"Implementing Technology and Medication-Assisted Team Training and Treatment in Rural Colorado (IT MATTTRs Colorado)," University of Colorado, Denver.

Key Lessons Learned in Medication-Assisted Treatment Implementation

  • Primary care practice teams attend team-based training and facilitation on treatment with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD) and improve their knowledge, across all roles.
  • Both practices with and without a waivered clinician implement components needed to provide treatment with buprenorphine for OUD.  and how to appropriately refer patients to local treatment in their community.
  • IT MATTTRs practice- and community-based programs for rural communities and primary care practice teams, improves practice knowledge and implementation of treatment with buprenorphine for OUD and is associated with an increase in the number of patients receiving a prescription for buprenorphine.


  • Practice Stats: 445 total staff members have completed the IT MATTTRs Team Training in MAT for OUD:
    • Providers: 103
    • Clinical Support (e.g. RN, LPN, MA, Pt Navigator, etc.): 208
    • Administrative Support Staff (e.g. medical records, front office, etc.): 106
    • Other Staff: 28
  • Practice Implementation:
    • Practice teams’ OUD and MAT knowledge increased overall.
    • From baseline to follow-up, the mean number of MAT components in practices increased from 4.8 to 13.9.
    • Pre-post analysis showed an increase in the number of patients receiving partial opioid agonist prescriptions and the number of patients completing at least six months of treatment with buprenorphine for OUD.
  • Pre-Post Community Knowledge, Attitudes & Beliefs (n=798):
    • Half (49%) of community survey respondents reported exposure to community-based intervention.
    • Increased exposure was associated with the belief that opioid addiction is a chronic disease (p = .0032) and the OUD can be treated locally (p = .0003).


  • Successful recruitment of participating practices surpassed original recruitment goals.
  • The IT MATTTRs study simultaneously increased awareness of OUD and MAT resources within a local rural community and also engaged local primary care practices to increase capacity of treatment for OUD.
  • An opportunity to leverage additional funding has allowed the project to offer team training and provider training across the state.

Conferences & Publications

Conference Date Location Type
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Annual Conference April 22-23, 2021 Virtual Poster
Colorado Consortium Provider Education Symposium January 26, 2021 Virtual Poster
North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Annual Meeting November 20-24, 2020 Virtual Oral Presentation Poster
Public Health in the Rockies Annual Conference (PHiR) August 26-28, 2020 Virtual Oral Presentation Poster
Practice Based Research Network (PBRN) Conference June 25-26, 2020 Virtual Poster
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workgroup Behavioral Health/Opioids Peer Learning Team Meeting December 4-5, 2019 Rockville, MD Oral Presentation
National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD West) October 24-26, 2019 Denver, CO Oral Presentation
Colorado Consortium Provider Education Symposium October 22, 2019 Aurora, CO Poster
Medicaid Medical Directors Network (MMDN) Fall Meeting September 17-18, 2019 Washington, DC Oral Presentation
NAPCRG Annual Meeting November 16-20, 2019 Toronto, Ontario Oral Presentation Poster
PHiR August 28-30, 2019 Keystone, CO Oral Presentation Poster
International Conference on Practice Facilitation (ICPF) June 26-27, 2019 Bethesda, MD Oral Presentation
PBRN Conference June 24-25, 2019 Bethesda, MD Oral Presentation
Colorado Opioid Safety Summit January 25, 2019 Lone Tree, CO Oral Presentation
NAPCRG Annual Meeting November 9-13, 2018 Chicago, IL Poster
Engaging Communities in Education and Research (ECER) September 21-23, 2018 Breckenridge, CO Oral Presentation Poster
PBRN Conference June 25-26, 2018 Bethesda, MD Poster
PHiR August 29-31, 2018 Copper Mountain, CO Oral Presentation Poster
Colorado Opioid Safety Summit January 25, 2018 Lone Tree, CO Poster
NAPCRG Annual Meeting November 17-21, 2017 Montreal, Canada Poster

Oral Presentation Oral Presentation    Poster Poster

  • The balance of serving the community with concerns about treating opioid use disorder in rural primary care practices: A qualitative study from IT MATTTRs. Journal of Health Care Poor and Underserved. 2022 Feb.
  • Increasing Capacity for Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Primary Care Practices. Annals of Family Medicine. In Review.
  • Cole ES, DiDomenico E, Green S, Heil SKR, Hilliard T, Mossburg SE, Sussman AL, Warwick J, Westfall JM, Zittleman L, Salvador JG. The who, the what, and the how: A description of strategies and lessons learned to expand access to medications for opioid use disorder in rural America. Subst Abus. 2021;42(2):123-129. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2021.1891492. Epub 2021 Mar 9. PMID: 33689594.
  • Curcija K, Zittleman L, Fisher M, Nease Jr DE, Dickinson LM, de la Cerda D, Sutter C, Ancona J, Rank J, Westfall JM. Does a Rural Community‐Based Intervention Improve Knowledge and Attitudes of Opioid Use Disorder and Medication‐Assisted Treatment? A Report From the IT MATTTRs Study. The Journal of Rural Health. 2020 Nov 26.
  • Zittleman L, Curcija K, Sutter C, Dickinson LM, Thomas J, de la Cerda D, Nease Jr DE, Westfall JM. Building capacity for medication assisted treatment in rural primary care practices: the IT MATTTRs practice team training. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2020 Sep;11:2150132720953723. doi: 10.1177/2150132720953723. PMID: 32909491.