Battling the Opioid Epidemic Head On
WellSpan has a deep commitment to advancing care and community partnerships to battle Opioid/ Substance Use disorder. This is a priority identified in our 2019-2021 Community Health Improvement Plan. Over the past three years, we have expanded our best practice work, engaged with community partners, and implemented innovative programs. We are addressing the epidemic head-on. Participating in seven community collaboratives across the WellSpan service area, the impact of this work includes reducing since 2019 2.39 million Oxycodone pills prescribed including 75,400 less pills in surgery discharges and implementing a holistic approach to pain management.
While we are excited about these results, the true impact of this work is seeing our neighbors like Ashley and Xzarin flourish. Ashley participated in our Foundations Pregnancy Support program and has been abstinent opioid use for 5 years after becoming addicted to prescription pain medication 12 years ago.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Initiated 1,447 patients in the past three years, (667 patients in this last year alone) with this best-practice approach to Opioid Use Disorder, prescribed from one of 18 WellSpan practices across all the counties WellSpan serves.
WARM Line (24/7 Addiction Help)
Launched the only regional 24/7 call center based in a local health system that provides support to those affected by addiction, as well helping to navigate patients to treatment networks, including WellSpan’s own. Over 700 callers to date have benefited from this new service.
South Central PA Opioid Awareness Coalition
WellSpan continues to participate in this collaboration of regional health systems that we helped found. The coalition is focused on sharing and advocating for best-practices addressing opioid prescribing, addiction and the overdose epidemic.
Specialized Treatment and Recovery Team (START)
Opened an innovative clinic in York focused on mental health and addiction treatment access and stabilization with an emphasis on the patient’s own treatment goals. START provides medical, mental health, and addiction treatment all at the same site. START completed 354 Emergency Room diversions resulting in improved care for these patients and creating improved access to Emergency and hospital care.
Overdose Fatality Review Team
Participated in a newly launched effort in the York community to bring together key stakeholders to review and implement changes based on learnings from in-depth review of cases which resulted in death.
Participated and involved in leadership in many community collaboratives throughout the WellSpan service area which focus on addressing opioid prescribing, addiction and the opioid epidemic. This work involves at least 50 partners.