HOW WVU CAN HELP
WVU MEDICINE CENTER FOR HOPE AND HEALING RESIDENTIAL UNIT
The WVU Medicine Center for Hope and Healing Residential Unit provides a number of beds for adults seeking residential treatment for substance use disorder, up to 28 days. Our patients receive a continuum of care that includes individual and group therapy, as well as medication-assisted treatment. At the Center for Hope and Healing, we deliver essential forms of care in centralized locations, led by physicians specializing in addiction medicine and psychiatry.
For information, call 304-974-HOPE (4673).
The Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry provides hope in the Appalachian region for patients ranging from children to elderly adults dealing with a range of emotional and psychological issues, including substance use and addiction.
Our research in addiction medicine, rural health, and opioid use disorders is changing lives and providing specialized educational opportunities. Groundbreaking studies on focused ultrasound, deep brain stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation develop innovative treatments for patients and provide a greater understanding of the neurobiology.
Recognizing that our most valuable resource is our providers, the Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry spearheaded efforts to ensure healthcare workers’ mental health was supported during the pandemic. Our team ensured that resources were available, and our Healthy Healers initiative was directed at advancing provider wellbeing.
RNI supports in-person and virtual mental and behavioral health services to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
We also offer innovative clinical trials that make it possible to apply the latest scientific and technological advances to patient care. Learn more about available clinical trials.
HEALTHY MINDS UNIVERSITY
Healthy Minds University (HMU) is a collaborative partnership with Carruth Center for Psychological Services (CCPPS) to extend student mental health services to those who would benefit from longitudinal continuity of care.
Healthy Minds University does not replace the services that Carruth Center for Psychological Services offers, but instead supplements and serves as an additional entry point into the system to ensure access is met.
Supporting Rural Patients
The West Virginia Clinical & Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) program was developed and implemented through funding and support from the WVCTSI, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, WVU School of Medicine, Cabin Creek Health Systems, and The WV Primary Care Association in partnership with Project ECHO®. Primary care providers and primary care teams have an opportunity to expand their knowledge and capabilities in a variety of specialty areas at no cost, delivered right to their clinic using simple video conferencing technology. Since its implementation, the ECHO program has grown to include nine different clinical areas such as HCV/HIV, Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Psychiatry, and Chronic Lung Disease. WVCTSI Project ECHO trained and mentored over 8,000 providers serving rural populations across WV and 20 additional states. To date over 475 de-identified cases were presented and discussed. These numbers demonstrate the value of the program to rural providers by establishing learning collaboratives between the academic medical experts and community clinicians to ensure evidence-based practices are implemented across the state
Superhub Status: The WVCTSI ECHO Program was awarded superhub status from the ECHO Institute in January 2021. A superhub is an ECHO partner that is authorized to provide training, mentoring, and technical assistance to new hubs and support them as they grow their ECHO programs. As one of 33 superhubs globally and one of 15 within the United States, Project ECHO now provides expertise in delivering evidence-based practices to clinicians working in remote areas.
To learn more about WVCTSI Project ECHO and how to participate in an ECHO Project please visit:
FACES OF RNI
“The most rewarding element of my work is the opportunity to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to the aging population and their caregivers during circumstances that can be challenging and confusing for many.”
Assistant Professor / Clinical Neuropsychologist
“As an outpatient provider that works with many college students from across West Virginia and the world, I love the long-term relationships and seeing the progression from a new student adjusting to college all the way to a graduate years later, and hopefully playing a positive role in overcoming some challenges along the way.”
Medical Director of WVU Medicine Healthy Minds University & Assistant Professor
Use of Rapid Response Fentanyl Test Strips as an Opioid Overdose Prevention Strategy
WVU physician Judith Feinberg is a lead primary investigator on an NIH-funded study to investigate the positive and negative consequences of fentanyl test strip use by people who inject drugs. Overdose deaths involving illicitly made fentanyl increased 540% in the United States from 2013–2016 and another 45.2% from 2016–2017, with illicitly made fentanyl- involved deaths outnumbering heroin and prescription opioid deaths for the first time in 2016. The rapid increase in the illicit drug market has led to serious risk due to products of unknown purity and potency. A fentanyl test strip, when exposed to a drug solution, displays one or two red lines, denoting positive or negative results. The test strips are low-cost, making them a reasonable option for overdose prevention programs. Over the past 3 years, community-based organizations in the U.S. and Canada have started to distribute FTS as a primary overdose prevention strategy. Findings from this study will be used to develop primary overdose prevention strategies, thereby advancing the applied research agenda to address the opioid crisis.
Integrating Addiction and Infectious Diseases Services into Primary Care in Rural Settings
HIV Epidemic strategy requires being able to respond quickly to HIV outbreaks and increasing evidence-based treatment and prevention. HIV outbreaks are often linked to the volatile opioid epidemic and occur mostly non-urban settings where specialty services are absent or limited. Consequently, creating models of integrated prevention and treatment for HIV, HCV and opioid use disorder in rural settings is urgently needed and can serve as a model for many vulnerable counties and states.
West Virginia (WV) is one such mostly rural setting with an explosive opioid epidemic manifest by the highest per capita rate of overdoses and 5 counties with recent HIV outbreaks. Most rural settings are poorly equipped to provide specialty HIV and opioid use disorder services. WVU physician, Judith Feinberg has been awarded an NIH grant to address this unmet need by identifying barriers to adoption of treatment services and facilitating the tools needed by providers in rural settings. Treatment will be supported by Project ECHO that provides ongoing clinical support to inspire confidence in treatment, alongside a clinical dashboard to help sustain HIV and opioid use disorder treatment plans. Public health benefits are high given the lack of knowledge known about integrating services into rural primary care clinics.
Optimizing Retention, Duration and Discontinuation Strategies for Opioid Use Disorders
Laura Lander is leading WVU Medicine’s participation in an NIDA-funded study to help understand strategies for treating opioid use disorder. Dropout from treatment is a major barrier to the effectiveness of buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone for treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Clinical trials show that 50% or more of participants drop out of treatment by 3 to 6 months after treatment initiation. Patients who do stay in treatment often eventually ask how long they need to continue medication, and whether it would be safe to discontinue; there is little evidence available to guide responses to these questions. This study will 1) test pharmacologic and behavioral strategies to improve OUD pharmacotherapy treatment retention and to improve outcomes among patients who have achieved stable remission on OUD medications and want to discontinue medication; and 2) identify predictors of successful outcome and develop a stage model of relapse risk.
Tailored Retention and Engagement for Equitable Treatment of OUD and Pain (TREETOP)
Dr. Erin Winstanley, Associate Professor, WVU RNI Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry, is a primary investigator on a study to treat chronic pain and opioid use disorder (OUD). The goal of the TREETOP research program is to improve treatment for individuals with chronic pain and OUD. This program focuses on rural and Black communities that are significantly affected and for whom equitable treatment can be challenging. The TREETOP study consists of two main research projects – Engagement and Retention.
The Engagement research project will explore whether pain self-management can improve pain in patients who have chronic pain. This project will engage primary care patients to receive medication treatment for opioid use disorder. We will recruit patients for this project from several WVU Family Medicine practices.
The Retention research project will explore whether pain self-management and/or flexibly dosed buprenorphine/naloxone can improve pain and retention in patients who have chronic pain and who have started care in an office-based addiction treatment program (OBAT). We will recruit patients for this project from the Comprehensive Opioid Addiction Treatment (COAT) program and from Cabin Creek Health Systems.