Baptist Health Lexington using KORE grant to fund path to recovery

June 19, 2019

Baptist Health Lexington has now implemented a Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) grant-funded initiative to increase access to high-quality, evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

Baptist Health Lexington has implemented a Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) grant-funded initiative to increase access to high-quality, evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. 

The Lexington hospital along with its sister hospital, Baptist Health Corbin, received a $471,000 KORE grant, awarded by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to provide services to patients with opioid use disorders to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and recovery support services. The grant is supported by funds from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Baptist Health Lexington received $146,000 of the grant. A portion of that money is funding a new position at the hospital – an addiction disorder nurse coordinator. This full-time staff member will assess patients affected by opioids, such as individuals who have experienced an overdose and present to the Emergency Department, as well as inpatients referred by medical staff.

Using FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder, treatment can be initiated in the hospital. Individuals will then be referred to a community provider, based on their individual treatment needs. A partnership with Second Chance Clinic, a Lexington center for opioid addiction treatment, has been established to ensure that patients are seen within 24 to 48 hours of hospital discharge. 

 “The hospital can now be one of many pathways to treatment for opioid use disorder, just as it is a pathway to treatment and remission for other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Katie Marks, Project Director for KORE. 

The addiction disorder nurse coordinator will work closely with a peer recovery support specialist contracted through Lexington-based Voices of Hope, a recovery support services organization. The peer recovery support specialist, an individual in substance use recovery, will meet with patients, offer guidance and emotional support, and exemplify that recovery is possible and sustainable. The peer recovery support specialist also will collaborate with social workers and case managers to help remove barriers to treatment and recovery support for patients.

“We want to do what is best for the patients who have opioid use disorders and make sure that we’re treating them with dignity and providing the same high-quality level of service that we do for patients with other conditions,” said Amanda Henson, a Baptist Health Lexington vice president who played a crucial role in securing the KORE grant. 

Patients who are not ready to seek treatment will receive information about Voices of Hope, which offers 24-hour telephone recovery support, Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange programs, and a Narcan® (naloxone) kit, which contains two single-use doses of a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The implementation of the KORE grant is the latest opioid-related initiative Baptist Health Lexington has introduced. Earlier this year, the hospital began working with its providers to implement evidence-based practices to continue to manage patients’ pain but also decrease the quantity of opioids being prescribed. The hospital also began distributing drug disposal bags to patients enrolled in its Meds-to-Beds programs in an effort to keep unused and unwanted medications from being misused or polluting the environment.