Our proposal, “Expanding Medication Assisted Treatment in Central Pennsylvania to Address Opioid Use Disorder,” aims to build upon our successful hub-and-spoke model of treatment (PacMAT) centered at the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, a joint venture between Penn State Health and UPMC. Each of our current 15 spoke clinics is in a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) underserved county located in Central Pennsylvania and serves a combination of urban and rural locations. Death rates from drug-related overdose within our catchment area range from 14-44 per 100,000 people.
Our overarching goal is to decrease the number of untreated people living with, and dying from, OUD by increasing the capacity to provide comprehensive, timely care in underserved counties in Central Pennsylvania. To achieve this goal, we will build on our prior SAMHSA grant efforts to further expand our collaborative PacMAT and Project ECHO hub-and-spoke efforts. First, we will continue to expand our existing reach by adding more local clinics and care centers, including local hospital emergency departments (EDs), to our network. Second, we will leverage this enhanced network to increase provider capacity to identify and serve more patients with OUD. Third, we will continue to grow our telehealth support to recruit, train, and retain MAT providers.
In order to enhance our current hub-and-spoke model we plan to supplement our current one-on-one approach with the Project ECHO telehealth model. Project ECHO has the potential to overcome barriers within our current hub-and-spoke model, including concerns of primary care providers to address opioid use disorder due to perceived burden, and failure for current MAT prescribers to reach their capacity of patients. Our specific project objectives include:
1. Increase the capacity of providers and spoke clinics to engage 825 unique individuals in MAT at the hub-and-spokes.
2. Recruit and engage 150 new Pennsylvanian primary care providers in MAT via Project ECHO over the award period.
Our team is expertly poised to achieve our goal through implementation of all Required Activities. Further, given our prior SAMHSA funding and established hub-and-spoke, we will be able to begin providing services immediately upon award. Our proposed project is critical to advancing MAT within existing spokes, as well as establishing opportunities for future dissemination across Central Pennsylvania to better address the opioid epidemic.