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Rural Health Information Hub

Penobscot Community Health Care

  • Project Title: Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Grant Period: FY19 RCORP Implementation Grant (09/2019 – 08/2022)
  • Program Representatives Interviewed: Michelle Foose, Grants Manager; Amanda Gagnon, Recovery Program Manager
  • Location: Bangor, Maine
  • Program Overview: Penobscot Community Health Care's (PCHC) medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program serves patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural Maine communities. PCHC is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the state and offers MAT services in a primary care setting or through their treatment program. Patients typically received MAT services in the primary care setting after they participated in the treatment program, which includes behavioral health services via group therapy sessions.

    PCHC's partners are integral to the program's success and include the Waldo County Sheriff's Office, a Critical Access Hospital, the Reentry Center, Volunteers of America Northern New England, and the Restorative Justice Project. The sheriff's office and Volunteers of America Northern New England created a community liaison position. This individual has both lived experience with substance use disorder as well as recovery coach experience and communicates with the sheriff's office to help connect patients to services. PCHC serves Medicaid and uninsured patients, and the primary referral source is word of mouth.

    The program focuses on recovery, meeting patient needs, and reducing stigma and barriers to treatment. Program coordinators ask patients a series of survey questions to determine their needs during intake into PCHC's program. This is how program staff determine what additional services and resources with which to connect the patient, such as housing, transportation, food, and primary care. PCHC has also partnered with a local hospital to develop an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) intended to improve community health outcomes.

Models represented by this program: