Jefferson Health Pioneers Comprehensive Care Model for Substance Use Disorder

Jefferson Health launches the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program, a comprehensive care model for individuals with severe substance use disorder. The program provides relationship-based care across various healthcare settings, addressing patients' social needs and medical complications.

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Quadri Adejumo
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Jefferson Health Pioneers Comprehensive Care Model for Substance Use Disorder

Jefferson Health Pioneers Comprehensive Care Model for Substance Use Disorder

Jefferson Health has launched the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program, a groundbreaking model of specialized primary care for individuals with severe substance use disorder in Philadelphia. The program aims to redefine healthcare delivery for this vulnerable population by providing relationship-based care across various settings, including outpatient, hospital, emergency department, and addiction treatment facilities.

The program's launch comes at a critical time, with over 15% of Americans struggling with substance use disorders and hospital admissions for related medical conditions reaching an all-time high. People with substance use disorders face a heightened risk of multiple medical complications, such as heart infections and wounds, and often experience stigma and isolation. Traditional healthcare systems frequently provide fragmented care, failing to center on meeting individuals' needs over time.

Why this matters: The opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities across the United States, and innovative care models like this one offer a ray of hope for addressing the complex needs of individuals struggling with addiction. By providing comprehensive, relationship-based care, programs like the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program can help reduce the staggering number of overdose deaths and improve By providing comprehensive, relationship-based care, programs like the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program can help reduce the staggering number of overdose deaths and improvehealth outcomes for this vulnerable population.

Baligh R. Yehia, MD, MPP, MSc, FACP, President of Jefferson Health, emphasized the program's potential impact, stating, "This pioneering model of specialized primary care promises to redefine how we care for people who have substance use disorders in Philadelphia and beyond." The program's staff also addresses patients' social needs, such as housing, legal assistance, and food insecurity, recognizing the complex challenges faced by those struggling with addiction.

Anna Flattau, MD, MSc, MS, FAAFP, Chair of Family and Community Medicine Enterprise and Chief of Jefferson Primary Care, Jefferson Health, stressed the importance of compassionate care, saying, "All of us, including people with substance use disorder, deserve healthcare of the highest quality with a compassionate care team that has our backs." The program has already engaged 45 patients, all currently receiving treatment for opioid use disorder with methadone or buprenorphine.

The Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from Stephen and Sandra Sheller, who are dedicated to tackling the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia. Stephen Sheller, speaking on behalf of the Sheller family, expressed their enthusiasm for the program, saying, "We enthusiastically chose Jefferson Health to be the recipient of our foundation funds for this new Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program... We could not be prouder of the work already accomplished nor prouder of this team of professionals." Thomas Jefferson University also received a $250,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to support the initiative.

The program's launch marks a major milestone in addressing the complex needs of individuals with severe substance use disorder. By offering comprehensive, relationship-based care across various healthcare settings and tackling social determinants of health, the program strives to enhance outcomes and quality of life for this vulnerable population. The opioid epidemic persists in impacting communities throughout the United States, innovative care models like this offer hope for a more compassionate and effective approach to treating substance use disorders.

Key Takeaways

  • Jefferson Health launches Consult and Bridge Program for individuals with severe substance use disorder.
  • Program provides relationship-based care across various healthcare settings.
  • It addresses patients' social needs, such as housing and food insecurity.
  • $1.5 million gift from Stephen and Sandra Sheller funded the program.
  • Program aims to reduce overdose deaths and improve health outcomes for vulnerable population.