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September 19, 2002

Contact: Patricia Adams

Federally Funded Plan for Improving Health Professionals' Responses to Substance Use Disorders Released

Baltimore, Md. – A major new interdisciplinary initiative to arm this country's health professionals to identify substance use disorders was made public at the National Press Club on September 19. Health workforce leaders, including Mary R. Haack, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, joined by federal officials, described the initiative, which was funded under a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); and the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), DHHS' Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, provided interagency support.

Congress. Following the presentation of recommendations, initiative leaders and federal officials responded to questions. Copies of the Executive Summary to the Strategic Plan for Interdisciplinary Faculty Development: Arming the Nation's Health Professional Workforce for a New Approach to Substance Use Disorders was distributed.

The press conference preceded a national meeting of representatives of 16 health professions — dentists, dieticians, nurse midwives, nurses, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, public health professionals, rehabilitation counselors, social workers, speech pathologists and audiologists — who were assembled in Washington to discuss the roles of their professions in implementing the plan.

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