The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has partnered with local organizations to launch a mobile outreach team, or quick response team (QRT), in Wayne County to help reduce overdoses and overdose fatalities, as well as connect individuals with substance use disorder to treatment.
Multiple organizations in Wayne County are working with the School of Medicine to implement the QRT in the county’s largely rural communities. The QRT incorporates a “meet people where they are” philosophy, meaning that face-to-face encounters are most effective in helping individuals take the first step toward recovery, particularly immediately after an overdose event. QRT members are mobilized to travel throughout the county to meet with individuals and help assess their recovery needs, identify treatment options and overcome barriers to accessing treatment.
As an integrated community QRT, the team works alongside county EMS, law enforcement, volunteer fire departments and peer recovery support specialists to act as a referral system for individuals looking for recovery services. QRT members also maintain contact with overdose survivors who are not ready for treatment and provide them with naloxone and necessary training on how to administer it. The QRT will also work to train more first responders and community members on administering naloxone with ongoing training opportunities.
“I look forward to helping provide this much-needed new service to the people of Wayne County,” said Dawn Streets, Wayne County QRT coordinator. “If we can help save even one life or get one person into recovery, it is all worth the effort.”
Partnering organizations in Wayne County include local fire and EMS agencies, the Kenova Police Department and area businesses.
Funding for this project is provided through grants (#H79TI083313 and #G210730) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response Project and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
Photo: Chris Clark (left) and Kendrick Summers (right) work alongside Wayne County QRT Coordinator Dawn Streets (center) as recovery coaches with the newly formed Wayne County QRT.