The introduction of an opioid dependency treatment (ODT) program in Gander will result in “person-centred care,” according to Central Health president and CEO Andrée Robichaud.
The health authority announced the addition of the program in a news release on Friday, April 12.
“This program is about wrapping customized care services around a person to address the whole person – not just their opioid use – and to deliver that care as close to home as possible,” Robichaud said in the release.
The program is based on the Vermont model for ODT and increases the availability and utilization of Suboxone.
According to the release, the ODT program is designed in a hub and spoke model.
Gander will serve as the hub with health care professionals who have expertise in mental health and addictions. They will support primary care teams in the spokes – rural communities surrounding the hub.
Once individuals are stabilized on ODT, they will receive support and maintenance from primary care providers in their home communities, the release explains. In-person and telehealth services are available.
Going beyond the use of opioids itself, the approach addresses possible needs for counselling, further mental health and addictions assessment, as well as social issues like housing and social isolation.
The ODT hub began welcoming clients in Gander on March 26 and about 75 clients are presently receiving medical oversight and follow-up.
Work is also underway to open a new opioid dependency treatment clinic in Gambo, which is expected to open later this year, the release indicated.
“We recognize the importance of providing an ODT program as close to home as possible,” Health and Community Services Minister John Haggie said.
“With Gander as a hub and Gambo as a spoke, we are moving closer to just that.”