BMC nurse manager receives Abstract Award

November 17, 2008

(Boston) - Hanover resident and Boston Medical Center (BMC) Nurse Manager Colleen LaBelle, RN, ACRN, CARN, was one of two semi-finalists to receive the Best Abstract Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA).

LaBelle, who manages BMC's Opioid Treatment Program and is also the program director of the State Technical Assistance Treatment Expansion of Office Based Opioid Treatment with Buprenorphine, a program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, recently presented her abstract at AMERSA's national conference in Washington, D.C. The conference disseminates state-of-the-art scientific information about substance abuse education and research to health care professionals.

The Best Abstract Award recognizes and encourages outstanding original research or program evaluation in substance abuse. LaBelle's abstract titled, "Dissemination of Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Dependence into Community Settings: Utilization of a State-funded Nurse Care Manager Model," detailed buprenorphine's effectiveness in treating opioid dependence in community-based settings in the United States. The model has demonstrated that providing a structural clinical support to a physician's medication assisted treatment expansion and integration into primary care settings utilizing a nurse care manager model, is possible.

Buprenorphine prevents opioids from binding to receptors, blocking its pleasurable effects and treating withdrawal discomfort. It also eliminates the cravings, which are often the reason for relapse by keeping the receptors occupied. Buprenorphine is also long lasting, less likely to cause respiratory depression and is well tolerated by individuals with opioid dependence.

LaBelle, who has spoken at many workshops, conducts trainings locally and nationally. The most recent workshop titled, "Medication Assistance in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence," was held at the Holiday Inn, in Rockland, in September and was sponsored in part by BMC.
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AMERSA is a multidisciplinary organization of health care professionals dedicated to improving education in the care of individuals with substance abuse problems. The organization provides leadership and training opportunities for health care workers in the management of problems related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. It also provides mentoring for members interested in becoming teachers, clinicians, and researchers in the substance abuse field.

Boston University

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