Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Learning Network  Invitation to Apply

Made possible by the California Department of Health Care Services

Introduction

The Center for Care Innovations (CCI) is pleased to release a Request for Application (RFA) for the Addiction Treatment Starts Here Learning Network. The Learning Network is a 15-month initiative that offers continued support to alumni of CCI’s previous addiction treatment learning collaboratives: Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net and Addiction Treatment Starts Here. The Learning Network will begin in March 2023 and conclude in June 2024.

 

The Learning Network centers peer learning and problem solving and will offer virtual learning opportunities, access to site visits and peer groups, small group coaching and other technical assistance. Combined, these efforts will enable teams to continue to refine their programs and expand medication assisted treatment (MAT) services to new sites and new populations. The Addiction Treatment Starts Here Learning Network is funded through the State Opioid Response grant as part of the MAT Expansion Project from the California Department of Health Care Services. 


Background:

Over the last six years, CCI designed and led three programs focused on expanding access to treatment for people with opioid use disorder (OUD). Combined, these programs supported more than 100 primary care health centers in California with designing new or expanding existing MAT programs. MAT includes FDA-approved medications for OUD: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

 

Participants in these three programs were successful in improving access to MAT for their patients and enhancing their infrastructure to identify and treat substance use disorder (SUD). Combined, the programs increased the number of active MAT prescribers by 191 providers -- equivalent to more than two active prescribers per participating clinic. In addition, the programs resulted in a combined increase of more than 2,199 patients receiving MAT. Many participants doubled or tripled the number of patients accessing MAT for their OUD. 


Central to this success was the creation of learning communities which offered a structured forum to develop new capabilities, share best practices, and discuss lessons learned. CCI seeks to build on this success by the continuation of a MAT Learning Network that first launched in March 2020. This Request for Application (RFA) is for the Learning Network. To view the RFA for the Learning Collaborative, click here.  

 

Learning Network


Recognizing that sites with mature MAT programs can benefit from continued peer learning, CCI designed a 15-month Learning Network for previous Addiction Treatment Starts Here and Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net teams.

The ATSH Learning Network is a peer-sharing environment that will offer an array of technical assistance and support to: 

  • Expand access to MAT and create sustainable models for ongoing MAT program expansion.
  • Address emerging issues in caring for patients with OUD specifically, and SUD more generally.
  • Develop new program capabilities through peer sharing. 
  • Problem solve around shared challenges.
  • Learn promising practices from exemplar sites. 
  • Have access to equity and community partnership tools and online resources made available through ATSH's Equity-Centered Community Learning Collaborative. 


The Learning Network will serve as a continuation of the journey that teams began in Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net or Addiction Treatment Starts Here. It will focus on learning, sharing best practices, and taking action and is an opportunity to expand and elevate the MAT work undertaken thus far.

 

The Learning Network is funded through a grant from the California Department of Health Care Services as part of its portfolio of projects addressing the opioid crisis. Combined, these projects are known as the California MAT Expansion Project and are administered under the umbrella of California’s State Opioid Response grant. The MAT Expansion Project aims to address the opioid and stimulant use disorder crisis by improving access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid and stimulant-related overdose deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery service activities. More information on California MAT Expansion Projects is available here.

 

The Learning Network doesn’t offer grant funding directly to participants. Instead, it focuses on peer exchange and technical assistance as a means of growing and improving MAT programs. 


Program Components:

The Addiction Treatment Starts Here Learning Network offers a mechanism for clinics with mature MAT programs to continue to refine and expand these programs to new sites and new populations. Its focus will be on sharing and spreading ideas and best practices among peers - not didactic teaching from experts. 

Curriculum

We outline below the types of content we anticipate addressing throughout the 15-month Learning Network. Topics were identified over the course of Addiction Treatment Starts Here, and in interviews and analysis conducted after work was completed. As we gain insight into the interest areas and needs of the Network, we will adapt the curriculum. We expect to address clinical and operational issues associated with MAT equity, including but not limited to: 
  • Health equity foundations, strategies for identifying health inequities, and implementing a health equity program
  • Expanding primary care MAT program models, including community partnerships with community-based organizations and/or involving peer support workers, to reduce SUD treatment, access, and health outcome disparities
  • Identifying patients through adopting improved in-reach and outreach strategies
  • Staff training and education for MAT, especially addressing equity and relationships with community partners
  • Refining care team roles, including drug and alcohol counselors, care managers, behavioral health therapists, and others
  • Expanding services for pregnant patients and youth
  • Addressing issues related to stigma, bias, and health equity
  • Harm reduction
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Tools and approaches to address stimulant use disorder and manage co-occurring substance use, such as alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, tobacco, and/or benzodiazepine use
  • Systems practice tools to support building partnerships and collaborations across care transition points, such as with acute care hospitals with emergency departments, sobering centers, behavioral health programs, schools, and the justice system


ATSH Learning Network Activities

The Learning Network will include a mix of activities that have proven effective in enabling teams to refine MAT programs and services. 

  • Learning Session: One virtual learning session will be offered (attendance is optional).
  • Quarterly Webinars: Four quarterly 90-minute webinars for small group coaching and peer-problem solving sessions. Teams may also access webinars offered by the Learning Collaborative that address topics of interest. 
  • Virtual role-based peer forums, e.g., one group for nurses, another for prescribers, or SUD counselors, etc. 
  • Virtual Site Visits: Option to learn from sites with mature MAT programs, that center equity and racial justice. 
  • Complete periodic surveys: We request the completion of periodic online surveys to gain insights into progress being made by the team and the impact of technical assistance provided.
  • An online community to share resources and communicate. 

Requirements to Apply and Participate:

Eligibility 

The Learning Network is exclusively for alumni participants of Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net and Addiction Treatment Starts Here. Previous participants in Addiction Treatment Starts Here and Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net are eligible to apply. Multiple sites within the same organization may apply but we ask that each site complete its own application. If you have a question about whether you qualify, please contact Angela Sherwin (angela.sherwin@careinnovations.org

Timeline

The Addiction Treatment Starts Here Learning Network runs from March 2023 to June 2024. Key dates include: 
  • RFA Released: November 9, 2022
  • Informational Webinar: November 17, 2022, 12 - 1pm PT
  • Application Deadline: December 12, 2022
  • Cohort Announced: February 15, 2023
  • Program Start: March 15, 2023
  • Kick-off Webinar: March 15, 2023, 12 - 1:30 pm PT
  • Quarterly webinars: November 2023, February and May 2024. Schedule will be confirmed prior to collaborative start
  • Learning Session: September 13, 2023
  • Program End: June 30, 2024 


Participant Expectations

Based on our experience with designing MAT collaboratives and peer networks, we identified factors that contribute to an organization's success in expanding MAT programs. We designed participation expectations with this in mind. 

This network is intended to be flexible and responsive to the needs of participants. We ask each organization to act as a partner in shaping the network by committing to: 
  • Actively share challenges, opportunities, bright spots and questions with fellow program participants. This sharing can be done via participation in learning events, using the listserv, and joining peer forums.
  • Attend all quarterly webinars and share on topics through storyboards, brief presentations, and other methods to highlight experiences.
  • Participate as a dedicated team. At least two individuals are required to be committed to the Learning Network to promote continuity. Ideally, teams are multi-disciplinary and represent the many functions needed for a successful MAT program. We recommend that teams include an x-waivered prescriber and a front-line staff person. 
  • Complete periodic surveys to assess experiences in the Learning Network; surveys will be designed to be as brief as possible. 


What You Get

  • Free technical assistance from expert coaches in MAT expansion and MAT care and experts who specialize in health equity.
  • Platform to learn from peers about improving your MAT program. 
  • Access to forums and virtual site visits that offer insight into challenges and opportunities to expand access to addiction treatment for your patients. 
  • A virtual community to get timely questions answered.

What Makes a Strong Applicant 

CCI is looking for applicants with the following characteristics: 
  • Commitment to actively and openly share approaches and lessons learned with other teams. 
  • Commitment to participate in Learning Network events (e.g., quarterly webinars).
  • Representation from a multi-disciplinary team (e.g., a team that includes participation from different roles, including prescribers, front-line staff, and senior leaders). 

Online Application

How to Apply


Step 1: Attend Informational Webinar (Optional) 

  • Interested organizations are encouraged to participate in an informational webinar on November 17, 2022, 12-1pm PT, to hear a program overview and ask questions. Register here

Step 2: Apply Online
  • Applications must be submitted through the online form below by December 12, 2022 at 5 pm PT. The program cohort will be announced by February 15, 2023. Each site should submit its own application. 

 

Application Components:
  1. This Application Submission Form
  2. Application Narrative Questions (download here)
  3. Organization logo image file (300x300px minimum, png format)

Application Narrative Questions 

Please respond to the following questions on this narrative question template and upload the completed template below. 

Please note that we are hoping to accept as many applicants as possible. The questions are designed to help us understand your current state, as well as the potential capabilities of the Learning Network - responses to these questions may not necessarily influence decisions about your application. 

  1. Describe the current state of MAT implementation within your site. In your response, please address:
    1. The number of clinic sites within your organization with MAT programs up and running.
    2. Whether you provide MAT for pregnant patients, adolescents, people with unstable housing, and/or youth.
    3. Whether you disaggregate your SUD patient data by race/ethnicity and if so, please share the breakdown.
  2. What are the three biggest strengths of your program?
  3. What are the three biggest challenges your site currently faces with your MAT program?
  4. Define your goals for Learning Network participation:
    1. What do you hope to learn?
    2. What do you hope to contribute?
    3. What do you hope to change?

Upload and submit all application materials via this form by December 12th, 2022 by 5pm PST. 


Upon reviewing applications, CCI may request follow-up information or schedule a phone call with your team. CCI will contact you by February 15, 2023, to let you know whether you have been accepted into the Learning Network. In the meantime, please hold Wednesday, March 15, 2023, (12 pm - 1:30 pm PT) for the Learning Network kick-off webinar. Once you have been accepted into the program, we will send webinar registration information, along with the URL to join the meeting. 


Applicant Organization Information









                     






Application Components


Organization and Team Contacts
CEO Contact 




Grant Manager Contact 






Project Team Lead






Team Member 2





Team Member 3





Team Member 4





Additional Team Members (optional)