Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment


In the counties that our FQHCs serve, Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Berks, there is a high burden of Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders. In 2021, Philadelphia County's drug overdose rate was 78 per 100,000, a 10% increase from 2018.[1] Overall, in Pennsylvania there has been a 15% increase in drug overdose related deaths since 2019, demonstrating a direct need for substance abuse services and intervention.

In 2019, the Health Federation of Philadelphia received a 5-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the SBIRT Project. The purpose of this project is to administer SBIRT services to adult patients of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) within the Health Federation of Philadelphia HRSA-funded network.

After launching with our first cohort in 2019, we quickly faced challenges and barriers to implementation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were required to develop new systems and procedures that would easily allow for in-person and telehealth visits. To overcome these barriers, we purchased tablet technology for our HCs that administer pre-and full screeners that automatically populate within the patient's electronic health record (EHR).


[1] Pennsylvania ODSMP – Drug Overdose Surveillance Interactive Data Report. (2022, January 21). Tableau Public. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from

Goals and Objectives

SBIRT, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, is an evidence-based and early intervention tool used as the standard of care in primary care settings.

This project aims to improve the health and well-being of individuals with alcohol and other substance use disorders by creating a sustainable process for SBIRT.

Through these initiatives, we have been able to stay on track to pre-screen 20,130 patients across our 6 FQHCs by the end of our grant period in 2024. We can then provide this graphic that outlines the pre-screening, full screening, and referral to treatment.


When our grant period ends in 2024, we aim to leave our HCs with a sustainable model that allows them to continue to engage in SBIRT activities through tablet technology, educational materials, and effective workflows. Through continued quantitative and qualitative data collection, we are able to present, discuss, and inform decisions we make with our health centers to optimize their performance and ability to provide the necessary services to their patients.

HFP's Role

  • Provide FQHCs with trainings, educational materials, support, and technical assistance
  • Host quarterly Learning Collaboratives with the Health Centers to problem solve and innovate
  • Support integration of tablet technology for SBIRT activities as well as support additional initiatives such as mental health screenings, SDOH screenings, etc.

Involved Organizations

Participating Health Centers

Berks Community Health Center

838 Penn St, Reading, PA 19601

CEO: Mary Kargbo

Phone: 610-988-4838


Community Health and Dental Care

Coventry Mall | 315 W Schuylkill Rd, Suite G-15, Pottstown, PA 19465

CEO: Bridgette McGivern

Phone: 610-326-9460

Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc.

1420 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19130

President/CEO: Scott McNeal

Phone: 215.235.9600

Esperanza Health Center

Executive Director: Susan Post

Phone: 215-302-3600

The Family Practice and Counseling Network

4700 Wissahickon Ave, Building D, Suite 118, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Network Executive Director: Emily Nichols

Phone: 215.298.0405

Philadelphia FIGHT

1233 Locust Street, Third Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Executive Director: Jane Shull

Phone: (215) 985-4448

Our Team

Tyrone Sturdivant Tyrone Sturdivant, MPH

SBIRT Project Director

215-567-8001 x 8218

Anne Stout Anne Stout, MPH

SBIRT Project Coordinator

215-567-8001 x 8585


Emma Moulder Emma Moulder

SBIRT Project Assistant

215-567-8001 x 4867

Michael Flickling Michael Flickling

SBIRT Project Data Specialist

Debra McGrath, MSN, FNP Debra McGrath, MSN, FNP

Director of Health Information Technology