Carilion awarded $1.9 million for opiod treatment program expansion

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Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 2:01 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Health Injury and Violence Prevention Program awarded $1.9 million to Carilion to launch a statewide expansion drug treatment program.

The company says the ED Bridge to Treatment Virginia Expansion Collaborative Project will take lessons learned by Carilion’s Bridge Program on the road to seven early implementer hospitals across the commonwealth, funding ongoing technical assistance by Carilion teams who will support peers as they build their own programs.

“The collaboration and interest in this program across the state have been astounding,” said Cheri Hartman, PhD, ED Bridge project director for Carilion. “Addiction is a disease, and the expansion of bridge programs represents a needed cultural shift in caring for substance use disorder patients, connecting them with compassionate care and significantly increasing their chance for a long-term recovery.”

In the ED Bridge to Treatment model, patients who present with a non-fatal overdose, acute withdrawal symptoms, or requesting treatment will be rapidly connected with follow-up care matching the severity of their disease.  A medical bridge from acute care to follow-up treatment is provided through prescriptions, peer supports for the transition, and rapid access to the treatment providers for ensured continuity of care.  Post-ED-discharge patients are evaluated in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and triaged to the needed service level, ranging from residential treatment to the ambulatory office-based addiction treatment offered in Psychiatry’s ambulatory clinic

“The specialty of emergency medicine continues to evolve in its understanding of addiction, and the needs of those afflicted with addiction in their lives,” said Dr. Burton. “The opioid epidemic has been a sentinel event over two decades for the specialty and hospitals to understand our role in addiction treatment and recovery.”

The target date for completion is June 30, 2024.