NC STAR Network
NC Substance Treatment And Recovery Network (NC STAR Network)
Beginning in 2017, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) initiated a hub and spoke treatment model to expand access to care for people with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUD). UNC served as the hub and provided care for patients with high-acuity treatment needs and began making partnerships with community health centers, the spokes, who in turn were able to accept referrals from UNC for stabilized patients. In March 2020, this hub and spoke model expanded in partnership with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), sponsored by the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), such that MAHEC became a 2nd hub and began offering specific OUD/SUD training to the spokes. In 2022, NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) partnered with UNC to further expand this effort statewide. This model was then named the NC STAR Network and East Carolina University (ECU) joined the network as an additional hub.
The NC STAR Network is aligning closely with the requests set forth by the Bipartisan Policy Center in their report published in April 2022. The specific areas of focus are: 1) Infrastructure; 2) Initiation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD); 3) Engagement in Care; 4) Retention in Treatment; and 5) Harm Reduction. All focus areas described will maintain an emphasis on serving underserved populations, including but not limited to: uninsured/under-insured, pregnant/parenting, justice involved, BIPOC, and rural populations.