Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based addiction treatment, was recently awarded a first-of-its-kind contract by the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MADOC) to provide in-prison medication-assisted treatment to offenders with opioid use disorders on a statewide basis. Spectrum has worked closely with the Massachusetts correctional system since 1993, delivering a range of substance use disorder (SUD) and recidivism reduction programming under contract to MADOC.
Spectrum is well suited to partner with the Department on this critical initiative,” said Jennifer Gaffney, Deputy Commissioner of Reentry and Clinical Services. “Our long-standing relationship with Spectrum spans twenty-seven years. Through our mutual efforts, we have developed and implemented treatment programs that have demonstrated significant reductions in recidivism. Spectrum’s extensive knowledge of MADOC paired with its vast experience in providing medications for opioid use disorders will help ensure a smooth and successful implementation of this significant undertaking.”
Spectrum’s Chief Medical Officer, Jeffrey Baxter, M.D., will provide executive leadership of all medical services delivered under the new contract. Board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Dr. Baxter is an expert in the treatment of opioid use disorders and has extensive experience in designing, implementing and administering medication-assisted treatment in both community-based and institutional settings.
Other key staff include Dr. Sharif Nankoe, recently hired to serve as Medical Director; longtime Spectrum employee Tracey Desruisseaux, who was promoted to State Director of DOC MAT Services; and Kristin Nolan, SVP of Behavioral Health, who will be responsible for administrative oversight of the estimated $43.5 million, four-year contract.
As of October, Spectrum has initiated programming at MCI Framingham, South Middlesex Correctional Institution, Shirley Medium and Cedar Junction. Additional programs will be phased in over the next twelve months until services are provided on a statewide basis.
Spectrum’s existing presence in the community and established relationships with other providers will allow for continuity of services for inmates upon release. For years, Spectrum has been a pioneer in the delivery of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, reducing barriers to access and providing all three FDA-approved medications through a continuum of care that includes two inpatient campuses and a statewide network of fifteen outpatient treatment programs. In addition, Spectrum’s statewide Recovery Support Navigator program is designed to help inmates access MAT and substance use counseling in the community.
“We’re able to provide a seamless transition for inmates in our care utilizing any form of medication-assisted treatment by connecting them directly to one of Spectrum’s fifteen community-based treatment centers after their release,” explained Kristin Nolan. “For inmates facing access barriers, Spectrum has the capacity to continue their treatment within our network until they’re able to locate a provider closer to home. Treatment continuity is especially important because inmates reentering society have an elevated risk of overdose, due to their reduced tolerance resulting from their prolonged abstinence during incarceration.”
In the past year, Spectrum also expanded into several county correctional systems in Massachusetts. Spectrum was awarded contracts by the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department to provide a range of substance use disorder treatment programming for inmates and detainees under the County’s supervision. Spectrum also provides medication-assisted treatment for the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department.
Spectrum’s leadership continues to pursue new program development opportunities across the country and welcomes inquiries from interested parties seeking effective treatment solutions. To learn more about Spectrum Health Systems, visit www.spectrumcorrections.org or call 1-508-792-5400. For information about career openings at Spectrum, please visit our careers page.
About Spectrum Health Systems
Based in Worcester, Mass. and founded in 1969, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, non-profit substance use and mental health treatment provider. Spectrum offers the largest and most complete continuum of addiction treatment in New England — including inpatient detoxification, residential rehabilitation, outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment and peer recovery support. Spectrum’s Correctional Treatment Division was established in 1993 to provide specialized, individualized, trauma-informed treatment to offenders with histories of chronic substance use. Today, Spectrum operates a wide range of correctional treatment programs in prison and community-based settings, serving nearly 6,500 offenders/probationers each day.