Terry Horton, M.D., FACP, founder and medical director of Christiana Care’s Project Engage, participated by invitation in “Building the Addiction Medicine Workforce: Giving Americans Access to the Care They Need,” a special session convened by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on June 25 at the White House.
The ONDCP brought together more than 50 national medical, health systems and insurance leaders in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine. They discussed strategies to expand workforce capacity to address substance use and ways to increase access to treatment across health care systems.
“Christiana Care was invited to participate because our addiction-related initiatives are well regarded nationally, and we continue to be considered as leaders in this field owing to our proposed development of an addiction medicine fellowship,” said Dr. Horton.
An award-winning, pioneering early intervention for people with substance use disorder, Project Engage is designed to help hospital patients who may be struggling with alcohol or drug use.
Project Engage integrates peers in recovery, who are called engagement specialists, into the clinical setting in the hospital to meet with patients at their bedside about their alcohol or drug use. The program identifies individuals at their reachable moment in the hospital and acts on it.
More than a decade after its launch, Project Engage includes a team of 15 caregivers, in partnership with Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. The program has served more than 10,000 patients since it began in 2008. A recent study shows a 59% reduction in readmission rates for emergency department patients connected to substance use disorder treatment.