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Volume 6 │ Winter 2023

Turning Pages

UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence Newsletter

Supporting rural communities as they write

a new chapter in the effort to overcome the overdose crisis.

Chapter Six

Building a Network: Listening, Learning, and Shining a Light

In This Issue

Carolyn Chaudhary, MPH, Community Outreach Coordinator


My name is Carolyn Chaudhary and I want to hear from you.

As Community Outreach Coordinator for UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence, my goal is to connect with you to listen and learn about your approach to addressing substance use disorder (SUD) in your rural community, shine a light on the good work you are doing, and discuss best practices our center is disseminating that may help to boost your efforts or fill any gaps you might have.

I greatly value my conversations with those of you on the front lines helping people with SUD. I live in a rural town in Appalachian New York State so see firsthand how rural communities can be challenged in addressing the complexities of SUD and establishing a robust system of care and recovery.

Through the center’s outreach activities, including my conversations, we are building a network of collaborators—committed people in rural communities from across the U.S. discussing challenges, sharing strategies, helping to improve our best practices, and learning from and supporting each other in the quest to reduce the harmful effects of SUD. Please join us!

The center also offers direct assistance to help rural communities with your initiatives and with implementation of best practices.

Please contact me I am eager to learn about what you are doing in your community and explore how we can help.

Carolyn Chaudhary

Increasing Awareness About New 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides a fast way for people experiencing a suicidal, mental health, or SUD crisis to urgently get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This new national service can be particularly important for rural communities, extending the capacity of mental health and SUD services and suicide prevention programs to ensure more people in crisis—and family and friends concerned about someone who is—can access help.

Our new resource page provides information about the lifeline, how it works in rural areas, and tools to help you spread the word about this life-saving service. As you do so, we hope you will share your feedback and learnings from your community with us.

Module on Stimulant Use Added to Training for Primary Care Practices

We aim to provide resources that help communities respond to the changing landscape of the SUD crisis. A new module in our web-based training for the treatment of SUD in primary care addresses the rise in overdose deaths involving psychostimulants. In the module, Gloria Baciewicz, MD, discusses the current wave of stimulant use, including methamphetamine and cocaine, and recent patterns involving multiple stimulants and lethal synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The training reviews validated screening tools for stimulant use disorder and provides an overview of emerging and established evidence-based treatment options.

The comprehensive training program (currently six modules, with more to come) is available at no cost and provides continuing education credit. Developed through a pilot program in rural Appalachian New York State, it contains some details specific to that region while also applying to primary care practices anywhere in the country.

Building a Comprehensive System of Care for SUD in Rural Communities

Drawing on our experience developing an Ecosystem of Recovery in the Southern Tier Region of New York, the center is offering workshops to help rural communities foster connections among providers and organizations, mobilize leadership, and develop sustainable systems of care that support prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Workshops help communities develop a vision for their own Ecosystem of Recovery, identify local champions who can drive program development, and identify and resolve obstacles that make change difficult. In addition, the center will offer regular online office hours that will serve as a forum for discussion with faculty from our center and with other workshop participants working toward related goals. Office hours will be every third Monday, 3-4 p.m., beginning April 17, 2023.

Contact our Program Assistance to learn more.

Sharing Practices Across the Country

Along with connecting and learning through outreach and workshops, the center is sharing best practices and strategies with rural communities around the country. Recently we took part in the following events:

Celebration of National Rural Health Day (November 17, 2022)

The center participated in a Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Grantee Stories webinar, focused on ways to advance behavioral health equity. Michele Lawrence presented on “Creating Systems of Care for Behavioral Health.”

RCORP-Rural Centers of Excellence Showcase Webinar (December 13, 2022)

We joined our fellow Rural Centers of Excellence—the Fletcher Group and the University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction—for a showcase webinar hosted by HRSA. The three centers introduced new RCORP grantees to the resources and support they are providing to rural communities.

We look forward to learning more about the needs of your community and assisting you in your efforts to bring about positive change. Reach out to our Program Assistance to start a conversation.

Connect with us on social media.

Let's build a network together.

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This HRSA RCORP RCOE program is supported by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $15.7M with 0% financed with non-governmental sources.

The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by HRSA, HHS or the US Government.