LiveSmart: Care Providers Partnering to Combat Opioid Addiction

[This piece was written by Jessica Wright, CASAC, LMHC, coordinator for Project ECHO, Behavioral Health Services at St. Peter’s Health Partners.]

The opioid addiction crisis is a public health emergency in New York state. In the battle to combat the epidemic, St. Peter’s Health Partners has several initiatives underway, the newest of which is Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes).

Project ECHO is a well-established care model with nationwide success. SPHP is launching Project ECHO in the Capital Region to expand the network of providers – with an emphasis on primary care physicians – who can support medication-assisted treatment of opioid-use disorders.

Project ECHO dramatically increases access to specialty treatment by providing primary care and other front-line physicians with the knowledge and support they need to manage patients with complex conditions, such as opioid-use disorders. It does this by partnering with those physicians and providing them with virtual access to a team of SPHP addiction specialists representing a variety of disciplines (e.g. psychiatry, nursing, social work, psychology, and pharmacy).

The physicians and the SPHP addictions team come together once a week utilizing internet-based videoconferencing. The virtual meeting provides physicians from throughout the Capital Region, particularly ones in rural and underserved areas, with an opportunity to receive training on how best to provide the specialized care those patients battling opioid-use disorders need.

Project ECHO represents another tool in SPHP’s efforts to provide complete health care to individuals struggling with opioid addiction. SPHP provides support and a safe place for individuals with a variety of addictions, providing access to outpatient, inpatient and detoxification treatment sites throughout the Capital Region. Treatment services include:

  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Medically managed withdrawal
  • Medical evaluation and stabilization
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Medication management
  • Comprehensive treatment and discharge planning
  • Suboxone and opiate treatment services
  • Spirituality and 12-step groups

For those specifically struggling with opioid addiction, St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center (SPARC) and St. Mary’s Campus of Samaritan Hospital operate four outpatient treatment sites that provide assessment, symptom relief, and care coordination for individuals seeking assistance. In addition, they provide access to community-based services to ensure ongoing success in the individual’s recovery program.

Care is provided at:

St. Peter’s Hospital
315 South Manning Blvd., Albany

Providing ambulatory detox services, with new patients admitted to service via the emergency department at St. Peter’s Hospital and Albany Memorial Hospital.

St. Mary’s Campus of Samaritan Hospital
1300 Massachusetts Ave., Troy

Providing ambulatory detox services with walk-in admission Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Outside of regular business hours, patients admitted via the emergency department at Samaritan Hospital.

SPARC Cohoes
55 Mohawk Street, Cohoes

Providing ancillary withdrawal services Monday through Friday; accepting new patients Monday through Thursday.

SPARC Central Avenue
845 Central Avenue, Albany

Providing ancillary withdrawal services Monday through Friday; accepting new patients Monday through Thursday.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call the SPARC Admissions Department at 518-452-6700 or the St. Mary’s ambulatory detox at 518-268-5005. Visit us at for more information.

Physicians interested in participating in Project ECHO should contact Jessica Wright at

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