Representatives from every Long Island hospital and health system joined GNYHA last week to kick off its Emergency Department (ED) Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Quality Collaborative. The ED MAT Quality Collaborative seeks to increase and standardize hospital efforts to identify individuals with substance use disorders (SUD), initiate evidence-based SUD MAT for individuals presenting to EDs, and connect individuals to continuing treatment and recovery services.

While New York State and the nation struggle to address the opioid crisis, Long Island has been identified as having high rates of SUD mortality despite targeted activities.

Attendees heard from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Assistant Secretary for Mental Hygiene Shelly Weizman, New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD, Chief of Staff Danielle Greene, DrPH, MCHES, and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services General Counsel Robert Kent. Each spoke about New York’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis by supporting hospital initiatives already underway and those yet to be implemented. Emergency medicine physician leadership from several GNYHA member hospitals presented on pilot ED initiatives, their positive results, and plans to expand initiatives. Suffolk County Department of Community Mental Hygiene representatives spoke about regional activities and community resources available to EDs. Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA) collaborating with hospitals on patient engagement and care transitions discussed CRPA resources that can assist EDs in real time, which addressed hospital concerns about making connections to continuing care following an ED encounter.

GNYHA will have concentrated efforts on Long Island in 2019, but will share best practices and provide implementation assistance to all members.