Olympia Bupe Clinic Tops 200 Patients – Tackles Both the Opioid and Homelessness Crises

On Thursday April 11, the Olympia Bupe Clinic (OBC) at Capital Recovery Center (CRC) began treatment of its 200th patient, capping a three-month period of rapid growth and service to the community.

The 200th patient was “Misty,” a 21-year-old female who has been living homeless in Olympia. She started injecting heroin two years ago after her father died from an overdose. She wanted to start medication so she could stop using heroin, return home to her mother and start looking for a job.

OBC opened in downtown Olympia on January 9, 2018, according to Jim Wright, CRC’s Executive Director. It is a walk-in clinic that provides same-day access to buprenorphine (often known by the brand name Suboxone®), a highly effective medicine that treats addiction to heroin or prescription pain pills.

“OBC is one of the first clinics in the country designed specifically to treat high risk patients,” said Mr. Wright. “We especially welcome people who have already experienced adverse effects of drug use such as homelessness, jail time or overdose.”

“The people at highest risk have the hardest time getting access to treatment,” according to Dr. Lucinda Grande, OBC’s Medical Director. “To address this problem, we use a harm reduction model. We provide tools for people to make stepwise improvements to their health and safety.”

“Most of our patients are ready to completely give up using heroin,” says Sofi Harnish, RN, the clinic’s nurse care manager. “But we want to serve even those who are not completely ready. Every day on Suboxone is a safer day, when they are not at risk of an overdose.”

Buprenorphine protects against overdose, withdrawal sickness, and opioid craving, and yet it does not produce a drug high, according to Dr. Grande. It allows people to regain stability and make positive life changes.

The clinic makes it easy for patients to get the medicine, eliminating every conceivable barrier. There are no appointments and no cost. The medicine is dispensed on-site at the time of the visit. Peer recovery coaches greet patients and do new intakes, creating a welcoming atmosphere. They also help patients access other resources.

The clinic has two federal funding sources channeled through Washington State – the Medicaid Transformation Demonstration and the State Opioid Response – and has support from the Thurston Mason Behavioral Health Organization. Additionally, Medicaid pays for most clinic visits and medicines.

OBC is making strides against the stubborn problem of homelessness. In a recent survey done at the clinic by Amanda Bohannon, RN, about one-third of patients noted improvement in their housing situation within weeks of starting the medicine. “Most patients had unstable housing,” said Ms. Bohannon. “People are now reconnecting with their families, who are taking them back into their homes. Many have been able to find and keep jobs, and that helps them afford stable housing.”

Widespread stigma and the high cost of housing remain huge challenges, according to Meta Hogan, director of the OBC peer recovery coach program. “We really need to address housing affordability to overcome homelessness,” she said. “But we are excited to see our patients succeeding.”

Ms. Bohannon’s survey also found that improved mood and self-image were nearly universal after starting buprenorphine. Reduction in both chronic pain and non-opioid drug use was common.

The clinic has rapidly expanded and is now seeing up to 26 patients each evening. With such a large demand, the clinic will soon exceed its capacity. “We, unfortunately, may need to start turning patients away,” said Dr. Grande. “The limiting factor is the shortage of available prescribers.”

The medicine is prescribed by a rotating staff of 13 paid and volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, most of whom have other full-time jobs. But few other local medical providers have a “waiver,” which is the certification needed to prescribe buprenorphine to treat addiction. The waiver requires several hours of training to understand the medicine and federal regulations.

“Many potential prescribers have not yet stepped forward,” said Dr. Grande. “I think the biggest problem is that they don’t realize how easy and rewarding this is. We all want to save lives, to make a difference. Serving at OBC is a direct way to do just that.”

A free four-hour partial waiver training will be offered at Providence St. Peter Hospital on Friday, May 17th from 9 AM – 1 PM. Contact joan.ashcraft@providence.org or call 360-493-5583. See the attached media alert.

Mr. Wright passionately believes in OBC’s mission. “I am excited about the rapid progress we have already seen,” he said. “This clinic is having a direct impact on both the opioid and homelessness crises.”

 

Who: Olympia Bupe Clinic at Capital Recovery Center
What: Walk-in clinic for opioid treatment medication (buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone®), same-day treatment, no cost, on-site dispensing. Peer recovery coaches help with basic needs and referrals for long term treatment, counseling, medical care, and housing services.
When: Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capital Recovery Center, 1000 Cherry Street SE, Olympia, WA 98501. (360) 349-0033. olybupeinfo@gmail.com | http://crcoly.org/

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About Capital Recovery Center: Capital Recovery Center (CRC), established in 1989, is a not-for-profit, Washington State Certified Behavioral Health Agency, specializing in Co-Occurring Treatment, which integrates substance use disorder and mental health services.

Capital Recovery Center Opens Olympia Bupe Clinic

January 18, 2019

Olympia, WA – Capital Recovery Center (CRC) is pleased to announce that its Olympia Bupe Clinic (OBC), overseen by Lucinda Grande, MD, is now open Monday through Friday from 4 pm. – 7:30 p.m. at 1000 Cherry Street SE, Olympia.

OBC is a clinic designed to provide very low barrier short-term same-day access to buprenorphine (Suboxone®), a life-saving medicine for treatment of opioid use disorder. The clinic will accept all patients interested in this treatment, with a priority given to those who have already experienced adverse effects of opioid use disorder such as incarceration, medical complications and/or homelessness.

At CRC’s OBC, peer recovery coaches will serve as care navigators to help connect patients with needed services such as medical care. For interested patients, peers in the STR Peer Pathfinder program can help arrange referral for longer-term substance use treatment at one of several comprehensive programs in the region.  The SOR grant will pay for pharmacy services so providers can dispense medications on site. It will also provide funding to hire a nurse care manager, which will greatly increase the capacity of OBC’s rotating staff of 29 prescribing physicians. The SOR grant supplements OBC’s startup funding obtained through partnership with the Cascade Pacific Action Alliance.

Who: Capital Recovery Center

What: Olympia Bupe Clinic, opioid treatment medication for comfort and safety and peer support for recovery. Everyone is welcome. On-site dispensing. Walk in clinic with same-day treatment and no charge for medication. Peer support; we’ll help with basic needs and accessing resources, referrals for long term treatment, counseling and housing services.

When: Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Capital Recovery Center’s Olympia Bupe Clinic, 1000 Cherry Street SE, Olympia, WA 98501. (360) 349-0033. olybupeinfo@gmail.com | http://crcoly.org/

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About Capital Recovery Center: Capital Recovery Center, established in 1989, is a not-for profit, Washington State Certified Behavioral Health Agency, specializing in Co-Occurring Treatment, which integrates substance use disorder and mental health services. With integrated treatment, we can best serve individuals and improve outcomes for recovery.

2019 Homeless Count – Point in Time (PIT) Census

The Annual Point in Time (PIT) Homeless Census is the way we learn who is homeless and why.  This “point in time” one day count was first pioneered by Olympia area service providers and soon thereafter adopted by the state as the singular annual measurement tool to help guide the investment of federal, state and local funding.

Each year in late January, service providers and volunteers use a confidential questionnaire to gather data, which is entered into a Statewide database called the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to be tracked, analyzed and reported on.  Please note the total PIT Homeless Census number includes people who are:

1)  Unsheltered  living out-of-doors, in vehicles, in sub-standard buildings not fit for human habitation;
2)  Emergency Shelter Short-term 90 day accommodations, either dormitory style or in apartments; and
3)  Transitional Housing Short term housing offering 18 months or less.

In Thurston County, the Census will take place on Thursday, January 24, 2019. For more information about volunteering and donating needed supplies, click here.

In Mason County, the Census will take place on Friday, January 25, 2019.

Crossroads Housing, Community Lifeline, Mason County Public Health, Turning Pointe and HOST homes are collaborating to solicit donations for Mason County’s Homeless Census. These community partners will serve homeless families, homeless individuals, domestic violence survivors, and unaccompanied youth. They would be grateful for a donation of any type or amount. They are specifically looking for:

  • Hats/gloves
  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags meant for colder weather
  • Tarps
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights or lanterns
  • Propane bottles
  • Pop top nonperishable cans of food
  • White cotton or wool socks
  • Bottled water
  • Hot hand and foot warmers
  • Quick dry thermal underwear
  • Dog food

Homeless individuals and families are invited to a free lunch where they’ll be able to collect clothing and cold weather supplies as well as receive haircuts on January 25 at two Mason County locations:

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Community Lifeline, 218 N 3rd Street in Shelton.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at North Mason Resources, 140 NE State Route 300, Belfair.

Capital Recovery Center Hires Medical Director, Lucinda Grande, MD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 20, 2018

Capital Recovery Center Hires Medical Director, Lucinda Grande, MD

Olympia, WA – Capital Recovery Center (CRC) is pleased to announce that Lucinda Grande, MD, has accepted the position of Medical Director at CRC and its Olympia Bupe Clinic, which CRC will open in early 2019.

Dr. Grande is a board-certified family physician with six years of experience prescribing buprenorphine at her primary care practice at Pioneer Family Practice in Lacey, where she is a partner. She currently has 75 patients on this treatment. Dr. Grande is a buprenorphine waiver training course instructor through the American Association of Addiction Psychiatry. She advocates at the state and national levels for wider access to opioid treatment medications in correctional institutions, hospitals and drug treatment facilities.

CRC received a two-year State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from the Washington State Healthcare Authority to open the Olympia Bupe Clinic (OBC). OBC is a clinic designed to provide very low barrier short-term same-day access to buprenorphine, a life-saving medicine for treatment of opioid use disorder. The clinic will accept all patients interested in this treatment, with a priority given to those who have already experienced adverse effects of opioid use disorder such as incarceration, medical complications and/or homelessness.

At CRC’s OBC, peer recovery coaches will serve as care navigators to help connect patients with needed services such as medical care. For interested patients, peers in the STR Peer Pathfinder program can help arrange a referral for longer-term substance use treatment at one of several comprehensive programs in the region.  The SOR grant will pay for pharmacy services so providers can dispense medications on site. It will also provide funding to hire a nurse care manager, which will greatly increase the capacity of OBC’s rotating staff of 29 prescribing physicians. The SOR grant supplements OBC’s startup funding obtained through a partnership with the Cascade Pacific Action Alliance.

 

About Capital Recovery Center: Capital Recovery Center, established in 1989, is a not-for profit, Washington State Certified Behavioral Health Agency, specializing in Co-Occurring Treatment, which integrates substance use disorder and mental health services. With integrated treatment, we can best serve individuals and improve outcomes for recovery.

Greetings!

Greetings from CRC’s Executive Director! The blog feature is new on the website and we’d like to use it more often and keep everyone up to date with our progress.

Many of you know we have structured CRC so that it resembles community college. All groups and classes are on a quarter basis, so at the end of every quarter, each participant reviews goals, sets new goals, and signs up for new groups and classes. As a result, our days are more structured and participants seem to be making rapid progress. We have a number of participants preparing to go “out into the world,” to work or volunteer, to spend less of their time in this safe space that is CRC and more of their time with the community at large. This is our goal: that everyone can reclaim a full life in the community.

As we end January and prepare to welcome February, we invite you to see what CRC is doing in the community. We have so much going on: the community mental health agency (our Peer program), the PATH program conducting outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness, the Downtown Ambassador Program keeping the city clean and safe, and the Supportive Reentry Services helping returning citizens out of incarceration get a successful start on the rest of their lives.

Look for updates on a semi-regular basis!

Ann Rider

Blog #1

Welcome to our new and improved website!

We are excited to have a site that more reflects who we are at Capital Recovery Center. This is a great beginning to the new year and complements the tone of our community at this time. We view CRC as a community, which is closely connected to the larger community in Olympia. As members of our community participants have an opportunity to help shape our programs and our culture. We have progressed a lot in the last year and continue to cultivate community here. We are proud to share a piece of this community through this blog, and perhaps catch interest of those interested in joining us in our recovery journey… happy 2016!