UHealth — the University of Miami Health System — is one of six health systems in the United States to house an office-based addiction treatment (OBAT) program in its primary care clinics. At the clinics, opiate use disorder is managed in the same way other chronic health conditions are – with confidentiality, medication-assisted treatment, and counseling. Patients also receive help with linkage to other providers, health and social service resources.
The clinic, located at the UHealth Professional Arts Center and housed under the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, is made up of a team of dedicated medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of opiate use disorders. The team includes two advanced practice registered nurses, Dr. Caroline Piacentini Rinehart, and Dr. Lainey Kieffer, as well as Dr. Robert Schwartz, who is professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Ms. Melissa Chee serves as the nurse care manager of the program.
The Primary Care Opioid Use Disorder Treatment (PROUD) Trial, began in February 2018 and has enabled participating sites to implement office-based addiction treatment programs within their health systems, including the UHealth system. The goals of this trial are to increase the number of patients who seek medication-assisted treatment, as well as to help guide health system leaders with information when deciding on treating opioid-use disorder in primary care.
When Dr. Viviana Horigian, associate professor of public health at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, heard of PROUD, she applied for and received the National Institute on Drug Abuse grant that enabled UHealth to participate in the trial.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 22