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The Maryland Department of Health and Opioid Operational Command Center recently announced a new partnership between the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Anne Arundel County Department of Health to use the Governor’s Wellmobile Program to deliver medication-assisted treatment to one of the areas of the state most affected by the heroin and opioid crisis.

The Wellmobile Program was established in 1994 to provide primary health care to uninsured and underserved residents across Maryland while also serving as interprofessional clinical education sites for students from the University of Maryland schools of nursing, law, social work, medicine, and pharmacy. Wellmobile now has four 33-foot-long medical vehicles providing more than 6,000 visits annually. The new partnership makes Wellmobile an innovative tool that gives rapid flexibility in addressing the opioid crisis.

Kathryn Lothschuetz Montgomery, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, chair, UMSON Department of Partnerships, Professional Education, and Practice, tells, “We are very pleased to partner with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health to pilot substance use treatment and recovery support services to persons struggling with an opioid addiction, while also providing a community-based learning environment for Maryland’s future nursing workforce.”

Staffing for the Wellmobile program, provided by the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, includes a nurse practitioner, physician, and peer-recovery coach. The new partnership with UMSON has added to the program’s list of services, including clinical care, health screenings, care management, referrals, and health promotion. UMSON students involved in the program will gain hands-on experience in treating addiction, consistent with a legislative mandate that Wellmobile provide students from the School of Nursing with opportunities to learn about the unique model of delivering healthcare services.

The pilot Wellmobile partnership program will be reviewed after 18 months to determine whether it will be deployed to treat opioid and heroin addiction in other areas of the state. To learn more about Wellmobile and its partnership with the University of Maryland School of Nursing, visit here.

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