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Opioid Symposium has Big Impact on Maine Clinicians
Sometimes, even a relatively simple request can have a large impact. One example of a simple request
made to STR-TA was for a speaker to present at a medical symposium on treating opioid use disorders.
Lisa Letourneau, MD, MPH, Associate Medical Director for Maine Quality Counts, needed a speaker for
the Redington-Fairview General Hospital annual symposium that this year focused on the opioid crisis. It
was one of several requests to STR-TA made by Dr. Letourneau, who has enthusiastically taken
advantage of the free resources available through the initiative. STR-TA "certainly has been very helpful.
They made it easy and pretty painless," Dr. Letourneau said.
The hospital holds a symposium for its clinical staff each year, and this particular symposium was well-
attended, an indication that the clinicians were deeply interested in learning more about treating
patients with opioid use disorder, said Tonya Tavares, the Technical Transfer Specialist who worked on
the request. "It's a nice reminder that this is something that's worth the time and investment," Ms.
Tavares said. "People are not giving up. They're going so far above and beyond." Maine has been hard
hit by the opioid crisis, noted Dr. Letourneau, which likely drove up the interest in the symposium.
Dr. Letourneau has made several requests to STR-TA for technical assistance, and while this may have
been one of the more straight-forward ones, it may have a long-lasting impact. The program not only
included a presentation by Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, DLFAPA, DFASAM, an Addiction Psychiatrist, it also
included a heartfelt and candid talk by a physician who was in recovery. Dr. Letourneau is hopeful that
with all the work being done in Maine and with more prescribers treating opioid use disorders with
medications, the opioid epidemic will lessen.