Janice Pringle

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services partnered with the Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy to provide technical assistance to Pennsylvania’s Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Centers of Excellence (COE)’ program. The COE program aims to increase access to opioid use disorder treatment and reduce opioid-related deaths by: mobilizing a community-based care management team; integrating physical health and behavioral health; and increasing access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD). For individuals with OUD, the COE model has led to increased rates of access to and use of MAT, continued engagement in treatment beyond 30 days, and decreased rates of overdoses.

The New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst article titled “Pennsylvania’s Novel Public-Private Approach to Combatting the Opioid Crisis,” discusses the COE model, and was co-authored by Gwen Zander, Esq. Chief of Staff of Pennsylvania Office of Medical Assistance Programs within PA Department of Human Services (Project Officer for the COE) program, Dr. Poonam Alaigh, a Research Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Director of Innovation at PERU, and President and CEO of Alaigh Care Associates, and Jan Pringle, PhD, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of PERU.

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