Foundations, UMass Memorial Health Hold Second Prescriber Training to Improve Access to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

April 16, 2024


Media Contact:
Alanna Fusco, RIZE Massachusetts Foundation
Phone: (857) 991-1195; Email:

Foundations, UMass Memorial Health Hold Second Prescriber Training to Improve Access to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Reliant Foundation and RIZE Massachusetts, in partnership with the UMass Memorial Health Road to Care team and UMass Chan Medical School, will offer a free continuing medical education (CME) conference on April 29 for providers to fulfill new federal training requirements and improve access to opioid use disorder treatment in the region.

The daylong training session, “Transforming Care: Harm Reduction, Overdose Prevention and Management of Opioid Use Disorder,” gives providers from different health systems and private practices the opportunity to immerse themselves in a comprehensive learning experience led by experts in the field. The conference can be
attended in person or remotely.

This is the second training conference sponsored by the foundations, which provided more than $150,000 in total grant funding to advance prescriber education and opioid use disorder treatment in primary care settings throughout Central Massachusetts. The project aims to reduce barriers to access to treatment in the region,
especially in underserved rural communities.

“We are pleased to partner on this training opportunity that will increase the number of providers who are equipped with the latest tools to tackle the ongoing overdose epidemic and the number of residents who will benefit from expanded access to opioid use disorder treatment in the region,” said Dr. Amie Shei, President and
CEO of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.

The first session held in December was attended by more than 100 doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners from primary care and medical specialties. “Providers across the region are eager for more information and tools; this training gives them the confidence, ability and support to deliver evidence-based care and effective treatment for individuals with substance use disorder,” said Dr. Kavita Babu, Chief Opioid Officer at UMass Memorial Health and professor of emergency medicine at UMass Chan Medical School in

These training opportunities follow passage of the federal Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, which aims to standardize substance use disorder training to ensure that providers possess baseline knowledge in evidence-based treatments and to normalize substance use disorder treatment in the primary care
setting. All DEA-registered providers are required to receive at least eight hours of training in pain
management, prescribing practices and medications for addiction treatment for substance use disorders.

The conference will be held on April 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Wellsworth Hotel, 14 Mechanic St., Southbridge, with breakfast and lunch provided. The session will also be offered via Zoom. Register here.

About The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts is dedicated to improving the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts, with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations and unmet needs. Through its unique and impactful approach to grantmaking, the Foundation supports community-identified health issues, with health defined broadly to include social determinants of health and with a focus on promoting health equity. As a health conversion foundation launched in 1999 following the sale of the not-for-profit HMO Central Massachusetts Health Care Inc., the Foundation’s grants have totaled over $52 million to more than 200 unique organizations over its history. For more information, visit

About UMass Memorial Health

UMass Memorial Health is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with 17,000 employees and 2,100 physicians. Our comprehensive system includes UMass Memorial Medical Center, UMass Memorial Health – Harrington, UMass Memorial Health – Health Alliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial
Health – Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Health – Community Healthlink, and UMass Memorial Medical Group. We are the clinical partner of UMass Chan Medical School. For more information, visit

About Reliant Foundation

Established in 1988, Reliant Foundation is an independent public charity, not affiliated with any health care facility or medical group, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and MetroWest regions of Massachusetts. As a 501(c)3 charity, the Foundation offers grants to nonprofit organizations within its service area for the purpose of supporting programs that battle critical community health issues like substance use disorder, and children’s mental health. Our charity partners work with thousands of individuals in our community to provide life-saving recovery coaching, mental health and behavioral health, and impactful education and initiatives to reduce the stigma around these issues. For more information, please visit

About RIZE Massachusetts

RIZE Massachusetts is the only public-private partnership solely dedicated to funding and creating solutions to end the overdose crisis.  Guided by those with lived experience and unafraid of new ideas, RIZE is building networks, designing programming, and supporting community partners who are using novel approaches to preventing overdose.  Since 2017, RIZE has granted over $13 million to community organizations in Massachusetts.  Learn more at