ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation today announced the national expansion of Project Lifeline, a 15-month community partnership and research program led by the University of Pittsburgh’s Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) to address substance use disorder (SUD).
The NACDS Foundation is committing $900,000 to the project extension.
“We are thrilled to announce the NACDS Foundation’s very first national scaling and expansion effort. The Project Lifeline expansion has the potential to reach even more patients in their moments of highest need, and to provide more communities with essential access to critical screenings and life-saving measures,” said NACDS Foundation President Sara Roszak. “We look forward to continuing the momentum behind the first two phases of the Project Lifeline Program – alongside the talented University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation and Research Unit – to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the Program more broadly.”
Project Lifeline is a multi-pronged public health initiative providing educational and technical support to community pharmacies and pharmacy teams implementing evidence-based screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) services for SUD and opioid use disorder (OUD) among at-risk populations — and offering harm reduction support and wraparound care, such as administering vaccinations, providing referrals for HIV testing and promoting access to naloxone.
The first two phases of the Project Lifeline Program — led by the PERU team — took place in Blair County and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The goal of this national expansion effort is to implement up to 50 programs across five regions nationwide — and to support the sustainability of substance use disorder care and screening across target regions in the U.S. with the support of Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).
The NACDS Foundation prioritizes forward-thinking, community-focused projects that address gaps in healthcare access, especially in vulnerable and underserved populations. Additionally, the NACDS Foundation seeks to explore new care delivery models that have the potential to uncover solutions to the most pressing public health issues through dissemination of research findings.
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