CHICAGO, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The pandemic is making substance use issues, including the opioid crisis, worse. Illinois state officials project that overdoses will kill more than 2,700 Illinoisans in 2020 — a nearly 40 percent spike from its last overdose peak in 2016. The Illinois Department of Public Health also reports that the number of overdose-related hospital visits is the highest ever reported.
To help reduce the number of deaths, identify those suffering from substance use disorders, and treat their addiction, the Cigna Foundation is granting $109,000 to non-profit addiction treatment provider, Gateway Foundation. The funds will enable Gateway to expand its highly-successful engagement and recovery 'Warm Hand-Off Program', to three DuPage County hospitals. The addition of these hospitals brings the Gateway program's total reach to 13 Illinois hospitals.
Gateway Foundation has been engaged in 'Warm Hand-Off' since September 2017. The program makes it possible for Gateway addiction treatment specialists to work on-site in hospital emergency med-surge departments. They provide immediate treatment care coordination, recovery coach engagement, and additional case management to ensure a successful transition to treatment.
"This grant will get more people consenting to treatment at the moment they are discharged from a hospital. We know from experience that engaging individuals at this exact moment increases their likelihood of engaging in active treatment," says Dr. Teresa Garate of Gateway Foundation. "By collaborating with these partnering hospitals, we can now serve people when and where this critical care is needed most and is most effective."
"Cigna is committed to reducing opioid abuse in our communities, so we are proud to support the Gateway Foundation in their efforts to provide people with access to essential treatment," said Brian Marsella, Midwest market president for Cigna. "Gateway shares our mission to help those in our community struggling with addiction, and this grant will enable even more to begin their recovery journey."
Dr. Garate adds, "With these additional Cigna Foundation resources, we can now create a robust evaluation process that will have long-lasting, positive effects fighting this continuing epidemic."
ABOUT GATEWAY FOUNDATION: More than one million patients have graduated Gateway Foundation programs over the last five decades. It is the country's largest, nonprofit treatment provider specializing in substance use disorder prevention and treatment. Our experts are leaders in the field with answers and guidance about substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions that so frequently compound addiction.
Orly Telisman, 312.375.1230
SOURCE Gateway Foundation