New Hours and New Role are Increasing Access to Addiction Treatment
April 27, 2018 – People in the Sudbury and across the region are now receiving more timely medical treatment for opioid and alcohol addictions, closer to home.
The Sudbury Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic, operated by the Health Sciences North (HSN), had its grand opening on Friday to introduce patients and partners to its location at 336 Pine Street, its new hours of operation, and regional role. The clinic provides expedited, barrier-free treatment for patients who are addicted to alcohol or opioids.
Funded by the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN), the RAAM clinic is part of the NE LHIN’s Regional Opioid Strategy, designed to meet the rising rates of opioid use disorder, accidental overdoses, hospitalizations and ER visits in Northeastern Ontario. This strategy was developed by the LHIN’s Regional Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Council who will continue to work with local Opioid Task Forces within each of the Sub-Regions to support its implementation, ensuring Northerners have timely and equitable access to care.
How the Sudbury RAAM Clinic Works
Through new funding from the NE LHIN, the clinic has expanded its hours of operation to five days a week and hired a new Patient Navigator. In addition, it has taken on a new role supporting the three other RAAM clinics (Algoma, Cochrane and Nipissing) in the region as lead agency for research, data collection, analysis, and evaluation as well as to explore opportunities to create a regional platform to increase access.
The Sudbury RAAM Clinic runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday as of May 1st. Patients can walk-in to receive help or call 705-523-7100 ext.1875. No booked appointment or referral is necessary, although referrals from doctors, nurses, social workers, addiction counselors and community providers are welcome.
The RAAM model is designed to initiate therapy for opioid or alcohol addiction and then triage clients to the most appropriate ongoing care provider. It is not intended to replace or duplicate the care provided by a primary care provider or a treatment clinic.
The NE LHIN’s Strategy uses a “hub and spoke” model, in which RAAM Clinics are located within each Sub-region’s urban centres (the hub) with links (spokes) to outlying areas. The Sudbury RAAM Clinic also provides outreach supports to people and providers inWest Parry Sound, Manitoulin, and Espanola.
As one of the highest users of telemedicine with 300 Ontario Telemedicine Network sites across the region, this strategy leverages virtual expertise to ensure equitable access to services for Northerners living in the region.
“This strategy recognizes the need to bring care closer to home for people in in the Sudbury/Manitoulin/Parry Sound Sub-region who are impacted by the rising rates of opioid use disorder, accidental overdoses, hospitalizations and ER visits. Developed by our Regional Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Council, it leverages both local knowledge and expertise to increase access, as well technology through the use of the Ontario Telemedicine Network to bring care to people living in smaller communities in the area. It is also a good example of how sub-region planning is empowering providers to collaborate and make local decisions to improve access and coordination of services for their residents.”–Jeremy Stevenson, CEO of the North East LHIN
“We are working closely with regional partners after seeing such a success with the RAAM clinic in Sudbury. We are encouraged by the clinic’s results and look forward to improving their quality of life for them and their families.” — Dr. Michael Franklyn, Site Lead, HSN RAAM Clinic
“The RAAM clinic helped improve the quality of life and helped me make the necessary medication changes. After thirty years of taking opioids, I finally feel like I have my life back.” –Robert Pilotte, former RAAM clinic patient
Quick Facts Sudbury RAAM Clinic
- The RAAM Clinic, located at 336 Pine St, offers help with alcohol and opioid use disorders
- Clients access the RAAM Clinic by referral, walk-in, or by calling 705-523-7100 ext.1875. welcomed.
- Providers can refer by calling 705-523-7100 ext.1875 or faxing 705-675-7962.
- The Sudbury based RAAM Clinic provides outreach supports to West Parry Sound, Manitoulin, and Espanola. As well, HSN will assume a regional role for research, data collection and regional outreach
- HSN received $400,000 in funding for to enhance the Sudbury RAAM clinic and to take no a new role supporting others in the region as lead agency.
- Since opening in December 15, 2015, it has treated 108 patients.
- Since operating 5 days a week as if April 1, 2018 its wait time for appointment is reducing from average of 14 days to patients being seen within 1 week.
Background – NE LHIN and Provincial Opioid Strategy
- Base funding is being invested across the Northeastern Ontario as part of the NE LHIN’s Regional Opioid Strategy. The funding is going toward creating and enhancing four RAAM Clinics and enhancing community withdrawal management programs.
- RAAM Clinics provide an addictions treatment pathway between the clinic and different places where the client is likely to seek care such as emergency departments, primary care providers, mental health and addiction agencies, and withdrawal management programs.
- Over the next three years, Ontario is investing more than $222 million province-wide to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario.
- Announced in fall 2016, Ontario’s comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose is ensuring people in pain receive appropriate treatment, increasing access to holistic treatment for those with opioid use disorder, and improving the safety and health of people who use opioids through access to harm reduction services including the life-saving drug naloxone.
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