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Opioid Crisis Response Task Force

In December 2016, in response to the crisis, ACFP Board of Directors struck a Task Force of dedicated family physicians working directly with patients in various practice settings. Our Task Force and staff have been working closely with membership, stakeholders and partners and to gather information on barriers, variance in care pathways, system changes required, continuing professional development needed, and the need for new initiatives that would better equip our members and colleagues to care for their patients and change the trajectory of the opioid crisis.

The Opioid Crisis Response (OCR) Task Force is comprised of a variety of family physicians working in high risk communities, chronic pain management, palliative care, comprehensive family practice and emergency rooms. It is the vision of the Task Force to advocate and develop strategies for minor adjustments in provision of services to drastic systemic changes that will support better and more comprehensive care for their patients and, ultimately, reverse the trajectory of the opioid crisis.

ACFP OCR Task Force: Recommendations Document

This comprehensive reference book offers recommendations on eight system areas that can influence better care for patients with chronic pain, on opioid treatment, with opioid dependency, with opioid use disorder, or those with imminent risk of morbidity or mortality. It is the hope of the ACFP that this booklet will act as a catalyst for open discussion, positive change, and investment into solving some of the systemic issues that have contributed to the opioid crisis and other chronic disease management challenges.

Task Force Members

Ms. Terri Potter (Chair), Executive Director, ACFP/PHC Opioid Response Initiative Secretariat, Edmonton
Dr. Helen Bouman, Calgary
Dr. Simon Colgan, Calgary
Dr. Ted Findlay, Calgary
Dr. Christine Kennedy, Fort McMurray
Dr. Tina Korownyk, Edmonton
Dr. Jazmin Marlinga, Calgary
Dr. Tally Mogus, Edmonton
Dr. Jovita Ojadi, Red Deer
Dr. Cathy Scrimshaw, Pincher Creek
Dr. Monica Wickland-Weller, Edmonton

Charter

Alberta Health, together with AHS, Zones, PCNs, AMA, ACFP and other stakeholders, is working on short term, moderate term and long-term solutions to the current opioid crisis. Primary Health Care has been identified as a source of support and solution for the volume of Opioid Dependent (OD) patients that are stable and want to transition to care in the community.

The ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force is a special task force formed by the Alberta College of Family Physicians.

Charter

Alberta Health, together with AHS, Zones, PCNs, AMA, ACFP and other stakeholders, is working on short term, moderate term and long-term solutions to the current opioid crisis. Primary Health Care has been identified as a source of support and solution for the volume of Opioid Dependent (OD) patients that are stable and want to transition to care in the community.

The ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force is a special task force formed by the Alberta College of Family Physicians.

PURPOSE

  • The Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) has the opportunity and capacity to provide leadership, advocacy, education and partnership to support and implement solutions.
  • The ACFP has a strong working relationship with partners in the health care system and has been asked to contribute to the solution finding and implementation process.
  • The purpose of the Task Force will be to discuss issues and recommendations related to the opioid crisis and how it affects or can be influenced by primary care, and to inform the participation, input, and response of the ACFP and other partners representing primary care in system level work.

SCOPE

In Scope

  • A venue to discuss and gain understanding the opioid crisis from the perspective of family physicians in a frontline primary care, community setting.
  • To clarify the position and key messages of family physicians with regard to the opioid crisis and response.
  • To make recommendations and advise representatives that are working with the Federal Government, Alberta Government, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services on a broad system wide response to the opioid crisis.
  • To advise on the ACFP approach to leadership, advocacy, communication, education and partnership initiatives in response to the crisis.

Out of Scope

  • To negotiate funding or legislative changes for family physicians caring for those with opioid dependency
  • To be accountable or responsible for the implementation of the final recommendations for opioid crisis response in primary care.

TYPE OF COMMITTEE

The ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force is an advisor to the ACFP Board and leadership.

ACCOUNTABILITY

The ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force will report to the ACFP Board.

MEMBERSHIP

The ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force will seek to have a broad member representation including community family physicians, academic family physicians and family physicians with leadership roles within Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. All members are required to be members in good standing with the ACFP.

The Chair shall be the President or designate of the ACFP Board.

DURATION OF TASK FORCE

Task Force members will be asked to serve a minimum of one-year term and if the Task Force and/or Board of Directors deems it necessary to remain active, a second term will be recommended, and members will be asked to serve a second one-year term.

SUPPORT STAFF

The ACFP Executive Director shall be the responsible senior staff director and shall be supported by the ACFP staff team.

MEETINGS

Meetings will be called by the Chair. It is expected that the Task Force will meet monthly by teleconference or web-based meeting and have ongoing communication via email between meetings. The Task Force may wish to meet face-to-face from time to time.

Primary Health Care Opioid Response Grant Announced

In March 2018, Alberta Health announced a $9.5 million grant (over three years) established for primary health care. The grant supports increased access to services and provide training for primary care providers to offer treatment, medication, and care to patients and families affected by the opioid crisis.

As Secretariat for the grant, the ACFP works alongside with key stakeholders to ensure the response includes engagement and guidance from primary care physicians, their teams, and Primary Care Networks (PCNs), and their patients.

The ACFP’s support and focus in the Opioid Crisis response began since in late 2016 when it struck the Opioid Crisis Response Task Force—it is with their dedication, determination, and also the commitment of the Board, that ACFP remains driven to support the needs of their members and patient communities.

The Alberta College of Family Physicians, Alberta Medical Association (AMA), and Alberta Health Services (AHS), have committed to work together with Alberta Health (AH) to lead this essential work for primary care.

Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative Updates

The ACFP, AMA, AHS, and AH have formed strong, collaborative working relationships to advance the opioid grant work for primary health care.