NIATx 2018 in Review

Submitted by: 12/19/2018 by Maureen Fitzgerald

2018 has been an exciting year for NIATx and the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies.

In 2018, we continued our interest in promoting organizational and systems change through our Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) grant, promoting change through workforce development across Health and Human Services Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI. We were excited and awarded to be awarded grants for two additional technology transfer centers: The Great Lakes Mental Health TTC and the Great Lakes Prevention TTC. (See related story.)

Our team was busy conducting NIATx Change Leader Academies in 2018. We hosted eight NIATx Change Leader Academies; our diverse audiences include those in rural and remote areas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and members of the Indiana Rural Health Association.

Our work as the Great Lakes ATTC has informed how we approach change projects in a couple of different ways. The first is cultural competence. Recent change initiatives with Hmong and Latino populations have demonstrated how cultural factors need to be considered in efforts to increase access to and retention in treatment.

Implementing evidence-based practices has also been a big part of our approach to change. In 2018, we offered training on practices such as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), and Motivational Interviewing.

We continue to be impressed and pleased by the effectiveness of NIATx principles and practice

in projects focused on addressing the opioid epidemic. Also as part of the Great Lakes ATTC, our State Targeted Response-Technical Assistance initiative is dedicated to delivering technical assistance to opioid treatment and recovery initiatives across the region.

We also continue our work in MAT adoption with the NIATx Opioid-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion Project (WI, OH, and FL), and affiliated work with providers in other states in our region.

We’ve shared our progress in these projects and others through presentations at various conferences in 2018, including NAADAC, AHSR, and the Academy Health Dissemination and Implementation Conference. In addition, Dr. Molfenter was asked to share lessons learned as part of the NIDA HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Advisory Board.

The overarching theme for all of these activities is reducing overdose deaths and scaling up evidence-based practices.

Other projects in 2018 illustrate how NIATx works in any system, with any population. A pilot project in Wisconsin examined how to improve no-shows in community-based dental centers that serve underserved communities. Initial results suggest that the NIATx model is helpful in dental settings. The NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Readmissions Collaborative, which has been funded by the state of Wisconsin since 2010, continues to help counties reduce admissions for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Increasingly, change projects in this collaborative involve law enforcement agencies, providing important lessons on community collaboration in addressing mental health treatment needs.

Looking ahead to 2019, NIATx will be exploring ways to improve adoption of technologies that help people maintain recovery. An Iowa project will build on earlier research focused on the adoption of A-CHESS.

Also in 2019, we will be updating the NIATx website! We will keep you updated on our progress and, true to NIATx Principle #1, will look forward to your feedback.

Best wishes for the year ahead from all the staff at NIATx and the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies.

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