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P22. Development of Inter-professional Training for Opioid Workforce for High Need and High Demand Areas

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P22. Development of Inter-professional Training for Opioid Workforce for High Need and High Demand Areas

Learner category:

  • Intermediate Level

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will understand the development of an interdisciplinary opioid-focused training program, that focus on treatment and prevention.
  • Participants will understand the training program and the preliminary findings and how the impact they have on learning outcomes.


Background: The opioid epidemic has increased the need for more well trained professionals focused on opioid use disorder (OUD). Unfortunately, the capacity of the existing behavioral health workforce to prevent and treat OUD is clearly inadequate in both size and training. The goal of this presentation is to describe the development and evaluation of a workforce training program that aims to increase access to health care for OUD in underserved areas. Methods: We assembled an inter-disciplinary team from various Schools and clinical partners to develop a comprehensive OUD-focused training with an emphasis on interprofessional collaboration. Didactic sessions including various evidence-based practice, pain management and opioid prescribing, medication-assisted treatment, cultural competency, inter-professional collaboration and trauma-informed care are delivered through in-person and web-based modules. We partnered with nine clinical sites to provide OUD-related experiential experiences. Participants enrolled in the training program are graduate students from psychiatric nursing, social work, rehabilitation counseling, mental health counseling, and school counseling. We evaluate students’ learning outcomes through pre and post assessments and focus groups. Results: The preliminary findings indicate that graduate students in the training program are satisfied with the training. We anticipate that upon completion of the training, students will demonstrate improvement in their knowledge and skills in OUD- related prevention, treatment and recovery, as well as interprofessional teamwork and cultural sensitivity in clinical settings. Conclusion: This project can enhance the behavioral health workforce’s capacity to deliver more highly skilled, interprofessional, evidence-based OUD services to people in underserved areas.


Yu-Ping Chang
PhD, RN, FGSA, FIAAN, FAAN, University at Buffalo

Dr. Yu-Ping Chang is the Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship and an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing with the University at Buffalo. Dr. Chang has a Masters Degree in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing and a PhD in Nursing. Her research focuses on integrating behavioral interventions, including motivational interviewing and mindfulness-based stress reduction, for substance abuse and mental health in primary care settings and evaluating the effects of intervention on various outcomes.

Christopher Barrick
PhD, University at Buffalo

Dr. Christopher Barrick is a licensed psychologist and works as a Research Assistant Professor and Senior Research Scientist with the Primary Care Research Institute at the University at Buffalo. His research interests focuses on looking at effective ways to disseminate evidence-based interventions into broad clinical practice and using technology to facilitate clinical substance abuse research.

Scott Sabella
PhD, Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology, University at Buffalo

Dr. Scott Sabella is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology (CSEP) within UB’s Graduate School of Education. His primary research agenda focuses on program management, counselor supervision, and leadership within public rehabilitation agencies. Additionally, he has recently authored articles related to the removal of barriers to community participation of people with disabilities and the support needs of people with brain injuries. His clinical counseling interests include group work, motivational interviewing, and existential counseling strategies and techniques to enhance quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

Laura Lewis
PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, University at Buffalo

Dr. Laura Lewis is the Director of Field Education, and Assistant Dean for Global Partnerships at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Dr. Lewis’ work has focused on expanding field opportunities for students regionally and internationally, and on developing international partnerships related to teaching and research. She is also co-director of the School’s Institute for Sustainable Global Engagement. Dr. Lewis was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award in International Education in 2018, and a Council on Social Work Education Leadership Award in 2012. As Chair of the Council on Social Work Field Education’s Research and Publication Committee, she co-authored the 2015 State of Field Education Survey: A Survey of Directors of Field Education on Administrative Models, Staffing and Resources.

Patricia Nisbet
DNP, PMHNP-BC, School of Nursing, University at Buffalo

Patricia Nisbet is the Psychiatric Mental Health Program Coordinator and Clinical Assistant Professor with the University at Buffalo’s School of Nursing. Her area of research and counseling includes children and adolescents with serious persistent mental illness and the effects of chronic physical and mental health diagnoses/substance use disorders on families. Recent research projects focus on mindfulness based interventions for individuals with chronic physical illness and mental health/SUD disorders and the integration of psychotherapy and mindfulness based interventions.

Comments (2)

  1. Dennis Hagarty

    Thank you Inter-professional collaboration is so important in caring for patients with SUD and OUD. Let’s get out of the silo and into what patients need .

    1. Joshua Altemoos

      We agree! We need to strive to treat patients holistically and work together to ensure that we try to address everything, especially since patients with SUD and OUD tend to have a higher rate of comorbidities, which only adds to the complexity of their treatment plan!

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