Robert Levy, MD, has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, in conjunction with Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council, to enhance workforce development and training for healthcare professionals caring for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD). 

This project, set to begin in January 2024, will evaluate the outcomes of the current medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) prescription training in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health residency programs. With these data, Dr. Levy and his team will improve and expand training on opioid use disorder as a chronic disease, MOUD treatment, harm reduction, and reducing stigma toward persons with substance use disorders. Training programs will be offered through online modules and in-person seminars at conferences and organizations.

Awarded funds will also be used to continue care coordination services for persons seeking MOUD in primary care, as well as purchasing and distributing fentanyl/xylazine testing supplies, Narcan kits, and wound care kits to community partners who work directly with persons with substance use disorders. Co-investigators on the project include Tanner Nissly, DO, in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Kumi Smith, PhD, in the School of Public Health; and Stephanie Hooker, PhD, MPH, MS, at HealthPartners. Mary Lonergan-Cullum, PhD, will be project manager for the grant, and Tim Sanford will be the post-award accountant. Kendall Choate and Urszula Parfieniuk provided pre-award support during the preparation and submission of this successful grant.