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A Look Back: Supporting Communities and Professionals with Training and Education

At Spectrum Heath Systems, we are committed to sharing our knowledge of substance use disorders and addiction treatment with our surrounding communities through our robust training and education program. Lisa Blanchard, Vice President of Clinical Services, has been leading the charge in providing these training sessions even during the pandemic, and is often joined by other members of our team such as VP of Business Development, David Nefussy, and Director of Outpatient Services, Tracy Desruisseaux. This year has presented unique challenges to every aspect of addiction treatment but our incredible team rose to the challenge with a calendar that was packed full of presentations, trainings and virtual conferences, working with partners to keep our commitment to community and education front and center!

Private Training Sessions

Spectrum offers custom trainings that can be adjusted to fit the needs of any group, from brief informational sessions geared towards the public, to half-day, full-day, and multi-day events for field professionals. For example, Lisa recently held a virtual training session called “The Link Between Trauma and Opioid Use Disorder”.

The training was an interactive session in the town of Stoneham with health care professionals and residents. Lisa worked with participants to explain the connection between trauma, mental illness, and substance use disorders, and outlined treatment options for those struggling with addiction. While this training was originally scheduled to be held in-person, we switched to a virtual session in order to stay socially distant. This training was an early example of how Spectrum was able to quickly transition to virtual and telehealth options during COVID-19.

Boston Medical Center Educational Seminars

In an effort to improve the capacity and quality of treatment options available to clients with substance use disorders, Boston Medical Center (BMC) created the Office Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) program. Through OBAT TTA, clinical experts like Lisa provide free educational seminars for medical professionals on best practices for clinical treatment and comprehensive care. Presentations given by Lisa for BMC include:

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)

Project ECHO strives to increase access to specialty treatment by educating and empowering clinicians to provide the right kind of care to people where they need it. They partner with experts and mentors to provide specialty education in clinical or academic settings, emphasizing the importance of having adequate care for vulnerable people in their own communities. Presentations given by Lisa for Project ECHO include:
  • Expanded Telehealth Services for COVID 19 – Utilizing Telemedicine for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder
    Lisa participated in an open session on the benefits of expanding telehealth options during the pandemic.
  • Opioid Use Disorder in Long Term Care – LTC and Telehealth
    Lisa participated in a closed panel for long-term care (LTC) facilities only, about opioid use disorders in LTC settings and the benefits of telehealth.

In another closed session panel for LTC communities, Tracy Desruisseaux, Director of Outpatient Services, presented on safe care transitions for residents who are dependent on medications for opioid use disorders (MOUD).

Launching into Telehealth: 2020 Northeast / Mid-Atlantic Virtual Telehealth Conference

Every year, the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center holds the Regional Telehealth Summit on the latest advances in telehealth and how they impact treatment and healthcare practices. This year’s summit topic was “Launching into Telehealth,” a four-day event that took place entirely online due to the pandemic. Lisa delivered a talk called “Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Telehealth – Implementation and Practice Considerations” where she shared best practices for virtual addiction treatment.

Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders

The Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders is an annual conference where experts discuss evidence-based substance use disorder services and treatments, and how to best integrate services into the behavioral health field. Lisa Blanchard and David Nefussy participated in this year’s all virtual conference, delivering a presentation on how clinicians can ensure that their documentation reflects the excellent work they do, so as not to lose coverage for their programs.

We are proud to be able to provide customized education and training services through our technical assistance and consulting group, tailoring our sessions to fit the audience whether they be members of the general public, or healthcare professionals themselves. We’re especially proud of our team for stepping up during this pandemic and providing trainings that are just as high quality and impactful as they were in-person.

Don’t miss Lisa and Tracy’s next training session with the Boston Medical Center: “Medication for Opioid Use Disorder in Long term Care (LTC) Facilities.” The session is free to attend and recommended for outpatient and office-based addiction treatment program. Nursing accreditation is also available. Register to join online!

To learn more about Spectrum Health Systems’ Training, Education and Technical Assistance capabilities, please visit: www.SpectrumHealthSystems.org/Training.

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