In early September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) had been selected to administer the two-year State Opioid Response Technical Assistance (SOR-TA) program. From September 2020–2022, AAAP will continue its leadership role for the Opioid Response Network, a coalition of 40 national organizations, including PAEA, that work collectively to improve the capacity of SOR grantees, clinicians, and other stakeholders to respond to the ongoing opioid epidemic.
As an SOR-TA sub-awardee, PAEA will use more than $350,000 in funding over the next two years to directly improve access to clinical training opportunities in mental and behavioral health for PA programs. This funding will allow PAEA to recruit a project director to be responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with leading behavioral health organizations including: the Association for Addiction Professionals, the Association for Treatment Professionals; the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence; the American Society of Addiction Medicine; the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine; and others. Throughout these efforts, the project director will be responsible for explaining the unique capacity of PAs to provide care to patients suffering from substance use disorders and encouraging members of these organizations to precept PA students to bolster the behavioral health workforce pipeline.
In addition to marketing the value of training PA students from all programs to these national organizations, the project director will play a key role in building upon previous SAMHSA-funded awards administered by PAEA. Part of the project director’s role will be to facilitate connections between the PA programs that have been selected to participate in the development of the PRAC-ED-PA substance use disorder curriculum and MAT-waivered potential preceptors in their region to facilitate new training opportunities.
The participation of PAEA as an SOR-TA sub-awardee serves as the latest component of the Association’s response to the opioid epidemic. Since 2018, PAEA has administered a number of SAMHSA-funded awards intended to bolster the contribution of PA education to the national response, including the MAT Initiative, Provider’s Clinical Support System – MAT waiver trainings, and the development of the PRAC-ED-PA standardized curriculum. Members are invited to learn more about each of these projects here.
For questions about PAEA’s SOR-TA sub-award or the Association’s broader response to the opioid epidemic, contact Dave Keahey at dkeahey@PAEAonline.org.