Opioid Response

Responding to Alberta’s Crisis

Primary health care has been identified as a source of support and solution for the volume of Opioid Dependent (OD) patients that are stable and want to transition to care in the community. Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services are working on short-term, moderate-term, and long-term solutions for the Opioid Crisis and has invited the ACFP to take part.

ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force was struck in late December 2016 and it has been active ever since. Eleven family physicians have stepped up to work closely with our partners and to gather information on related CPD opportunities, supports, and new initiatives to better equip our members and colleagues in primary care.

ACFP Opioid Response Task Force Members

  • Dr. Justin Balko, Edmonton
  • Dr. Srini Chary, Calgary
  • Dr. Ted Findlay, Calgary
  • Dr. Christine Kennedy, Fort McMurray
  • Dr. Tina Korownyk, Edmonton
  • Dr. Bonnie Larson, Calgary
  • Dr. Jazmin Marlinga, Calgary
  • Dr. Tally Mogus, Edmonton
  • Dr. Jovita Ojadi, Red Deer
  • Dr. Jennifer Walker, Edmonton
  • Dr. Monica Wickland-Weller, Edmonton
  • Ms. Terri Potter, ACFP Executive Director

ACFP Opioid Task Force Releases Recommendations Document

The Task Force is comprised of a variety of family physicians working in high risk communities, chronic pain management, palliative care, comprehensive family practice and emergency rooms. It is the vision of the Task Force to advocate and develop strategies for minor adjustments in provision of services to drastic systemic changes that will support better and more comprehensive care for their patients and, ultimately, reverse the trajectory of the opioid crisis.

The Opioid Recommendations document comments on eight areas that can influence the care of patients with chronic pain, on opioid treatment, with opioid dependency, or opioid use disorder. On each page, there are five patient profiles representing an increase in risk, complexity, and level of care needed. We ask that you please consider the following recommendations based on evidence, experience, and dedication of family physicians who serve patients in this realm.

Primary Health Care Opioid Response Grant Announced

In March 2018, Alberta Health announced a $9.5 million grant (over three years) established for primary health care. The grant supports increased access to services and provide training for primary care providers to offer treatment, medication, and care to patients and families affected by the opioid crisis.

As Secretariat for the grant, the ACFP works alongside with key stakeholders to ensure the response includes engagement and guidance from primary care physicians, their teams, and Primary Care Networks (PCNs), and their patients.

The ACFP’s support and focus in the Opioid Crisis response began since in late 2016 when it struck the Opioid Crisis Response Task Force—it is with their dedication, determination, and also the commitment of the Board, that ACFP remains driven to support the needs of their members and patient communities.

The Alberta College of Family Physicians, Alberta Medical Association (AMA), and Alberta Health Services (AHS), have committed to work together with Alberta Health (AH) to lead this essential work for primary care.

Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative Updates

The ACFP, AMA, AHS, and AH have formed strong, collaborative working relationships to advance the opioid grant work for primary health care.