ATTC's Pearls of Wisdom: Driving Integrated Knowledge Transfer and Implementation Via Collaboration

 By Oscar Morgan, Central East ATTC

Since joining the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network in 2001, the Central East ATTC has endeavored to provide training and technical assistance (T/TA) that includes promoting gender, racial, sexual orientation equity, and cultural considerations. In addition to influencing people's experiences in the behavioral health system, these diverse identity markers also contribute to understanding the value of each individual.

We provide T/TA on evidence-based and promising practices for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services to substance misuse professionals and others in HHS Region 3 (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia) according to identified regional needs. We use proven technology transfer strategies and practices to heighten awareness, disseminate information and promote the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices that address substance use/misuse in real-time.

Methods include: 

  • skills-based training; 
  • targeted and intensive technical assistance; 
  • development of handouts, guides, and toolkits; and 
  • both virtual and in-person training.

Our center serves as a resource to collect, store, disseminate, and implement substance misuse disorders evidenced-based practices that emphasize a public health approach. The bedrock of our T/TA is the recognition that recovery is a process involving person-centered care, which improves health, and wellness resulting in an individual’s ability to thrive in communities of their choice. Our T/TA approach also recognizes the multi-faceted nature of substance misuse and the myriad of individual, social and environmental factors that influence substance misuse.

Throughout our history, we have prioritized collaboration as a crucial component of our mission to strengthen the capability, skills, and knowledge of professionals in substance use disorder treatment and recovery as well as the public health workforce as a whole in HHS Region 3. We engage with researchers, subject matter experts, behavioral health professionals and organizations, state and local behavioral health authorities, universities, consumers, peers, families, veterans and members of the military, community coalitions, social service groups, faith-based organizations, ethnic-minority-specific organizations, LGBTQ+ serving organizations, and other stakeholders.

A unique collaboration for our Center is with the Mid-AtlanticTraining Collaborative for Health and Human Services (MATCHHS), managed by the Office of Regional Operations- Region III. MATCHHS is composed of the HHS-Region 3-funded training and technical assistance centers with complementary missions. The Central East ATTC role within this collaborative is to ensure that the needs of people with substance misuse, substance use disorder or other behavioral health disorders are addressed in every health and human service setting through the implementation of evidence-based practices.

MATCHHS works to strengthen the capabilities of the public health workforce to support delivering high-quality services throughout our region. Collectively, we employ evidence-based and promising practices and data-informed solutions that focus on the adverse interactions between social conditions and diseases.  This fosters a better understanding of substance misuse prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Together, we work to reimagine, transform, and sustain health and human service systems in an equitable manner so that the needs of individuals with substance misuse and/or other behavioral health disorders in our region are met. Under the integration of behavioral health care into the public health system, we have trained over 8,100 providers.

About the author:

Oscar Morgan has more than 35 years of experience working with state behavioral health systems, organizations, and treatment practitioners. He has dedicated his work to strengthening their capacity,  skills, and knowledge in providing integrated culturally and linguistically competent behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for children, youth, and adults who have and/or at-risk of developing serious emotional disturbances/serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders. He is the project director of the HHS Region 3, Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, Prevention Technology Transfer Center, and the executive director of The Danya Institute, Silver Spring, MD.  Mr. Morgan is a former mental health commissioner for the state of Maryland. He has held senior-level management positions in a variety of state and national behavioral health organizations.  He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and Master’s Degree in Health Care Services Administration from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 

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