Managing pain and substance abuse disorders at Harborview Medical Center

September 13, 2017

This program is a nominee for the 2017 Community Health Leadership Award.

The opioid crisis is a health care hydra: it is a problem with many heads. While opioids are powerful and useful medications, they also come with high risk of starting a life-long addiction.

Harborview Medical Center is working across the continuum to help meet patient needs and protect community safety. The Pain and Addictions Strategic Oversight Committees integrate the work of multiple programs and departments that care for patients with complex pain control challenges and substance use disorders. This work includes:

  • Education on safe prescribing practices and prevention;
  • Alternatives to opioids for pain management;
  • Focused treatment for opioid use disorder;
  • Integrating specialty and expert primary care for pain, addiction and mental health in primary care and in addiction treatment centers;
  • Partnership with other King County community partners and Washington State to expand medication-assisted treatment; and
  • Using best care and data to reduce opioid use.

(Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)


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Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

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