In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, we're taking stock of where we've been, and looking ahead to where we are going. We invite you to listen to our Pearls of Wisdom podcast series. Each episode examines a different decade in our network's history, and features conversations with the people who shaped and are shaping the field. In this series, hosts Laurie Krom and Maxine Henry of the ATTC Network Coordinating Office will talk with ATTC staff – past and present – about the history, challenges, and evolution of the network.
Featured guests include: Nancy Roget, Mountain Plains ATTC co-director; Denna Vandersloot, Northwest ATTC co-director; Pat Stilen, former director of the Mid-America ATTC; Lonnetta Albright, former director of the Great Lakes ATTC; Maureen Nichols, South Southwest ATTC director; Todd Molfenter, Great Lakes ATTC co-director; Andrew Wilson, Central East ATTC co-director; Estela Besosa-Martinez, project coordinator of the Northeast and Caribbean ATTC in Puerto Rico; and Abby Roach-Moore, technology transfer specialist with the Opioid Response Network.
In the third episode of our series, host and ATTC NCO co-director Maxine Henry talks with Maureen Nichols, South Southwest ATTC director, and Todd Molfenter Great Lakes ATTC co-director, former executive director of the Great Lakes ATTC, about the growth and change of the network during its third decade.
Maureen Nichols joined the network in 2017, becoming director of the South Southwest ATTC in 2018.
She ne of the most significant challenges in the past decade has been the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the behavioral health workforce. One of the biggest changes has been the rapid rise in telehealth services. But an ongoing impact remains among the workforce.
“There are many fewer people available to provide services in behavioral health then there were at the beginning of this decade that we're talking about," she said. "And that still continues to be a huge challenge for the field. And the folks that are still doing the work are struggling to fill the positions.”
Todd Molfenter became the co-director of the Great Lakes ATTC in 2018. He said a significant focus for the ATTC network during the previous decade has been the evolving opioid crisis in the U.S.
“There’s been a lot of focus around (Medications for Opioid Use Disorder), getting buprenorphine, injectable naltrexone out more… and creating access around that,” he said. “As that improved, the evidence-based practices really began to evolve, the TTC network has been able to really contribute a lot to.”