Skip to the content

Tower Health Recognizes Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence 5th Anniversary

by Reading Hospital - Tower Health

Tower Health Recognizes Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence 5th Anniversary

More than 750 patients enrolled since program inception 

Reading Hospital is recognizing the 5th anniversary of its Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Center of Excellence (COE). Since it opened in 2017, 770 patients have been served by the program, which has 81 active patients today.

The program connects patients to treatment services, including emergency, obstetric and newborn, primary, and mental health care, as well as case management to facilitate medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for addiction, pain management, dental and eye care, and other needed services. Care Coordinators also work with patients to identify and provide support in developing a plan to resolve unmet needs such as housing, childcare, education, vocational skills, employment, transportation, clothing, food, health insurance, and recovery-friendly recreation and activities.

The Reading Hospital OBGYN department, under the leadership of Dr. Mark B. Woodland, applied for and secured the grant from the State of Pennsylvania in December 2016 to offer treatment and support to help expectant mothers experiencing opioid addiction and their newborns dealing with Narcotic Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The program’s first Care Coordinator started in February of 2017, and since then staff has expanded and includes bi-lingual Care Coordinators. The program works with both insured and uninsured patients.

“We know that OUD recovery success requires long-term care including case management,” said Dr. Woodland, Chair, Department of OB/GYN at Reading Hospital. “Our team is dedicated to continuing to fight the opioid epidemic and help our patients, who include our friends and neighbors in the community. It can be difficult to access treatment, so we provide coordinated care to support our patients – which provides a better chance of recovery.”

Opioid addiction is a chronic disease that affects the body, brain, relationships, and economics. Opioids are a type of drug that works in the nervous system that initially generates feelings of pleasure and pain relief. However, use may lead to dependence and addiction which in turn controls individuals making them feel sick without the drug. Addiction to opioids is powerful, and often the addiction leads to compulsive urges, making recovery without treatment extremely difficult.

Signs that someone is abusing opioids and can benefit from treatment include:

Patients who enroll in the program receive assistance with:

Opioid addiction not only causes long-term health problems, but users are also at risk of overdose and death. An overdose occurs when breathing stops or becomes slow or difficult.

Signs of an overdose also include:

If you or someone you care about is experiencing a substance overdose, call 911 immediately. If you need immediate assistance in finding treatment today, please go to an emergency department.

To discuss recovery options, please call us at 484-869-4013 or complete the COE Referral form.