ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A program out of Eire County called Buffalo MATTERS, will be implemented throughout state hospitals in the coming years. The program will make its way here to Monroe County.
In 2018, 181 people died from opioid use in Monroe County, according to data from the New York State, County Opioid Quarterly Report.
The Monroe County heroin task force strives to combat opioid problems in the community. Deputies with the program say the is always room to grow and programs like Buffalo matters could be part of the way forward.
“A bunch of us went down there and spent a day there learning about that program. It’s a great program,” said Michael Favata, a deputy with the taskforce.
The Matters program works with local hospitals, connecting opioid patients with treatment Clinics. They say it decreases the time it takes patients to go from emergency rooms to long term treatment programs.
The New York State Department of Health is looking to take the program statewide, including to Monroe County.
“They’ve developed a network where emergency rooms and primary care can connect in a particular way that works well for them. And we’ve seen the results coming out of Erie County and their promising,” said Dr.Michael Mendoza, commissioner of public health in Monroe County.
Dr. Micheal Mendoza has been working on several county opioid programs.
He says one program doesn’t fit all, however. And while Buffalo Matters program has benefits, it will need to be changed to work in Monroe County.
“While there’s a lot that we can learn from buffalo matters I think we got to be careful and make sure the solutions that we want to implement in a particular jurisdiction make sense,” said Dr. Mendoza.
“Underlining principal for Buffalo Matters is collaboration. Connection, collaboration, having smooth referral patterns across the health care community. And that’s what we have to figure out,” said Mendoza.
Statewide it will be called the ‘Matters program’. Within the year the State Department of Health is looking to implement this program in area hospitals emergency rooms.