American Health Dispatch
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As the Special Advisor for the California Bridge Program (CA Bridge), Sarah Windels' work focuses on integrating addiction treatment into the standard healthcare system across the United States. Sarah shares lessons learned from working with expert addiction and emergency medicine physicians in the
development of CA Bridge – integrating low-barrier substance use treatment into over 200 hospitals and emergency departments in California to date. In her previous role as Deputy Program Director, she developed trainings and provided technical assistance for hospital and emergency department physicians to offer medication for addiction treatment. Sarah also worked to underscore the essential role of substance use navigators by encouraging rapid and easily accessed human-centered treatment, resources, and services.
The California Bridge Program (CA Bridge) is leading a transformation in addiction treatment by making treatment for opioid use disorder available 24/7 in every hospital emergency department by 2023. The program is also piloting solutions to address the nation's growing challenges around the use of stimulants. The CA Bridge model emphasizes low-barrier treatment, connection to ongoing care in the community through a substance use navigator, and a culture of harm reduction free of stigma. CA Bridge works with acute care hospitals to train prescribers, nurses, and navigators and to raise awareness of equity issues in substance use treatment. CA Bridge is a program of the Public Health Institute (PHI), working around the globe to strengthen the work and collaboration across some of the most pressing issues in public health.