National Program Spotlight

$2.5 Million Grant to Expand Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in California’s Central Valley

Chicago, Ill. (February 16, 2022) – CommonSpirit Health announced receiving a grant of $2.5 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand treatment for opioid use disorder for residents of California’s San Joaquin County. Grant funding will support an enhanced program utilizing medication-assisted treatment (MAT), an innovative combination of FDA-approved medications and behavioral health services and counseling.

Over the five-year grant period, Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center, part of CommonSpirit Health, expects to reach 5,000 community members and to provide medication-assisted treatment and recovery services to 525 adults with opioid use disorder, including probationers and parolees. The program, Access MAT, will strengthen the link between medication-assisted treatment, counseling and recovery services internally at St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center and St. Joseph’s Medical Center Emergency Department. Externally, the program will initiate outreach and engagement in the community and facilitate coordination with San Joaquin County Correctional Health Care and other correctional facilities to support treatment for inmates within 4 months of release.

“We have a unique opportunity to prove that the combination of medicated assisted treatment and therapy really works,” said Paul Rains RN, MSN, System Senior Vice President, Behavioral Health and President, St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center. “By removing barriers to care and expanding our services to persons that have historically faced difficulty accessing treatment, we will provide opportunities for recovery and personal growth. We are grateful and excited to be the recipient of this funding. ”

In 2018, emergency departments at 11 hospitals within the CommonSpirit Health system became access points for medication-assisted treatment. As a result of the pilot program's immediate success, in 2021 CommonSpirit expanded the program to 25 out of the system's 30 California emergency departments. Access MAT seeks to build upon the results of these ongoing efforts.

St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center has a 40-year history of providing treatment for individuals with substance abuse disorders. Access MAT funding will enable a tripling of their “X-Wavered” clinicians (those with special training who are authorized to use specific medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder) and an increase in the number of adults, 18 and over, receiving medication-assisted treatment locally. It is anticipated that 50% of individuals enrolled in the program will achieve sobriety from opioids and complete their course of treatment, successfully tapering off medication within 3-6 months.

About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites across 21 states. Learn more at

About CommonSpirit Health Foundation
CommonSpirit Health Foundation is making the promise of health equity and health justice a reality across the country — through funding pioneering programs that ensure greater access, creating community partnerships and advocating for the underserved and most vulnerable. The foundation inspires investments and donations from individuals, private foundations, corporate foundations and other entities — to support programs and initiatives that enable all people to be healthy and safe. Learn more at