thu continues to work with her PhD supervisors (Prof Alison Ritter and Dr Marian Shanahan) and other NDARC researchers in her new role as Postdoctoral Research Fellow to evaluate the Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) Program in New South Wales, commissioned by the NSW Ministry of Health. The evaluation aims to explore the issues of ethics and rights pertaining to the delivery of the IDAT program, to identify if the program achieves its stated objectives in reducing alcohol and drug use and reducing utilisation of health services for acute and intensive health care, and to estimate the costs of the program delivery.

Thu’s PhD dissertation was passed in June 2016 by two external examiners without any amendment.

 

Publications

Book Chapters
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Vuong T; Baldwin S, 2013, 'Emerging from a Black Box: Drug Policymaking in Vietnam', in Rahman F; Crofts N (ed.), Drug Law Reform in East and Southeast Asia, Lexington Books, pp. 211 - 220
2013
Journal articles
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Vuong T; Ritter A; Shanahan M; Ali R; Nguyen N; Pham K; Vuong TTA; Le GM, 2018, 'Outcomes of compulsory detention compared to community-based voluntary methadone maintenance treatment in Vietnam', Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 87, pp. 9 - 15, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2018.01.011
2018
Vuong T; Ritter A; Nguyen N; Ali R, 2017, 'Strengthening advocacy efforts with empirical evidence: A case example of the conduct, uptake and utilisation of research in drug policy decision-making in Vietnam', International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 49, pp. 41 - 47, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.07.029
2017
Vuong T; Nguyen N; Le G; Shanahan M; Ali R; Ritter A, 2017, 'The political and scientific challenges in evaluating compulsory drug treatment centers in Southeast Asia', Harm Reduction Journal, vol. 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12954-016-0130-1
2017
Ritter A; Vuong T; Shanahan M; Nguyen N; Le G; Ali R; Pham K; Dinh T, 2016, 'Cost-effectiveness of center-based compulsory rehabilitation compared to community-based voluntary methadone maintenance treatment in Hai Phong City, Vietnam', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 168, pp. 147 - 155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.09.008
2016
Vuong T; Ritter A, 2013, 'Not to Lose Sight of the Bigger Picture: The Case of Therapeutic Communities (TC) Research in Closed Settings in Thailand', Substance Use and Misuse, vol. 48, pp. 793 - 794, http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2013.791320
2013
Vuong T; Ritter A, 2013, 'Not to lose sight of the bigger picture: the case of therapeutic communities (TC) research in closed settings in Thailand.', Substance use & misuse, vol. 48, pp. 793 - 794
2013
Vuong T; Ali R; Baldwin S; Mills S, 2012, 'Drug policy in Vietnam: A decade of change?', International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 23, pp. 319 - 326, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2011.11.005
2012
Reports
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Vuong T; Shanahan M; Oluwadamisola S; Ritter A, 2018, A Cost Assessment of the NSW Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) Program. Report to the NSW Ministry of Health
2018
Vuong T; Shanahan M; Oluwadamisola S; Ritter A, 2018, A Cost Assessment of the NSW Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) Program. Report to the NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Ministry of Health
2018
Theses / Dissertations
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Vuong T, 2017, Economic evaluation comparing the cost-effectiveness of centre-based compulsory rehabilitation (CCT) and voluntary community-based methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) in Hai Phong City, Vietnam
2017