STR Logo click for home.

Back to Community Stories

Clinics Working Collaboratively to Treat OUD Patients

By Jan Schnellman, Med, TTS Alaska, Oregon, Washington


Photo: Fairbanks, Alaska. By FairbanksMike [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Request

Alaska's Division of Behavioral Health contacted STR-TA asking for assistance creating a strategic plan to increase client enrollment services at two nonprofit clinics who are treating patients for opioid use disorder. The two non-profit clinics, Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) and Interior AIDS Association/Interior Medically Assisted Treatment (IAA), found themselves competing with a new for profit treatment facility. The concern for providers was that the private clinic only offered patients one option for treatment: buprenorphine. While for many that is the best approach, they wanted to be able to provide methadone as well as buprenorphine.

While FNA and IAA technically compete with one another, they agreed to work collaboratively on this project. The clinics have a slightly different focus as FNA is an opioid treatment program providing behavioral health and other non-pharmacologic treatment. IAA is an Office Based Opioid Treatment center (OBOT) prescribing buprenorphine and methadone with ongoing counseling. Each of these organizations proposed to work collaboratively to treat persons with opioid use disorder. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital's emergency department is working with these two organizations as well.

Background

The grantees indicated that they would find most helpful:

The Vision

Ultimately, a system of care to integrate MAT into primary care practices will be implemented and sustained in Fairbanks that promotes safe evidence-based prescribing and expands recovery-oriented systems of care in Alaska. The overall goal is increased enrollment in services and collaboration among service entities (FNA, IAA and Fairbanks Memorial ED).

STR-TA Actions

Next Steps

Our plans are to meet again in Fairbanks in the near future to gain external and internal support from all and to develop a plan to integrate a collaborative model into the Fairbanks systems.