South County Hospital recognized for emergency care of opioid disorder

South County Hospital recognized for emergency care of opioid disorder

South County Health has been recognized by Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force for providing comprehensive care at the South County Hospital Emergency Department for opioid-use disorder.

The recognition was based on treatment criteria established in March by the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, and the Rhode Island Department of Health. The aim of these first-in-the-nation standards is to ensure that best practices in the treatment of opioid-use disorder are in place at emergency departments and hospitals throughout the state.

South County Hospital was recognized for achieving a level-three designation. This means that the hospital is fulfilling the requirements of the Alexander C. Perry and Brandon Goldner Act, enacted in 2016. The state law requires comprehensive discharge planning for patients with substance use disorders and requires insurers to cover expanded medication-assisted treatment.

South County Hospital is also submitting required reports of overdoses to the state Department of Health within 48 hours, and testing routinely for fentanyl.

Work to build South County Hospitals’s levels of care infrastructure was led by Dr. William Sabina, chief of emergency medicine, and Steven Juchnik, emergency services director.

A recovery hotline is available to connect people in crisis with treatment and recovery support. To access services through an English and/or Spanish-speaking counselor who is licensed in chemical-dependency and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 401-942-7867. Additional overdose data and resources are available at


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