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Fla. Blue Gives $2 Million Grant To Jacksonville’s LSF Health Systems To Fight Opioid Overdoses

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Associated Press
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The Florida Blue Foundation recently announced that it will be giving a three-year, $2-million grant to Jacksonville-based LSF Health Systems to fund a pilot project aimed at fighting the state’s epidemic of opioid overdoses.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Florida Blue in offering a pilot project in two of our regions,” said Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems. “Our providers that are going to be implementing this exciting pilot are Meridian Behavioural Healthcare, out of Gainesville, Fla., and Lifestream Behavioural Healthcare, which is based in Leesburg, Fla.. And basically, what we are doing, is addressing the opioid crisis from a primary care physician perspective as well as in our Emergency Rooms in these two areas.”

Dr. Cauffield said that what they’ll be doing, essentially, is training primary care physicians and ER personnel on how to implement SBIRT, which stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment. It’s a protocol designed to help health care professionals find and treat patients who may have a substance abuse disorder as soon as possible.

Part of SBIRT is placing Certified Recovery Peer Specialists, or CRPS, in ERs and in primary care physician offices to help hospital personnel and primary care physicians engage with and motivate patients struggling with substance abuse disorders.

Dr. Cauffield hopes that LSF Health Systems will be able to tell Florida Blue the pilot project was a success so that it can eventually be implemented statewide.

LSF Health Systems is one of the largest managing entities in Florida with 50 provider organizations that offer behavioural healthcare treatment throughout a 23 county region.

Dr. Cauffield said LSF Health systems is also very involved with Jacksonville’s Project Save Lives.

“I personally worked very closely with Dr. Pomm and Gateway to help develop that pilot project and we’re seeing incredible results,” Dr. Cauffield said.

LSF Health Systems runs a 24/7 Access to Care line which is manned by their clinical division. It provides access to trained clinicians who can help people struggling with opioid addiction reach out to the appropriate treatment facilities and provide guidance to people who are moving into recovery. That number is 1-877-229-9098.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit .

Brendan Rivers comes to WJCT News with years of experience reporting and hosting news for several stations in the Daytona Beach area.