The NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine will train medical students to train 35 physicians in 7 healthcare settings in communities with high overdose rates in New Jersey, West Virginia, and Philadelphia who will train 1,250 additional healthcare providers who will then train 400 patients on naloxone.
The geographic catchment area will be 5 counties with the highest overdose rates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In New Jersey, the project will focus on training healthcare providers in the City of Camden, located in Camden County, which had the second-highest number of fatal overdoses in 2022. The project will also target healthcare providers in the Kensington and Allegheny section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the largest open-air drug market on the East Coast. Three counties in West Virginia, which had the highest confirmed overdose death rate in the nation (81.4 per 100,000) in 2020, will also be targeted, including rural Cabell, Wayne, and Lincoln counties located in the southwest region of the state. In 2021, Cabell County had an overdose mortality rate of 130.60 per 100,000 residents, over four times the US rate of 32.4. The population of focus will be osteopathic medical students, physicians, and pharmacists working in seven healthcare settings in these high overdose areas.
The goals are 1) Expand access to overdose treatment by implementing a train-the-trainer model with prescribers of naloxone in high overdose communities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to build competency in co-prescribing naloxone to persons taking opiates. 2) Decrease overdose in communities in the five-county region by co-prescribing naloxone and training patients on how to train a peer on how to administer naloxone. 3) Continually expand access to overdose treatment through sustainability planning, adding additional healthcare systems to the project, and creating resources for national replication.
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, which operates the Southern New Jersey MAT Center of Excellence, will partner with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to form a Northeast Collaborative to Improve Access to Overdose Treatment. The collaborative will train healthcare professionals in the five counties of New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania with the highest overdose rates in the nation. The project will use a train-the-trainer approach and a diverse group of osteopathic medical students in each of the three schools to form an Osteopathic Taskforce for the Treatment of Overdose called Project OTTO. Students will identify 35 physician champions in health care settings where they rotate in the five-county area during their clinical years and train them on a naloxone training curriculum called M5PM. The students will then ask the physician champions to train 1,250 additional physicians and pharmacists. Those physicians will, in turn, train 400 patients taking opiates and co-prescribed naloxone using M5PM. The evaluation will be performed by staff in the Office of the Dean for Research at RowanSOM.