The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded the Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) a $4.975 million grant over five years to deliver high-fidelity Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) services in Greater Philadelphia. The project will reach an estimated 50,000 adult patients of Federally Qualified Health Center sites (FQHC) in the region throughout its duration, and will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals with alcohol and other drug use disorders in the area. Key partners in this work are Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC)'s Research and Evaluation department and six FQHC organizations in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.
Twenty sites of six different FQHC organizations in Philadelphia, Berks, and Montgomery Counties, where drug overdose rates are alarmingly higher than the national rate, have been selected for this project. Overdose deaths in Berks and Montgomery Counties have reached nearly 29 deaths per 100,000 and Philadelphia’s rate is devastatingly higher at three times the national rate, with nearly 60 deaths per 100,000 individuals.
SBIRT is a model to apply universal screening and, for those screening positive for substance use, to offer brief intervention and referral to treatment as needed. Through September 2023, HFP will provide resources, intensive training and technical assistance to designated SBIRT Champions, support for electronic health record (EHR) enhancements, and training for clinical staff at each participating site. Additionally, HFP will provide less intensive training on SBIRT to behavioral health providers at other member FQHC sites, thus improving care for hundreds of thousands in the region.
PHMC will work with HFP to provide external evaluation of the project through their Research & Evaluation Group.