Mason and Partners Clinic Hosts Rep. Jennifer Wexton to Discuss Medication-Assisted Treatment Program
March 9, 2020 / by Michelle Thompson
Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton is a champion for improving access to treatment for addiction. In her first year, the congresswoman has successfully achieved a major legislative victory when the House passed her bill, H.R. 3153, the Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment (EFFORT) Act, which directs the National Science Foundation to support merit-reviewed and competitively awarded research on the science of opioid addiction.
Wexton visited the Manassas Park Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic to see first-hand how this unique bridge Medication Assisted Treatment Mobile Clinic (MAT MOBILE), funded in part by Northern Virginia Health Foundation and managed by George Mason faculty and students, have helped members of her congressional district fight opioid addiction.
As part of the MAT program, the MAP Clinic in Manassas Park delivers free suboxone treatment using a peer recovery specialist model one day a week. To date the Clinic has served more than 40 patients and serves 7 to 14 patients each day the service is offered.
The Clinic works in partnership with the criminal justice system to offer patients who are court-involved a safe transition from jail back into the community. “The first few days after being released from jail is a high-risk time for overdose,” explains Rebecca Sutter, director of the clinic, “Which is why we work with the Adult Detention Center, Community Service Board, and local probation to connect our patients to a high-touch system of support.”
“It’s very impressive,” said Wexton. “I’m so glad to have Mason and Partners in the community.” Wexton said as she toured the facility and met the staff, including Jess Stoler, the licensed practical counselor and Francisco Morin, a Mason DNP student and lead educator at the Clinic.
The MAP Clinic model is based on an academic-practice partnership model to help translate best evidence into practice at scale for the largest possible impact in the community. With the majority of care transitioning from hospitals and emergency departments to the community, facilities such as the MAP Clinic are increasingly important to keeping populations healthy. The MAP Clinic is funded through Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants, a program that has sustained significant budget cuts recently. Thirty-five students and faculty staff the Clinic each day, delivering a range of services throughout the week. Because 70% of the patients are food-insecure, the Clinic also provides a food pantry.
The Manassas Park Clinic is one of 10 MAP clinics located across Northern Virginia. MAP Clinics offer services such as school physicals and immunizations and well-women’s care for underserved populations.