BMC OBAT Nurses Celebrated in the Boston Globe’s Salute to Nurses

Image from the Boston Globe, Sunday, May 6th, 2018.

Boston Medical Center’s Office-Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) Nurse Care Managers were highlighted in a special issue of the Boston Globe, the Salute to Nurses.  More than 90 OBAT patients contributed their thoughts to the OBAT nurses’ important work in treating addiction and helping patients piece their lives back together.  Program Director Colleen LaBelle also weighed in on the nurses’ commitment to improving their patients’ lives, saying, “We take care of the whole person.”  Read the full article here.

Boston Medical Center’s Efforts to Improve Nutrition for Those in Recovery from Addiction – Slate

A new article published in Slate this week highlights one of Boston Medical Center’s many services for people in recovery from substance use disorders.  Nutrition is a vital part of improving patients’ health, and BMC’s demonstration kitchen seeks to teach patients how to replace craving-inducing junk food with healthful, nutritious alternatives.  Read the full article here.

BMC Opioid Addiction Treatment Hub Team Wins Judge’s Award for Research at the MetaECHO 2017 Poster Session

The 2017 MetaECHO Conference in Albuquerque, NM brings together health policy experts, government officials, academic leaders, funders, and Project ECHO replication partners from across the globe. All conference goers share the collective goal of touching one billion lives by 2025. The four-day conference embraces the infinite possibilities of the global ECHO movement across healthcare and beyond.

Danna Gobel, LCSW, Clinic Coordinator and Co-Facilitator of the Boston Medical Center Opioid Addiction Treatment Hub for primary care teams attended the conference September 13-16, 2017. Danna and team submitted an abstract which was accepted as a poster presentation titled, “Challenges identified by primary care teams implementing addiction treatment into office based settings: Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Opioid Addiction Treatment ECHO” and which won the Judge’s Award for Research at the MetaECHO 2017 Poster Session.

Danna and team performed a quality improvement project that utilized thematic analysis to identify patterns in challenges faced by primary care teams implementing addiction treatment programs as indicated on the first 30 case presentation forms completed by the BMC Opioid ECHO participants (Spokes). Challenges identified were categorized into 4 main groups:

  1. patient engagement strategies (e.g., how to engage ambivalent patients)
  2. medication management (e.g., how to initiate or discontinue use of buprenorphine)
  3. managing medical/psychiatric comorbidities (e.g., managing patients who are co-prescribed psychiatric medications)
  4. substance use in patient adherent to buprenorphine program (e.g., buprenorphine successfully treating OUD but patient also using cocaine).

Future research should look at themes in a larger, more diverse sample to help inform future ECHO projects and ensure that Hub curricula remains topical and relevant.

Congratulations Danna and team!

International Overdose Awareness Day Quickly Approaching – Join the Campaign!

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held annually on August 31st of each year.  The event draws worldwide attention to the need to prevent and create awareness about drug overdose.

Together, communities, families, people who use drugs, government officials, international organizations, businesses and policy makers come together in a shared effort to reduce the tragedy of overdose.

The goals of Overdose Day are:

  •  to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death; and
  • to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or been injured as a result of drug overdose.

Free campaign materials and other resources developed by the Penington Institute in Australia are available for public use and can be downloaded from their website:

As in years past, BMC’s OBAT Team in collaboration with our new Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine will be participating in this powerful campaign.  We encourage all of you to also observe Overdose Day on August 31st and post any planned events to the Overdose Day events calendar.


Opioid Use Disorder Education Program now available from Harvard Medical School Global Academy

The Global Academy from Harvard Medical School has launched the online Opioid Use Disorder Education Program, featuring expert instructors Colleen LaBelle and Kristin Wason from OBAT TTA. The free, self-paced program offers a total of 24 hours of education for healthcare professionals so that they can better understand, identify, and treat opioid use disorder (OUD).

Learn more about the program and sign up for the free web-based courses here.

Few Opioid-Addicted Youth Get Standard Treatment Medication – Associated Press

Scott Hadland, MD, physician at Boston Medical Center, discusses the findings of his just-published study showing that only a minority of 13- to 25-year-olds with an opioid use disorder are prescribed a medication to treat their addiction. “If you have a child struggling with opioid addiction,” he says, “understand that there are medications that support and sustain recovery.”

Read the AP article here, and see the full study in JAMA Pediatrics.


This Drug Could Help End Opioid Addiction – Tonic

Despite its proven effectiveness, not enough doctors are prescribing buprenorphine for opioid addiction, and not enough patients can access this treatment option. Karsten Lunze, MD, of Boston University, and Alicia Ventura of Boston Medical Center OBAT talk about why in this article from Tonic.