We used our expertise in recovery services, maternal health, and community health service delivery to overcome the stigma that so often prevents patients from seeking care for substance use disorder, including opioid misuse, and providers from delivering it. During Phase I, we conducted extensive research and discussions with key stakeholders to identify clinical capacity to integrate interventions and referrals and local recovery services. Then, during Phase II, we provided customized training and technical assistance to WIC clinics and community health centers that built upon their existing systems, infrastructure, and capacity.
We successfully introduced a new universal screening tool for opioid use disorder that was merged into providers’ electronic medical record, standardizing the process across all community health centers and increasing referral placements.
WIC and community health center staff who participated in our trainings indicated a substantial increase in knowledge, self-efficacy, and an intent to improve their current practices as a result of our trainings:
- 89% indicated that they intend to change practices as a result of our training.
- 88% rated their ability to discuss postpartum drug use as good, very good, or excellent, as compared to only 39% before the training.
- 100% indicated an increase in awareness of strategies to connect and engage more effectively with patients.
- 78% reported an increase in awareness of warning signs and effects of opioid misuse on women.