SEAHEC partnered with the University of Arizona (UA) in February and March to offer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Pain Management education to primary care physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The MAT training offered by SEAHEC focused on use of buprenorphine to treat patients with opioid disorder. Training requirements included participation in two hour sessions over four consecutive weeks for doctors, with an additional eight sessions required for Nurse Practitioners. Upon completing the training, providers are eligible to apply for a waiver from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA,) allowing them to prescribe buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance that is a narcotic analgesic used to treat opioid addiction. The waiver allows providers to prescribe the medication according to individualized treatment needs.
Our partnership with UA enabled participants to receive this training through Project ECHO. According to their website, “ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) trains primary care clinicians to provide specialty care service,” which are in short supply in rural Arizona. To visit a specialist, it is usually necessary to travel to Sierra Vista, or Tucson, which raises a significant barrier and increases the cost of care for residents of rural Southeast Arizona. The University of Arizona is an ECHO hub, through the Arizona Telemedicine Program.
Project Echo, developed by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, provides distance education through video conferencing, enabling providers to gain mentoring, support and training on cutting edge specialty medical care. The main benefit is that neither providers nor their patients have to travel long distances to access specialty medical knowledge or care.
“The MAT training has given me an understanding of the scope of SUD as well as the various treatment options that are available. This information will be extremely helpful in providing information to callers who call the Arizona Opioid Assistance and referral line. This is a 24 hr resource line that the Poison Specialists at the Arizona Poison & Drug Information Center help staff. I know that several of my colleagues are also interested in taking the course when it is offered in the future.”
Jacqueline Brody, PharmD, CSPI, Arizona Poison & Drug Information Center, University of Arizona College of Pharmacy
SEAHEC was happy to be able to offer a financial stipend to providers spent participating in the training. SEAHEC has plans to partner with University of Arizona again in the summer for another round of this MAT training for those providers that might be interested in attending. Keep an eye on our Eventbrite page for upcoming announcements. The training was funded through USDHHS HRSA and the AZAHEC Program.