Shelli James photo

(Above: Shelli James, Senior Healthcare Facilitator, HealthTeamWorks) 


Time is getting short for primary and specialty care practices in Colorado to take advantage of five hours of compensated on-site training for the entire practice team so they can effectively administer comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to patients with an opioid use disorder.

HealthTeamWorks is a provider for IT MATTTRs (Implementing Technology and Medication Assisted Treatment and Team Training), a Colorado statewide collaboration of the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine and the Colorado Health Extension System (CHES). At no cost, HealthTeamWorks provides onsite Practice Team Training for the entire office and clinical staff—from front-desk receptionists to providers and all touch points in between. The training provides the knowledge and tools essential to support a comprehensive MAT program. After completing five one-hour training sessions, practices are compensated $1,400.

Nearly 90 practices have undergone the valuable practice training to ensure readiness for MAT in the clinic, and there is funding available for about 25 more practices. All IT MATTTrs Practice Team Training must be completed by October 31, 2019.

Shelli James, HealthTeamWorks’ senior healthcare facilitator, conducts the trainings personally. She and other HealthTeamWorks practice facilitators, have trained 20 practices since the program began in 2017. James works with provider and practice managers to schedule sessions, so the training best fits the clinic’s busy schedule..

Colorado is facing an opioid epidemic and our community needs our help, James says. “We want to teach everyone in the practice how opioids actually change the brain.” Participants learn what happens when a patient experiences opioid use disorder and the lifecycle of addiction. Through team training, tools, resources and post training support, practices are equipped to help their patients. “It’s important that everyone understand how innocently opioid addiction can start with a prescription for pain after surgery or another health issue.”

But the training isn’t just for clinical staff; it touches on readying the front-office personnel and medical assistants, options for induction in the office or at home, and special care to populations like adolescents and expectant mothers. Practices can see the IT MATTTrs curriculum for details.

Before the Practice Team Training can occur, at least one provider within the practice or health system must complete training (face-to-face or online) to qualify for a Drug Enforcement Agency waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. To date, 330 providers in Colorado have completed the IT MATTTrs MAT training and 229 have applied for the Drug Enforcement Agency waiver .

To learn more, contact Shelli James at (303) 446-7200, or email