Colleen LaBelle, MSN, RN-BC, CARN, to Receive 2018 Innovators in Health Award

Colleen LaBelle, director of Boston Medical Center’s OBAT and State OBAT, will be one of the recipients of the 2018 Innovators in Health Award, presented by the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI).

Over the last 10 years, 45 people have received the Innovators in Health Award, each of whom has made a lasting impact in the health field.  Awardees have ranged from CEOs to Attorney Generals and university professors, all working to advance health care, health technology, and life sciences.

Ms. LaBelle is being honored with the award for her exemplary work in the field of substance use disorder treatment.  As the creator of the Massachusetts Nurse Care Manager Model of Office-Based Treatment, Ms. LaBelle has helped to vastly expand addiction treatment throughout the state of Massachusetts, and is now helping to disseminate the model nationally.

Please visit this website to learn more about the Innovators in Health Award.

Kristin Wason, NP, interviewed on Boston Medical Center’s role in combating the opioid crisis

OBAT Technical Assistance Specialist Kristin Wason, a buprenorphine-waivered provider at Boston Medical Center, appeared on CityLine on WCVB5 this past Sunday, July 15th.  In her interview, she explains how addiction treatment is being brought into all points of entry in the Boston Medical Center health system, and how that positively impacts the uptake of treatment for substance use disorders in the greater Boston area.  Many programs within BMC’s Grayken Center for Addiction were highlighted in addition to OBAT, including Project RESPECT within OB/GYN and FASTER PATHS in the Emergency Department.  To watch Kristin’s full interview on CityLine, please click here.

BMC OBAT Nurses Celebrated in the Boston Globe’s Salute to Nurses

Image from the Boston Globe, Sunday, May 6th, 2018.

Boston Medical Center’s Office-Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) Nurse Care Managers were highlighted in a special issue of the Boston Globe, the Salute to Nurses.  More than 90 OBAT patients contributed their thoughts to the OBAT nurses’ important work in treating addiction and helping patients piece their lives back together.  Program Director Colleen LaBelle also weighed in on the nurses’ commitment to improving their patients’ lives, saying, “We take care of the whole person.”  Read the full article here.

Boston Medical Center’s Efforts to Improve Nutrition for Those in Recovery from Addiction – Slate

A new article published in Slate this week highlights one of Boston Medical Center’s many services for people in recovery from substance use disorders.  Nutrition is a vital part of improving patients’ health, and BMC’s demonstration kitchen seeks to teach patients how to replace craving-inducing junk food with healthful, nutritious alternatives.  Read the full article here.

BMC Opioid Addiction Treatment Hub Team Wins Judge’s Award for Research at the MetaECHO 2017 Poster Session

The 2017 MetaECHO Conference in Albuquerque, NM brings together health policy experts, government officials, academic leaders, funders, and Project ECHO replication partners from across the globe. All conference goers share the collective goal of touching one billion lives by 2025. The four-day conference embraces the infinite possibilities of the global ECHO movement across healthcare and beyond.

Danna Gobel, LCSW, Clinic Coordinator and Co-Facilitator of the Boston Medical Center Opioid Addiction Treatment Hub for primary care teams attended the conference September 13-16, 2017. Danna and team submitted an abstract which was accepted as a poster presentation titled, “Challenges identified by primary care teams implementing addiction treatment into office based settings: Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Opioid Addiction Treatment ECHO” and which won the Judge’s Award for Research at the MetaECHO 2017 Poster Session.

Danna and team performed a quality improvement project that utilized thematic analysis to identify patterns in challenges faced by primary care teams implementing addiction treatment programs as indicated on the first 30 case presentation forms completed by the BMC Opioid ECHO participants (Spokes). Challenges identified were categorized into 4 main groups:

  1. patient engagement strategies (e.g., how to engage ambivalent patients)
  2. medication management (e.g., how to initiate or discontinue use of buprenorphine)
  3. managing medical/psychiatric comorbidities (e.g., managing patients who are co-prescribed psychiatric medications)
  4. substance use in patient adherent to buprenorphine program (e.g., buprenorphine successfully treating OUD but patient also using cocaine).

Future research should look at themes in a larger, more diverse sample to help inform future ECHO projects and ensure that Hub curricula remains topical and relevant.

Congratulations Danna and team!

International Overdose Awareness Day Quickly Approaching – Join the Campaign!

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held annually on August 31st of each year.  The event draws worldwide attention to the need to prevent and create awareness about drug overdose.

Together, communities, families, people who use drugs, government officials, international organizations, businesses and policy makers come together in a shared effort to reduce the tragedy of overdose.

The goals of Overdose Day are:

  •  to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death; and
  • to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or been injured as a result of drug overdose.

Free campaign materials and other resources developed by the Penington Institute in Australia are available for public use and can be downloaded from their website:

As in years past, BMC’s OBAT Team in collaboration with our new Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine will be participating in this powerful campaign.  We encourage all of you to also observe Overdose Day on August 31st and post any planned events to the Overdose Day events calendar.


Opioid Use Disorder Education Program now available from Harvard Medical School Global Academy

The Global Academy from Harvard Medical School has launched the online Opioid Use Disorder Education Program, featuring expert instructors Colleen LaBelle and Kristin Wason from OBAT TTA. The free, self-paced program offers a total of 24 hours of education for healthcare professionals so that they can better understand, identify, and treat opioid use disorder (OUD).

Learn more about the program and sign up for the free web-based courses here.