ARMC Named CA-Bridge Star Site
In March 2019, ARMC was named as the Star Site in the California Bridge program for the Inland Empire. CA Bridge is a state-wide initiative to help patients with opiate use disorder (OUD) transitioned to buprenorphine, with the goal of eventual cessation of all opiate use. Dr. Carol Lee from the emergency department spearheaded the effort at ARMC. Dr. Lee also enrolled clinical champions from the hospital’s inpatient services, and mobilized a referral network of clinics in the area to provide medication assisted treatment (MAT) for OUD.
Patients with OUD who want to transition to buprenorphine are induced in the ED. The program substance use navigator (SUN) would then arrange for a follow-up appointment with an appropriate MAT clinic. Initially met with trepidation, the program has been embraced by the staff of ARMC. Over the past 4 months, the program has steadily enrolled an increasing number of patients. The vast majority was enrolled through the ED. Leaders of ARMC ED Bridge are also active in the Inland Empire Opioid Crisis Coalition (IEOCC), a regional network of medical professionals, institutions and agencies working to address the impact of OUD in the community.
In September 2019, Dr. Hannah Snyder, co-lead of the CA Bridge program visited ARMC and provided an on-site training for providers who are interested in becoming x-waivered, a requirement for prescribing buprenorphine products. The training was well received and attended by providers of many specialties, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, OB-GYN and psychiatry. Through advocacy and education, ARMC ED Bridge has extended its reach to the community and the people we serve.