Parkview Wabash gets MAT grant

By Joseph Slacian

A Medication Assisted Treatment clinic program will open at Parkview Wabash Hospital sometime in 2020.

The clinic is made possible thanks to a nearly $725,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration. That will allow Parkview Behavioral Health to expand opioid treatment programs not only in Wabash, but in Huntington and Whitley counties as well.

Parkview’s MAT program began in 2018, thanks in part of a $1.5 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The goal is to establish an integrated system of MAT clinics, consisting of an urban hub and rural spokes located strategically throughout northeast Indiana to combat abuse disorders, including opioid abuse disorder.

The program also is designed to create collaboration with the court system, jails and community providers.

“We are thrilled that Parkview Wabash Hospital will be able to begin providing Substance Use services to the residents of Wabash County and beyond,” Parkview Wabash President Marilyn Custer-Mitchell told The Paper of Wabash County. “We know there is a need in our region and are working on several initiatives, including the establishment of this clinic to address that need.  Medication Assisted Treatment is an evidenced based treatment that shows great success and we look forward to partnering with all the agencies and organizations already working on combating this disease.”

The goal, she said, is to have the clinic up and running by mid 2020. Some changes have to be made at the facility to free up space, she said, noting that will take some time.

MAT Clinics are one of the goals created by the Wabash County Drug Steering Committee.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders, according to the SAMHSA website.

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery.

MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates, the website continued. The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative effects of the abused drug.

“Access to treatment and recovery programs is vital for anyone who struggles with substance abuse disorder. Expanding our MAT clinic program allows us to reach more people impacted by the opioid epidemic,” Connie Kerrigan, director of community outreach, Parkview Behavioral Health, said in a news release. “The clinical and social services community in northeast Indiana is united in its focus to provide additional drug prevention and treatment programs, including MAT. We look forward to working with our partners in each county to help rural residents overcome addiction.”  

Parkview is one of 12 nationwide grantees that received Rural Communities Opioid Response Program awards from HRSA to establish and/or expand MAT clinics in 2019.

“Health centers and behavioral health providers are on the front lines of the fight against the opioid crisis and substance abuse, especially in rural communities,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “With our evidence-based strategy, HHS is working to support local communities in fighting back against substance abuse, and our united efforts are yielding results. Together, we can end our country’s opioid crisis and lay a foundation for a healthier country where every American can access the mental healthcare they need.”

Earlier in 2019, Parkview Health was also part of a nine-county interdisciplinary team that received a grant of $1.4 million from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to fund the Opioid Mobile Response Team, which connects residents to medical and social services for treatment and recovery.

Posted on 2019 Sep 03