Callan Fockele, MD, MS

University of Washington

“Creating a Safety Net in Washington: Establishing a Regional Program for the Initiation of Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder from the Emergency Departments in King County”
SAEMF/NIDA Mentor-Facilitated Training Award




Although opioid use disorder (OUD) is on the rise nationwide with increasing emergency department (ED) visits and deaths secondary to overdose, access to on-demand medications for OUD is still limited. We plan to address this by promoting the dissemination and adoption of evidence-based treatment practices around ED initiated buprenorphine for OUD in King County, Washington, through the following aims: (1) organize a standing workgroup of key stakeholders to develop a countywide system of care, (2) conduct qualitative work to adapt and create educational materials to address the current implementation gaps, and (3) develop a referral system for warm hand-offs of patients with OUD between emergency and outpatient providers. This builds upon the groundbreaking work of Dr. Gail D’Onofrio and her colleagues at Yale New Haven Hospital demonstrating the increased engagement in addiction treatment and fewer days of illicit opioid use in patients who are started on buprenorphine in the ED by applying it to a much larger population, the thirteenth largest county in the United States. This proposal is feasible because we will build on the previous work on ED initiated buprenorphine for OUD locally and nationally, use already established networks of public health organizations combatting the opioid epidemic in our region, perform recurrent reassessments through frequent key stakeholder meetings, and pursue several independent aims so that potential roadblocks to individual deliverables would not derail the entire project. Lastly, this project will foster the principal investigator’s interest in pursuing an academic career as an educator, change agent, and researcher dedicated to addressing substance use disorder in the ED through four training objectives, including: (1) gain content knowledge in addiction medicine, (2) apply qualitative methods through semi-structured interviews and surveys, (3) develop knowledge in Implementation Science, and (4) develop a platform for community engagement.

Research Results

Dr. Joseph is still completing the project.