New Addiction Medicine Office at St. Joseph’s Health will Help Fight Opioid Use Disorder Featured

PATERSON, NJ (June 15, 2022) — St. Joseph’s Health is pleased to announce the opening of its new Addiction Medicine Office, located at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson. This announcement is in collaboration with the City of Paterson, as the two entities continue working on innovative strategies to address Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

“We are working together with the city of Paterson to collaborate on efforts to end suffering, reduce barriers, and utilize the science behind treating Opioid Use Disorders,” said Alexis LaPietra, DO, FACEP, Chief of Pain Management/Addiction Medicine, St. Joseph’s Health. “Although Opioid Use Disorder is still surrounded by stigma and shame, it should not be, it is a very treatable medical condition and we are here to help fight this epidemic.”

This office, located at 11 Getty Avenue, will provide low barrier, evidence-based care for people in the community who are suffering from OUD. A low barrier office meets people where they are in their disease and focuses on providing medication and resources with as few obstacles as possible during their early recovery.

"Congratulations to Dr. Alexis LaPietra and the team at St. Joseph’s Health on the opening of their new Addiction Medicine Office," said Andre Sayegh, Mayor of Paterson. “We value our partnership with St. Joseph’s Health and pledge our unwavering and continued support in their effort to save lives.”

Paterson’s Opioid Response Team (ORT) has placed two ORT Social Workers in the St. Joseph’s Health Emergency Department. The two Social Workers will be available during the times when individuals seeking recovery typically enter the hospital. This initiative’s goal is to ensure consistent case management to those seeking opioid recovery options and other related support.

“We know that addiction is not the only challenge that our patients come to us with and we want to ensure they have all the services they need to overcome this illness,” said Tina Miles, LCSW, FHELA, Executive Director of Behavioral Health, St. Joseph’s Health. “This holistic approach is geared towards treating the whole person, not only with their medical needs, but with their emotional and social needs as well.”

The office will be led by board certified Addiction Medicine Physician, Dr. LaPietra, and a patient navigator. Together, the team will provide medications for opioid use disorder and dedicated support in addressing any social determinants of health that are presenting barriers to recovery. St. Joseph’s Health and the City of Paterson are committed to addressing the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic and will now provide comprehensive addiction care in a trusted healthcare setting.

ABOUT ST. JOSEPH’S HEALTH

Founded in 1867 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, St. Joseph’s Health is a world-class hospital and healthcare network supported by more than 5,000 leading and renowned physicians, nurses and care teams. From its humble beginnings, St. Joseph’s Health has become one of the premier health systems in the state, serving more than 1.5 million patients annually. The organization continues to evolve as the leading health resource in the community, the largest employer in Passaic County, and one of the largest providers of charity care in New Jersey.

The St. Joseph’s Health system is one of the leading clinical teaching and academic centers in the country, and has been recognized for its innovative programs and cutting-edge services. The health system operates a full continuum of care, including a regional tertiary care medical center (St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson), an acute care medical center (St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center, Wayne) a state-designated children’s hospital (St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Paterson), a rehabilitation and long-term care facility (St. Joseph’s Healthcare & Rehab Center, Cedar Grove), an outpatient facility (St. Joseph’s Totowa Health Campus, Totowa) comprehensive home care (Visiting Health Services of New Jersey), and multiple ambulatory care centers located throughout Northern New Jersey. The system is further supported by St. Joseph’s Health Medical Group, which operates more than 100 physician medical and specialty practices across northern New Jersey.

Among its awarding-winning specialties, St. Joseph’s is home to the nationally acclaimed Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) program; the first accredited Geriatric Emergency Department in New Jersey; a five-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence (the profession’s highest honor - an accomplishment reached by only 15 hospitals nationwide); and recognized by US News & World Report with a Top Nursing Home award and a five-star rating.

In September 2019, St. Joseph’s Health established a strategic and clinical partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health, one of New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health networks. Together, the two health systems operate a jointly-owned home health and hospice agency, serving patients and families across Bergen, Passaic and Morris Counties. In addition, St. Joseph’s and Hackensack Meridian have collaborated on clinical affiliations in acute rehabilitation (with the HMH JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute) and comprehensive oncology care (with the HMH John Theurer Cancer Center). For more information, please visit: https://www.stjosephshealth.org/.