- Joshua C. Eyer, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
- Hee Y. Lee, PhD, LICSW, Professor and Endowed Academic Chair on Social Work and Health, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
This presentation will provide details on the creation of an integrated behavioral health provider-training program for rural northwest Alabama that builds on the extension for community healthcare outcomes (ECHO) model. This intervention has been used successfully in other rural areas with substance use disorders and other complex health conditions. Arising from the Greater Rural Opioid Wellness (GROW) Project, this intervention combines the expertise of psychiatry, social work, and psychology, with the rotating expertise of invited speakers to provide regular opportunities for partners in the consortium to receive continuing education and training that builds competence with opioid use disorder treatment and management. The GROW ECHO uses a standard framework to provide training. 1) Brief introductions to build a sense of community, 2) A short didactic of 15 minutes on relevant content, followed by question and answer with all attendees, 3) De-identified case presentation(s) that prompt discussion and recommendations related to best-practices and advice on care, followed by additional questions and answers. Both experts and peers will share feedback and recommendations for providing high-quality care and resolving problems throughout the session. Didactic content covers topics such as harm reduction, mindfulness in recovery, best practices in opioid prescribing, opioid education for a novice patient, strategies to improve reimbursement from large payers, and ways of enhancing integrated behavioral health in a primary care setting. Notably, this model provides practitioners with educational resources and interactive consultation with experienced professionals that can produce enhanced access for community members to specialty expertise for opioid use disorders. This specialty consultation can enhance the confidence of providers to provide integrated opioid care to the top of their license. In addition to the information described above, the presentation will cover topics related to the resources available from the ECHO Program, types of assessments, recruitment and engagement techniques, and advice around scheduling and recruiting speakers. Discussion will be modeled on the GROW ECHO, allowing time for interactive question and answer sharing between peers and experts.
- Describe the general structure and content of the Opioid GROW ECHO.
- Report on the activities of the GROW ECHO, including topics provided in the didactics.
- Explain how the ECHO program can promote access to care by increasing the expertise of existing providers.