North Shore-LIJ Expands Early Intervention Substance-Abuse Program

The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today that it has expanded its early intervention substance-abuse program to include the LIJ-Ambulatory Care Unit in New Hyde Park beginning March 24. The program provides screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) services for patients at North Shore-LIJ clinics and hospitals in communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Funded by a $10 million federal grant to the health system, SBIRT helps identify patients whose alcohol, drug or tobacco use may be interfering with their health before it becomes a lifelong addiction. The money is part of a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and administered by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

The program debuted in December at the health system’s General Internal Medicine practice in Great Neck and the Emergency Department at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. It will be rolled out in the coming months at four other North Shore-LIJ clinics and hospital emergency departments in Staten Island and Manhattan.

The SBIRT program works like this: patients age 18 and older who visit a participating health facility are pre-screened during their visit with three to five questions relating to their drinking, smoking or drug use.
“If they meet a certain threshold based on that pre-screening, our health coach is alerted and will approach the patient during their visit and further assess them,” explained Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, director of the SBIRT program for the health system. “That’s when the conversation really starts. Based on that interaction, patients may receive a brief motivational and awareness-raising intervention and, if necessary, a referral for treatment.”
Working with CASAColumbia, a science-based organization focused on developing solutions to address the disease of addiction, North Shore-LIJ will draw on its departments of Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry/Behavioral Health to implement SBIRT.
Together, they hope to screen 150,000 individuals and conduct more than 37,000 brief interventions at health system clinics and emergency rooms.  It’s projected that between 4,000 to 5,000 people will be referred for some form of treatment through SBIRT during the next five years.

“What we’re doing is integrating substance abuse care and behavioral healthcare into the traditional healthcare setting,” said Dr. Megan O’Grady, a research scientist with CASAColumbia.

About North Shore-LIJ
The nation's 14th-largest healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 17 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 46,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City.  For more information, go to

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