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October 18, 2022

UMass Chan, Family Health Center granted $3M to treat opioid-use disorder

Photo | Timothy Doyle UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester

UMass Chan Medical School and Family Health Center of Worcester are teaming up on a $2.8-million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide wraparound services for 250 people with opioid use and mental health disorders.

The grant will be split into five $551,000 annual installments, the Worcester school announced Monday.

Under the partnership, UMass Chan will operate as the lead agency and evaluator of a program with Family Health Center of Worcester. The program will adhere to the MISSION model, which stands for maintaining independence and sobriety through systems integration, outreach and networking. 

“This grant is a little different from some of our other grants because we partnered directly with Family Health Center. It’s a true partnership in which Family Health Center will receive funds to hire the staff to deliver the services,” David Smelson, UMass Chan professor of psychiatry and director of the Center of Excellence in Addiction, and founder of the MISSION model, said in a statement. “And because the staff will be embedded within the Family Health Center, we will recruit directly through the Family Health Center.”

The model includes three evidence-based practices, according to UMass, including integrating group therapy for co-occurring disorders, peer support, and intervention which connects clients with housing and other support resources.

The principal investigator on the grant is Jennifer Harter, senior project director for clinical research in the Department of Psychiatry at UMass Chan, a developer of the MISSION model.

The team plans to begin recruiting the first 50 participants at the beginning of 2023.

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