(Albany) – The Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) today launched a two-day opioid summit at the University at Albany, bringing together experts from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), community partners, addiction specialists, and federal, state, and local leaders to learn, strategize, and share promising practices and information about delivering opioid addiction treatment that is integrated with primary care.
Presentations and panel discussions will address the impact of the opioid epidemic, share frontline experience from addiction specialists, and provide strategies for overcoming barriers and challenges to delivering integrated care. Government officials will also highlight regulatory considerations and regional, state, and federal resources.
“Opioid addiction continues to be a serious issue for our communities, crossing all age, ethnic, and socioeconomic boundaries. FQHC providers are on the front lines, fighting every day to prevent addiction, and to help those who have already become addicted,” said Rose Duhan, President and CEO of CHCANYS. “This summit is an opportunity to share best practices while learning from other experts in our fight to prevent addiction and save lives.”
In addition to the expert panels, CHCANYS will also offer a free, in-person Buprenorphine Waiver Training on-site in partnership with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute and the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The training is a requirement for all clinicians, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical residents, to qualify to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine.
Dr. Neil Calman, President and CEO of the Institute for Family Health and Chair of the Board of CHCANYS, said: “Opioids are killing our young people – in both our rural and urban communities. It is critical that all community health center staff are trained to help prevent opioid overdose and to treat patients who are at risk of overdose. We believe that naloxone (Narcan) kits should be given to all patients at risk, their friends and family, and to any community member wiling to use them. It takes only a few minutes to learn how to possibly save a life! In addition, all health care providers should be able to provide Medication Assisted Therapy to appropriate patients who want treatment for their opioid addiction.”
The summit is being held on Monday, June 11 from 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday, June 12 from 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom on the main campus of the University at Albany. For more information, including registration information and a link to a full schedule of events, click here.
Available data shows opioid use and abuse continues to rise in the United States, with deadly consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999. From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people died from a drug overdose, and approximately 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid.
About Federally Qualified Health Centers: Federally qualified health centers (FQHC) are not-for-profit, community-based providers that provide high quality, cost-effective, patient-centered primary and preventive health services to anyone seeking care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. FQHCs are medical homes, offering a comprehensive model of care that is associated with demonstrated improved outcomes and reduced costs. Serving 2.2 million New Yorkers at 750 sites statewide, New York State’s 68 FQHCs form an extensive primary care network that is central to the health care safety net.
About the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS): CHCANYS’ mission is to ensure that all New Yorkers, including those who live in medically underserved communities, have continuous access to high quality community-based health care services, including a primary care home. CHCANYS serves as the voice of community health centers as leading providers of primary health care in New York State. For more information, visit www.chcanys.org, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.