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Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County

County: Santa Cruz

Project Years: YOR II Project (2020-2022)
YOR III Project (2022-2024)

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Partner Agency: Santa Cruz County Office of Education, SafeRx Santa Cruz County

Project Name: SafeRx Youth Care Integration

YOR II Project Description: SafeRx Santa Cruz County, an opioid and substance use prevention and safety coalition, and Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Schools Integrated Behavioral Health Initiative (SIBHI) partnered to develop and expand Santa Cruz County capacity to overcome barriers to youth treatment and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) access. Youth treatment needs, driven by information collected from key informants, was integrated into coalition meetings and projects, including material creation, MAT expansion, and naloxone distribution. This project increased awareness among youth, families, and school staff about existing treatment options, as well as working to identify and fill gaps. There were increased interagency connections through networking and enrollment in a new county-wide closed loop social service referral system.   

Project Name: Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) SUD Learning Collaborative

YOR III Project Description: SafeRx Santa Cruz County (SafeRx) is a multi-sector substance safety coalition dedicated to aligning best practices around overdose prevention. SafeRx is housed under the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County, a non-profit coalition of 26 local public and private healthcare organizations.

SafeRx seeks to address access, capacity and knowledge gaps related to MAT for youth (ages 12-24) within the Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Tri-County region through developing an Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) SUD Learning Collaborative. Key partners include Santa Cruz Community Health clinics and the Central Coast Overdose Prevention Coalition consisting of champion MAT providers, clinical staff, youth, and youth-serving organizations convening to strategize improved MAT access for youth. 

The Goals of AYA:

  1. Elevate the lived experiences of youth around SUDs
  2. Expand Tri-County youth MAT provider networks
  3. Highlight and share best practices around MAT for youth
  4. Host expert speakers, facilitate peer learning and review case studies

Primary Contacts:

Name: Suzette Reuschel-DiVirgilio 
Position: Behavioral Health Programs Director
Email: srdivirgilio@hipscc.org

Name: Rita Hewitt
Position: Behavioral Health Program Manager
Agency: Health Improvement Partnership
Email: rita@hipscc.org

Website: https://hipscc.org/saferx