Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., a longtime not-for-profit organization providing a comprehensive continuum of addiction treatment throughout Massachusetts, is pleased to announce that the organization’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Jeffrey Baxter, M.D., was honored with the Association for Behavioral Healthcare’s (ABH) Excellence in Best Practices Award for the planning, implementation and ongoing integration of best practices in addiction treatment.

This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to behavioral healthcare in Massachusetts communities. Dr. Baxter received his award during the ABH’s first ever virtual Salute to Excellence event.

“Dr. Baxter has been as incredible asset to Spectrum for many years,” said Kurt Isaacson, President and CEO of Spectrum Health Systems. “He is known for being an innovative physician who consistently strives to address service gaps and increase access for patients, with the ultimate goal of saving more lives. He is always willing to reach out into the community to address the needs of underserved clients, lend his expertise to colleagues and other professionals in the field, and offer solutions to difficult problems.”

Dr. Baxter began his career with Spectrum in 2009 as Medical Director for the organization’s network of outpatient treatment before being appointed Chief Medical Officer in 2014. He modified Spectrum’s clinical procedures when the opioid epidemic was becoming an increasing concern in Massachusetts to eliminate unnecessary barriers to treatment. He supported same-day walk-in access for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) which continues to this day, allowing more people to access the care they need, when they need it. He also led the development of Spectrum’s Collaborative and Transitional Treatment Program in Worcester, which provides rapid access to buprenorphine and naltrexone, along with mental health and recovery support navigator services.

His work extends beyond the doors of Spectrum’s clinics, into corrections and higher education. He was instrumental in developing Spectrum’s new delivery models for using medications to treat opioid use disorders (MOUD) in prison populations. Dr. Baxter also serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, dedicating his time to developing curricula and other learning opportunities for health profession students to learn about caring for patients with substance use disorders and chronic pain.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Baxter was instrumental in the launch of a first-of-its-kind, isolated unit at Spectrum to provide detoxification and clinical stabilization services to clients with the coronavirus. Spectrum’s specialized unit fills a unique gap in care as individuals with COVID-19 may also require access to addiction treatment.

Dr. Baxter continually guides Spectrum’s ongoing expansion and program innovations, including the instrumental role he played in opening seven new outpatient treatment centers. Under his leadership, the number of individuals served in our outpatient programs has increased by 300%, now totaling more than 5,500 patients daily.

“He is well-deserving of this award, and we are grateful to have his enthusiasm, dedication and leadership on our team,” concluded Isaacson.

For more information about Spectrum Health Systems, visit our website or call 1-877-MyRehab.

About Spectrum Health Systems: Based in Worcester, Mass. and founded in 1969, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, non-profit substance use and mental health treatment provider. Spectrum offers the largest and most complete continuum of addiction treatment in New England -- including medical detoxification, residential rehabilitation, outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment and peer recovery support. Spectrum also offers inpatient detoxification and residential treatment for commercially insured and private pay clients through its subsidiary, The New England Recovery Center.

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