#NDAFW: How the Cooper Center for Healing Supports Our Patients and Community

This week is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), an observance that encourages dialogue surrounding substance use and substance use disorder (SUD). This year for NDAFW, the Cooper University Health Care Center for Healing, a State of New Jersey-designated Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence (MATCOE), will share content to educate providers, interdisciplinary care teams, patients, and communities across Cooper, the region, and the state on SUD and available treatments at Cooper. Please follow Coopers eHealth Blog and MATCOE social media networks for daily updates: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

Group of people stand outside for team photo.

The Center for Healing team poses with purple ribbon pins in honor of International Overdose Awareness Week (IOAW) and Recovery Month, created during the center’s August 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Workgroup Meeting and led by Ivette Duncan, MSN, CPNP, PMHNP–BC, CMI–S, Advanced Practice Provider and DEI Clinical Lead at the Center for Healing in collaboration with Carley Schaffer, LCADC, CCTP, CCS, Counselor at the Infectious Disease and Early Intervention Program at Cooper and Maribel Washington, Licensed Practical Nurse at the Center for Healing.

About the Cooper Center for Healing

The Addiction Medicine Program at Cooper University Health Care originated in 2015 within Cooper’s Urban Health Institute. It was founded with the mission of providing evidence-based addiction treatment for the most vulnerable patients. This program has since grown into what is now the Center for Healing, an integrated center providing innovative, compassionate care for patients with SUD, pain, trauma, and psychiatric disorders. The center has medical specialists in addiction medicine, toxicology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, palliative care, pain, geriatrics, and psychiatry who provide interdisciplinary specialty care in the hospital, ambulatory, and community settings.

The Center for Healing also has a robust interdisciplinary team of psychologists, behavioral health therapists, counselors, nurses, navigator specialists, and medical–legal partnership attorneys who offer wrap-around services to patients in a biopsychosocial model. The center offers all levels of clinical care including ambulatory specialty care, acute treatment in the emergency department (ED), urgent care clinics, and hospital-based inpatient consult services. The team offers trauma-informed and evidence-based treatment with the philosophy that “patients don’t fail treatment, treatment fails patients.” While abstinence from substances is a goal for some, for others the overarching goal is to lessen or manage substance use, mitigate risks of substance use, and meet personal life goals.

In 2021, Cooper partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to open a state-of-the-art 90-bed inpatient addiction treatment facility, Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper, offering all levels of SUD care from detox to outpatient and sober living in an integrated model.

The Center for Healing focuses on innovative programming that incorporates the latest treatments for SUD, and have created several programs to increase adoption of MAT in county correctional facilities; initiated medical group visits for special patient populations including those struggling with chronic pain, sedative dependence, older adults (geriatrics), and perinatal patients; and expanded acute care networks from the ED to “bridge” to care for vulnerable populations.

Academically, the Center for Healing provides medical education at both the undergraduate and graduate medical education levels and runs an American College of Graduate Medical Education-accredited Addiction Medicine Fellowship.

Two images representing available patient resources through the Cooper Center for Healing.

Center for Healing patient-facing health communication resources were created for Recovery Month and year-round by the center’s Content Manager, Patricia Fortunato. Resources are available for all patients at the center, disseminated across partnering Cooper clinical practice sites, and proliferated as part of Southern New Jersey Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence (MATCOE) networks. Patient-facing resources are available at cooperhealth.org/recovery.

View the infographic at cooperhealth.org/recovery.

View the infographic at cooperhealth.org/recovery.

State of New Jersey-Designated Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence

The Southern New Jersey Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence (MATCOE) launched on July 1, 2019, and has since succeeded in expanding networking, medication services, and referrals throughout the state. Since the Southern New Jersey MATCOE inception, the team has established mentoring platforms and consortia, conducted extensive training for EDs and collaborated to create “bridges” to the community, and expanded networks of community providers, in addition to launching the 24/7 NJ MAT Provider Hotline.

The Center for Healing team continues to be honored for their innovative work as a state-designated MATCOE. On August 31, 2022, during the Cape May County Overdose Awareness Memorial Vigil hosted by Cape Addiction Recovery Services and Cape Regional Medical Center, the team was recognized and honored for their work across the county, region, and state.

Group of people stand together holding award plaques, podium with microphone behind them.

Pictured, left to right: Peter Belasco of the Cape May County Department of Human Services; Patricia Fortunato, Content Manager at the Center for Healing and Southern New Jersey Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence (MATCOE); Patrick Miller, Administrative Assistant at Cape Addiction Recovery Services and Cape Regional Medical Center; Rachel Haroz, MD, FAACT, Medical Director of the Center for Healing, Division Head of Addiction Medicine and Toxicology at Cooper, and Community Relations Director for the Southern New Jersey MATCOE; Iris Jones, LPC, LCADC, CCS, NCC, Clinical Operations Manager and Therapist at the Center for Healing; and Tonia Ahern, Family Advocate/Government Affairs at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.

MATCOE Continuing Medical Education Trainings

As the Southern New Jersey MATCOE, the Center for Healing and Rowan–Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine are offering a comprehensive continuing medical education (CME) training, education, and consultation series. The training and education series consists of didactic in-person trainings and virtual “live” webinars, asynchronous webinars, and other forms of content that will use a standardized, evidence-based curricula to inform physicians and other health care professionals. Content will expound upon engaging patients in MAT and harm reductionist strategies, among other topics, in compliance with federal and state statutory and regulatory guidelines. The consultation series consists of “office hours” in virtual capacity and “elbow-to-elbow” consultation services in order to further address clinical practice issues with physicians and other health care professionals.

Poster for Southern New Jersey Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence (MATCOE) training and education series. Learn more at bit.ly/coeseries.

Learn more about the Southern New Jersey Medication for Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence (MATCOE) training and education series at bit.ly/coeseries.

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