Medication Assisted Treatment

DCHA & Member Hospitals Fight an Epidemic

In 2017, D.C. experienced 279 deaths related to opioid overdose. Fighting the opioid epidemic is a priority of DCHA and the District of Columbia. Mayor Bowser and the Department of Behavioral Health announced plans to reduce opioid-related deaths by 50 percent by 2020. 

DCHA has been awarded a grant to establish and implement an Emergency Department (ED) Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Induction program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Howard University Hospital, United Medical Center and The George Washington University Hospital to identify and provide access to immediate substance use treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD). Evidence has shown that initiating early interventions, such as MAT, at the first point of care saves more lives.

ED Medication Assisted Treatment Program

This induction program ensures that persons with OUD have the opportunity to make the decision to accept treatment during their visit to the emergency room. Following the initial treatment at the hospital, patients are rapidly connected through a warm hand-off to community-based provider(s) for sustained treatment. The program trains all hospital ED staff in the screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment approach and connects patients to peer recovery coaches while still at the hospital to provide support for their treatment and recovery journey. Peer recovery coaches follow-up with patients after they leave the ED to verify if they were successfully connected to recovery support services.

The ED Medication Assisted Treatment Program leverages the Mosaic Group’s model during planning and implementation. The Mosaic Group has six years of experience working with hospitals to improve outcomes for patients with substance use disorders. The McClendon Center provides expertise in community outreach to pre-screen applicants for the peer recovery coaches, ensuring that each hospital receives quality applicants.

Goals, Objectives & Outcomes       Press Release-DCHA Awarded Grant      Press Release-Program Launch




Hospital Partners


Grant Partners



Grant Project Coordinator

Eden Cunningham, MPH