In 2017, the State of Maine reported 418 drug-induced deaths, which is an increase of more than 150% over the past ten years. Without implementing effective strategies, such as extensive public and provider education and prevention, to address the epidemic of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), the rate of opioid-related drug overdose deaths will only continue to rise in Maine. In response to this public health crisis, Qualidigm brings a solid set of expertise, experience, and technical assistance in support of OUD prevention, screening, treatment, and recovery initiatives to address this epidemic and ultimately decrease opioid overdose deaths.
The goal of this ECHO program was to build the leadership skills of Maine physicians so that they can be on the forefront of supporting a strong public health infrastructure in the state of Maine, and specifically provide critical leadership in the context of Maine’s opioid epidemic. The program aimed to equip physicians, in real-time, with skills, competencies and peer mentoring for Maine physicians to make an immediate impact in urgent evolving public health issues.
Qualidigm has run 34 ECHO sessions and 4 in person meetings for this program since December 2017, and averaged 32 clinicians from across Maine, representing 20 practice locations. The program participants gained understanding of the public health system and key community partners involved in the complex issues of substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction treatment. They also increased the leadership skills needed to influence health policy and address public health crises, with a focus on the current opioid epidemic and the pressing need to address cultural bias and stigma related to SUD and addiction. They developed improved communication and marketing skills, including the use of social media, to more effectively influence public policy and opinion around critical health care issues. They increased their understanding on how social determinants of health and poverty impact clinical and public health systems. Lastly, they developed resiliency and mindful leadership tactics to address clinician burnout and improve morale.
This project is an example of some of our ECHO sessions. For more information on our ECHO projects and how you can get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.