MAT Initiative Blazes Trail to Kansas City

Last year, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) — along with 27 national partner organizations — received a two-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to form the Opioid Response Network (ORN) (formerly known as STR-TA Consortium). The ORN is a collection of stakeholders who are dedicated to addressing the U.S. opioid epidemic by undertaking local and national efforts focused on implementing best practices for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of opioid use disorders.

To mark the successful conclusion of the ORN’s first year and to blaze a trail into the future, AAAP invited stakeholders to the Opioid Response Network Summit in Kansas City. This three-day event was an opportunity for learning and collaboration — and for Project Director John Lopes to highlightPAEA’s accomplishments as an ORN partner organization through the MAT Waiver Training Initiative.

During his presentation, Lopes said that since the MAT Initiative began, there has been an estimated 26 percentage-point growth in PA programs that require their students to complete MAT waiver training prior to graduation. He also noted that an additional 51 programs have disclosed plans to require student MAT waiver training by May 2020.

Sharing these outcomes with a community of leaders in the opioid and public health space demonstrated both the valuable role that PAs can play in meeting national health workforce demand and the power of PA education in addressing the opioid epidemic. PAEA would like to thank John Lopes for representing the work of our dedicated PA students and faculty at the summit.

To learn more about PAEA’s MAT Initiative, visit our website or contact us at For more information on the ORN, you can visit their website, email them at, or call (401) 270-5900.

Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI080816-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.