Share This

Pew Grant Supports Region’s First ‘Bridge Program’

 3 min read

Jefferson announces $250,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to coordinate holistic addiction care in Philadelphia

Thomas Jefferson University has received a $250,000 grant over two years from the Pew Charitable Trusts to support its Center for Supportive Healthcare’s Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program. First-of-its-kind in Philadelphia, this innovative program is a new approach to service delivery, forging vital connections and coordinating care between acute hospital treatment and outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, primary care and social services all under one program.

“Jefferson is grateful for the generosity of the Pew Charitable Trusts,” said Lara Carson Weinstein, MD, MPH, DrPH, professor of family medicine and co-lead of the Center for Supportive Healthcare. “Their vision and leadership will enable the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Consult and Bridge Program to establish the gold standard in outpatient complex care for people who use drugs for the Philadelphia region, offering hope for marginalized populations whose needs are not well met by the existing systems.”

The grant will also enhance the work of the Jefferson Addiction Multidisciplinary Service consult service (JAMS). Many people with SUD leave the hospital before their treatment is complete because of intolerable withdrawal symptoms and find it difficult to re-access care because of stigma and siloed systems. These services are designed to better meet the complex mental, behavioral, and physical health needs of people with substance use disorders, building on SUD treatment initiated during acute hospitalizations and improving patient engagement and success in recovery post-discharge.

“Pew is providing an essential resource in advancing this important work,” said Rebecca C. Jaffe, MD, associate professor of medicine and division director of hospital medicine. “Patients with opioid and substance use disorders are extremely vulnerable to the fragmentation of acute hospitalization and complex transitions of care. Their journeys are all the more harrowing as a result of difficult to manage withdrawal, stigma, and isolation.”

This two-year Venture Grant will enable the bridge program to respond more quickly to emerging concerns and expand service reach to aid in post-discharge follow-up and recovery.