Coordinate with Community Organizations

NCHA believes responding to the opioid epidemic and overdose crisis requires a coordinated community response. It is crucial for hospitals and healthcare systems to connect with community opioid treatment programs, medication-assisted treatment providers, and encourage community wide conversations and solutions. When hospitals are a strong community partner, patient referrals will improve, and hospitals can be part of the upstream effort to prevent substance use disorders.  

Key Takeaways for the ED 

  1. Create opportunities to meet community-based providers for substance use disorder – developing relationships is key to better serving patients. Perhaps invite a community partner to provide an overview of services at a monthly team meeting. 
  2. Host or become a member of a community-based coalition to respond to the opioid epidemic in your local community.  
  3. Engage with agencies addressing social determinants of health, such as housing, employment, food, and transportation. Ensure these relationships are strong to encourage collaboration and a streamlined referral process for patients.  
  4. Prioritize community partnerships based on patient needs. For example, focusing on providers who serve substance use patients who are uninsured, have transportation needs, or need safe and accessible housing upon discharge.  

Resources to Get You Started 

More Powerful NC: Community Involvement

Recovery Communities of North Carolina  

Healthy People, Health Carolinas is a community-based approach to addressing chronic health issues through the work of local coalitions initiating evidence-based health interventions. Coalitions involve leaders from a wide spectrum of community organizations – health care, public health, social services, government, education, business and others – to engage residents in improving their health.

NCCARE 360, an online platform for community-based referrals led by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation.

Visit Us







North Carolina Healthcare Association

5440 Wade Park Blvd, Suite 410
Raleigh, NC 27607

Main: 919-677-2400
Fax: 919-677-4200
Mail to: PO Box 4449, Cary, NC 27519-4449

Contact Us

Follow Us