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Collaboration provides access to treatment services for patients at risk for opioid use disorder

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Geisinger Holy Spirit and the Cumberland Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission, in collaboration with Just for Today Recovery and Veterans Support Services, have established a “warm handoff” program for emergency room patients who are identified as at risk for opioid use disorder.

Patients who come to the Geisinger Holy Spirit emergency department for care and are identified as at risk for opioid use disorder will now have immediate access to resources that support their transition to evidence-based substance abuse treatment. This includes consultations with certified recovery specialists (CRS), peers with lived experience, who can connect patients in active addiction with services to initiate and sustain their recovery.

“Since January 1, more than 100 patients in the Geisinger Holy Spirit emergency department have been identified as at risk for opioid use disorder, so we expect that the program will have a sizable impact on patients in the Cumberland Valley,” said Jordan Barbour, Geisinger’s operations director for addiction medicine. 

Geisinger established a warm handoff program systemwide in January, and has built a screening and referral process for at-risk patients into its electronic health record. A warm handoff program with CRS support is now offered at six Geisinger emergency departments across Pennsylvania, including Geisinger Holy Spirit, Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, and Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital. Since January, the program has identified 700 individuals at risk for an opioid use disorder.

“These warm handoff services are a critical piece of a comprehensive response needed to effectively combat the current opioid epidemic,” said Jack Carroll, executive director of the Cumberland Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission. “Although we’ve seen some progress locally, the number of overdose deaths continues to be unacceptable. Our partnership with Geisinger Holy Spirit and Just For Today helps provide needed outreach services on a 24/7 basis.” 

“When working directly with someone during any phase of a substance use disorder, it is all about compassion, harm reduction, and saving lives,” said Mischelle Moyer, warm handoff program supervisor at Just For Today. “JFT is proud to be a part of all three factors when dealing with the seriousness of battling the disease of addiction. We have an excellent working relationship with the Cumberland Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission and other Cumberland County hospitals, and we are excited to bring our skills and reputation for helping others to Geisinger Holy Spirit as well.”


About Geisinger
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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