The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences, and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University an interprofessional training grant designed to expand patient access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
The proposal, entitled “Seton Hall University and Hackensack Meridian Health Interprofessional Medication-Assisted Treatment Training Program,” was approved with a $404,905 commitment over three years. Led by Project Directors Kathleen Neville from the College of Nursing, Laura Goshko from the School of Health and Medical Sciences, and Stanley R. Terlecky from the School of Medicine, the training initiative will assure that all adult-gerontology nurse-practitioner, physician assistant and physician students educated at the three schools will receive interprofessional didactic instruction and clinical supervision related to opioid use disorder and medication-assisted treatment plans, while also being certified with a Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA) waiver. The latter will assure program graduates have the ability to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist of immense value in treating (opioid) addiction. Formal development of the training program will be initiated immediately.
“One of the strengths of this grant is the interprofessional focus. Addiction is a very difficult condition to treat and requires a team approach for management,” said Dean Marie Foley, Dean of the College of Nursing. “Educating our students using a collaborative approach will prepare them to function on interprofessional healthcare teams after graduation.”
“Watching the opioid epidemic escalate and the devastation it creates to individuals, families and communities is heartbreaking. Being awarded this competitive grant and having the opportunity to hopefully make a difference by educating future health care providers to be able to prescribe medication-assisted treatment and to gain knowledge regarding the disease will be a most meaningful contribution” said Kathleen Neville, who serves as the grant’s principal investigator.
As the first initiated and awarded grant to the three schools in the new Interprofessional Health Science Campus in Nutley, the three project directors remain highly committed to their collaborative partnership to address the opioid epidemic in New Jersey.
Dean Brian Shulman of Seton Hall’s School of Health and Medical Sciences agreed, “Like many chronic conditions, addiction is a multifaceted disease which requires a multifaceted approach to treatment. Through this grant, the Department of Health and Human Services has recognized that our Interprofessional Health Sciences campus is uniquely positioned to effectuate this team-based and cross-disciplinary approach to healthcare education and clinical success that an epidemic of this magnitude requires. In short, this approach is the future of healthcare, and interprofessional health sciences is at its core.”
“As we prepare our students for professional life within the world of healthcare, we must prepare them to fight addiction,” said Bonita Stanton, Dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall. “The costs of substance abuse in terms of human life and well-being and lost potential and productivity are staggering. This program will prepare our students – as future doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants— to effect meaningful change within families and our communities and by treating individuals that suffer from this disease.”
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