Sunday, February 25, 2024

Family Health Centers (FHC) Receives $1.2 M grant to expand opioid medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

MAT combines the use of medication with behavioral health support

Posted
Okanogan — The abuse of prescription and 
non-prescription opioids is one of the greatest threats facing public health in the United States 
today. Through the Washington Statewide Opioid Response Plan, the Washington State Health 
Care Authority will grant Family Health Centers $1.2 million over two years to create an Opioid 
Treatment Network (OTN). The OTN will expand access to medication-assisted treatment 
(MAT) of opioid use disorder (OUD) and it will enhance collaboration among community 
partners throughout Okanogan County in order to better serve people and families struggling 
with this problem. Heroin use and misuse of “pain pills” such as oxycodone are examples of 
OUD. One commonly heard example of MAT is “Suboxone”, which is the brand name of just 
one of the types of MAT that are currently available. 
The Opioid Treatment Network will expand access to MAT by identifying non-traditional sites for 
offering this treatment while incorporating case management and collaboration among initiation 
and continuation sites. While several primary care and other medical clinics in Okanogan 
County currently offer MAT, this grant will enable new sites, including emergency departments 
and inpatient wards at North Valley, Mid Valley and Three Rivers Hospitals, Okanogan 
Behavioral Healthcare and Okanogan County Public Health, to offer MAT to those at highest 
risk of opioid overdose who are currently unable or unlikely to access care in traditional settings 
such as medical clinics. OTN partners will follow current evidence-based guidelines for treating 
OUD, including decreasing the barriers to MAT that are often encountered by people with the 
greatest need for such treatment. This “low barrier treatment” approach will expand access and 
improve the quality of care of people with opioid use disorder across Okanogan County. 
In addition to providing MAT prescription and monitoring services, the Opioid Treatment 
Network will expand and enhance behavioral health services for opioid use disorder patients 
and their families. Medications alone do not enable individuals to overcome OUD; emotional 
and social support is essential to their recovery. OTN partners also acknowledge the many 
social and financial factors that both contribute to the development of opioid use disorder and 
directly impact recovery outcomes for those struggling with this disorder. The OTN will help 
patients access resources including transportation, housing and employment assistance. As 
Family Health Centers staff develop the treatment network, they seek additional members 
interested in offering resources to support individuals with OUD and their families throughout the 
county. 
Family Health Centers medical director Dr. James Wallace states, “we are grateful for the 
opportunity to work with our local partners to increase access to medication-assisted treatment 
for opioid use disorder. FHC invites any community member or professional in Okanogan 
County to participate in this project and join the Opioid Treatment Network.” 
Building Healthier Communities- Family Health Centers 
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Dana Craddock at 509-422-7629, 
or email dcraddock@fhc.us. 
 
 

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