Foundations, UMass Memorial Health Hold Second Prescriber Training to Improve Access to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Reliant Foundation and RIZE Massachusetts, in partnership with the UMass Memorial Health Road to Care team and UMass Chan Medical School, will offer a free continuing medical education (CME) conference on April 29 for providers to fulfill new federal training requirements and improve access to opioid use disorder treatment in the region.

The daylong training session, “Transforming Care: Harm Reduction, Overdose Prevention and Management of Opioid Use Disorder,” gives providers from different health systems and private practices the opportunity to immerse themselves in a comprehensive learning experience led by experts in the field.  The conference can be attended in person or remotely.

This is the second training conference sponsored by the foundations, which provided more than $150,000 in total grant funding to advance prescriber education and opioid use disorder treatment in primary care settings throughout Central Massachusetts.  The project aims to reduce barriers to access to treatment in the region, especially in underserved rural communities.

“We are pleased to partner on this training opportunity that will increase the number of providers who are equipped with the latest tools to tackle the ongoing overdose epidemic and the number of residents who will benefit from expanded access to opioid use disorder treatment in the region,” said Dr. Amie Shei, President and CEO of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.

The first session held in December was attended by more than 100 doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners from primary care and medical specialties.  “Providers across the region are eager for more information and tools; this training gives them the confidence, ability and support to deliver evidence-based care and effective treatment for individuals with substance use disorder,” said Dr. Kavita Babu, Chief Opioid Officer at UMass Memorial Health and professor of emergency medicine at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester.

These training opportunities follow passage of the federal Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, which aims to standardize substance use disorder training to ensure that providers possess baseline knowledge in evidence-based treatments and to normalize substance use disorder treatment in the primary care setting.  All DEA-registered providers are required to receive at least eight hours of training in pain management, prescribing practices and medications for addiction treatment for substance use disorders.

The conference will be held on April 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Wellsworth Hotel, 14 Mechanic St., Southbridge, with breakfast and lunch provided.  The session will also be offered via Zoom.  Register here.