Skip to main content

For Immediate Release February 29, 2016


Kevin Cservek:

GLEN BURNIE, MD – The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) jointly with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health (AACDOH) have been awarded a $227,908 federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) to treat individuals suffering from an opiate overdose; most often times from heroin addiction. The grant funding will allow a partnership between UM BWMC and AACDOH using dedicated team members to manage, treat and support the needs of program participants.

“This partnership is a major step in turning the tide of heroin abuse in our county,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh. “The collaboration between the hospital and the health department will make a direct and positive impact on individuals and their families. The program is a tremendous team effort to save and improve the lives of citizens in Anne Arundel County.”

The Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment-Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) grant will fund a full-time nurse coordinator and two full-time peer specialists. These individuals will help coordinate care plans, such as enrolling patients in certified outpatient methadone clinics, and serving as support throughout recovery. The goal is two-fold: to obtain appropriate treatment for those individuals trying to manage their illness and to be able to provide recovery support resources to assist individuals in achieving and sustaining long-term recovery. The program, Overdose Survivors Outreach Services (ODSOS) will focus on the comprehensive care and treatment of individuals in order to reduce recidivism and save lives.

“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this grant which will help to serve our community members who are suffering from addiction, particularly heroin,” said Karen E. Olscamp, President and CEO of UM BWMC. “Unfortunately like many suburban areas across the United States, Anne Arundel County has seen an increase in the number of cases involving heroin overdoses, particularly in the northern part of the county. This partnership with the County Department of Health will allow us to coordinate our efforts and have a lasting impact on the lives of program participants.”

The new model of care at UM BWMC began in January. “An important factor in our ability to combat substance abuse use is to ensure treatment on demand. Not only does this program help provide more streamlined access to treatment for people with an opiate addiction and at high risk for overdose, but it also provides overall support to help them get on the road to recovery,” said County Health Officer Jinlene Chan, M.D., M.P.H., of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health.

According to the AACDOH, 53 people died from heroin-related overdoses in 2014, the most current year available.

The new model of care expects to enroll at least 30 people into treatment during its first year.