A new opioid response team in Philadelphia is pairing paramedics with social service case workers with the goal of getting overdose survivors into treatment.
The SAMHSA grant also allowed the departments to hire an epidemiologist, Emily Bobyock, to track and consolidate data among the various departments and measure the program’s success.
Bobyock said that initially she will look at how many contacts the unit makes, the nature of the contact (whether the unit is being flagged down, stops when it sees someone in distress, or is arriving as a secondary to a medic unit), and how many doses of Narcan are left behind, as well as outcomes such as how many people are accepting treatment and remaining there. Kenney said they will report on the initiative’s progress next month.
By Nina Feldman
Philadelphia has rolled out an emergency response team unlike any other in the nation. The new EMS unit, called AR-2, was announced Wednesday. It has a two-pronged goal: reverse overdoses and connect people to treatment services.
Currently deployed in the Kensington neighborhood, the team is a mix of paramedics, case workers and public health professionals — a model that puts the effort in uncharted territory.
By Michaela Winberg