Drs. Karen Alexander and Jan Gryczynski Receive R61 Award
FRI is pleased to announce that Drs. Karen Alexander and Jan Gryczynski (MPIs) have received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse through the “HEAL Initiative: Translating Research to Practice to End the Overdose Crisis” R61/R33 grant mechanism. Co-investigators include Drs. Courtney Nordeck, Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Mishka Terplan, Megan Reed (Thomas Jefferson University), and Robert Sterling (Drexel University). This project, titled “Implementing a patient navigation intervention across a health system to address treatment entry inequities”, will study the implementation and outcomes of the Navigation Services to Avoid Rehospitalization (NavSTAR) intervention in four Jefferson Health hospitals in Philadelphia. NavSTAR is a proactive patient navigation intervention initiated during hospitalization and continued post-discharge. This study builds on prior work conducted by FRI, which showed that NavSTAR increased treatment entry for opioid use disorder, reduced hospital readmissions, and was highly cost-effective compared to treatment as usual. The present study will engage stakeholders (including patients, clinicians, and community leaders) in an Implementation Facilitation (IF) strategy to create a process that is feasible, acceptable, and effective in expanding access to opioid use disorder treatment after hospital discharge. The R61 phase will conduct process mapping to identify existing hospital workflow and refine an IF strategy through sequential pilot trials at 4 hospital sites in preparation for the R33 phase. R61 milestones include the development of an implementation toolkit and data-sharing agreements. In the R33 phase, a type II hybrid-implementation-effectiveness trial (N=720) of NavSTAR will be conducted using a randomized stepped-wedge design. This study will develop an effective strategy to increase the reach and sustainability of NavSTAR and provide a path to scale up this intervention in hospitals to address the opioid epidemic.