UNE Receives Supplemental Funding to Further Education on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

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In July 2016, the University of New England (UNE) was awarded a five-year, $2.5 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to partner with Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) to transform the primary care workforce in rural and underserved Maine and improve health outcomes. The Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE) grant aims to educate a total of 255 UNE students — 160 medical, 25 physician assistant, and 70 pharmacy students who will train together at PCHC, learning the skills needed for exemplary interprofessional, team-based care.

In addition, HRSA recently released $80,000 in supplemental funding for PCTE grantees to further enhance education around Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in primary care to address the opioid crisis. In 2016, 313 Mainers died of an opioid-related overdose, which represents 83% of all drug-related death in the State. Currently the demand for MAT in the state still outpaces the supply, especially among those who lack health insurance or live in health professional shortage areas. To address the critical need for training, UNE plans to integrate opioid use disorder training and technical assistance for UNE students, faculty and PCHC providers.

UNE we will be hosting its first MAT event on Saturday, October 28 on the Portland campus to discuss the current climate in Maine concerning the opioid epidemic as well as focusing on MAT and its recent prominence and impact on the state. Maine subject matter experts will present to pre-clinical UNE students and clinical faculty attendees. A second on-campus event will be held in collaboration with the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) grant in the spring of 2018.

FMI: Contact Melanie Caldwell, PCTE Project Coordinator at mcaldwell4@une.edu

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