Over the last several years, we have designed and led two programs focused on improving treatment for people with opioid use disorder. Combined, these programs supported more than 70 primary care health centers in California with designing new or expanding existing medications for addiction treatment (MAT) programs. MAT includes FDA-approved medications for OUD: ­methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

The programs increased the number of active MAT prescribers by 150 providers — equivalent to more than two active prescribers per participating clinic. In addition, they led to a combined increase of more than 2,000 patients receiving MAT. Many participants doubled or tripled the number of patients accessing MAT for opioid use disorder. Central to these successes was the creation of learning communities which offered a structured forum to develop new capabilities, share best practices, and discuss lessons learned. We sought to build on this success through a third wave of the collaborative.