America’s Essential Hospitals’ grant helps Parkland improve care delivery for opioid use disorder

The grant improved health equity and overall quality of care

Last year, Parkland Health received a grant to participate in CVS Health and the America’s Essential Hospital’s Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Learning Collaborative. The collaborative created an opportunity for caregivers at Parkland to improve care delivery for historically marginalized populations, network with similar organizations, share best practices and support innovation.

The training sessions complemented the health equity work that is already underway at Parkland. Participation and grant funding helped further address Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) in the often overlooked and underserved patient population of incarcerated individuals and those recently discharged from incarceration at the Dallas County Jail.

Since 2006, Parkland has served as the medical provider for the Dallas County Jail through its Correctional Health Department (Correctional Health) and offers more than 165 outpatient specialty and sub-specialty clinics on its main campus. The system also operates an extensive mobile health van program to care for the underserved and homeless in Dallas County.

Correctional Health patients are more diverse and from more historically marginalized groups than the general population. According to the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), nearly 2 in 3 Correctional Health patients identified as a racial minority, with Black individuals accounting for 51 percent. Ethnically, 1 in 5 patients identified as Hispanic or Latino.

Correctional Health currently facilitates approximately 7,500 intakes on opioid and alcohol addicted individuals annually at both the jail and juvenile centers. In FY21 (Oct. 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021), Correctional Health implemented a Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) program in male and non-pregnant female inmates, using the whole-patient approach of medication in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies.

After the grant was awarded, correctional health social workers and support staff participated in a variety of training and collaboration opportunities.

“Through funding from the American Essential Hospitals, we have participated in an opioid use disorder learning collaborative. Working with safety-net hospital systems across the country, we shared best practices, challenges, experiences, and insights into treating the chronic disease and stigma of addiction,” said Christina Mintner, Senior Vice President of Population Health & HOMES at Parkland. “The opportunity advances our goal of building an ecosystem of healing for our patients to get the treatment they need and deserve. The grant also helped increase the number of screenings for OUD, allowed Parkland to higher an additional Correctional Health MAT provider, initiated MAT for 250 inmates and more.”

 

Parkland Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to partner with AEH to improve health equity and quality of care for residents of Dallas County who may be struggling with OUD.  

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