UNE represented at Maine Governor’s Opioid Response Summit

Opioid summit logo

Faculty and staff from the Center of Excellence in Public Health  (CEPH) and the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) recently made a presentation at the Maine Governor’s 3rd Annual Opioid Response Summit on the impact training has on students regarding the stigmatization of people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

Toho Soma, M.P.H., M.S., senior research associate in CEPH, Jenifer Van Deusen, M.Ed., principal investigator/project director of Maine Providers Clinical Support System – University (PCSS-U), Selma Holden, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., assistant clinical professor in COM, and Cameron Samuelson, COM project coordinator, presented a poster, “Osteopathic Medical and Physician Assistant Student Trainings on Opioid Use Disorder and Their Impact on Stigma Toward People with OUD.”

The poster presentation was based on training COM and Physician Assistant (PA) students received on how stigma towards people with OUD negatively affects access to care and the misconception that OUD is a moral failure and not a chronic relapsing brain disease.

Results found that the students felt less stigma toward people with OUD after going through the training. Studies show training health professions students on issues around stigma early in their careers can create less stigmatizing health care environments in the future.

The training is part of a three-year PCSS-U grant that COM received in October 2019 through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. With the funding provided by the grant, UNE is leading the way in training students on OUD issues.

head shot photo of Toho Soma
Toho Soma
Head shot photo of Jenifer Van Deusen,
Jenifer Van Deusen,
head shot photo of Selma Holden
Selma Holden