RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery receives $100K expansion grant from N.J.

Opioid program to expand to Clara Maass and Jersey City medical centers.

RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery was awarded a $100,000 grant in recognition of continued efforts in combating addiction and to develop and implement best practices through a multidisciplinary and multimodal approach.

The funding from the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will be used to build on the success of the system’s Opioid Reduction Options program by expanding it to the emergency departments at Clara Maass Medical Center and Jersey City Medical Center as part of RWJBarnabas Health’s Tackling Addiction Task Force’s Deliberate Reduction of Opioid Prescribing initiative.

“The first phase of the Opioid Reduction Options in the emergency department program has had a profound impact on the way we address acute and chronic pain in emergency departments across the system since the program launched two years ago,” said Connie Greene, vice president, RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery.

ORO 2.0 expands on the program’s first-phase success. Clara Maass Medical Center and Jersey City Medical Center’s emergency departments will now be incorporated into the program, which addresses opioid use disorder and chronic pain with a patient-centered approach. It also has a special focus on provider education around the use and benefits of buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid use disorder and chronic pain, as well as identifying certain withdrawal symptoms that can often present as pain unrelated to substance use.

Additionally, ORO 2.0 will build on the work of the Emergency Department Alternatives to Opioids program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, which supports patient navigators to coordinate multimodal pain program processes for patients in the emergency department, serve as a liaison between the emergency department and inpatient and outpatient care settings, and connect patients with individualized services based their complex social determinants of health.

“The first phase of the ORO program has played a substantial role in reducing the number of opioids inappropriately prescribed in EDs across the RWJBarnabas Health system. We’re looking forward implementing the program at Jersey City Medical Center and working with providers across the state to tackle the issue of substance use disorder,” said Michael Prilutsky, CEO and president of Jersey City Medical Center.

“Clara Maass Medical Center is proud to be working with the Tackling Addiction Task Force and IFPR in joining with other facilities across the system to help strengthen our commitment to addressing the overdose epidemic and substance use disorder systemwide and across the state of New Jersey,” added Mary Ellen Clyne, CEO and president of Clara Maass Medical Center.

ORO 1.0 was launched in 2019 across seven RWJBarnabas Health facilities: Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, RWJUH Hamilton, RWJUH Rahway and RWJUH Somerset.

Through ORO 1.0 funding, the RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery and the Tackling Addiction Task Force created a well-rounded, multimodal approach to addressing the Top 5 presenting problems that most commonly led to an opioid prescription within the system: abdominal pain, back pain, renal colic, musculoskeletal pain/fracture and headache.