UVM Medical Center

UVM Medical Center Rolls Out Integrated Addiction Treatment Center

Rapid Access strategy and ‘No-Wrong-Door’ policy are highlights of the Center’s effort to reduce barriers to care for substance use and co-occurring disorders


Burlington, Vt. – Amid rising regional demand for resources and programs aimed at supporting individuals with substance use and related disorders, UVM Medical Center has integrated and expanded its addiction services. The newly-created Addiction Treatment Center (ATC) brings together psychiatric providers, licensed drug and alcohol counselors, and experienced nurses to reduce barriers to care, expand local access to treatment and modernize UVM Medical Center’s current slate of treatment programs.

Clinical leaders at the ATC said the focus of the program’s reformation and rebranding is harmonizing and modernizing the UVM Medical Center’s current addiction services – and ensuring that individuals seeking support for substance abuse disorders have a clear path to programs and treatment, regardless of where at UVM Medical Center they are receiving care.

 “There is no ‘wrong door’ for individuals seeking support and treatment for substance use disorders,” says Peter Jackson, MD, medical director of the ATC. “We’re reducing and removing barriers to accessing to care – not just for those seeking support and treatment for substance use, but for co-occurring disorders as well.”

Jackson said the ATC is rolling out re-imagined community outreach, treatment and support strategies, with a focus on providing rapid access to prospective patients, expanding touch-points and referral options for the community at-large, and assuring ATC’s treatment and support programs incorporate the most up-to-date best practices.

The Center’s updated offerings and strategies include:

  • More community touch-points — With the help of a grant through the Vermont Department of Health Division of Substance Use Programs, the ATC has already begun to conduct additional outreach efforts, sharing information on treatment programs and working in collaboration with community partners to highlight available treatment and support programs.
  • Expanding pathways to treatment— Via improved substance use screening services and support services, the UVM Medical Center is making it easier for individuals to access life-saving buprenorphine treatment. Individuals can now go to the Emergency Department for any issue, but screened for opioid use disorder, started on buprenorphine and referred to the AT for treatment the next business day.
  • Updating treatment program offerings — While the UVM Medical Center previously offered multiple treatment programs, the updated plan calls for a consolidated program not restricted to a single philosophy of treatment, rather providing individualized treatment which meets individuals where they are at in their treatment goals. The ATC is also increasing individualized clinical assessment resources and medication-assisted treatment options for patients.
  • Expanded referral and walk-in opportunities – The ATC has revised its protocols and requirements for patient referrals, and now accepts referrals from prospective patients’ loved ones and family members. The ATC is also expanding opportunities for individuals seeking treatment for themselves, allowing walk-ins every Wednesday at its offices on South Prospect Street in Burlington.

“We are thrilled to be offering these expanded services, updated processes and collaborative, clinically-informed opportunities to individuals in the communities we serve throughout our region,” says Dr. Jackson. “Our team of dedicated clinicians provides outstanding, comprehensive care, and at a time when there is clearly a rising need for these resources, we are doing everything possible to expand access, reduce barriers to care, and meet people where they are at, to offer them the treatment and support they need.”