HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, Florida, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of Global Conference on

Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry

October 24-26, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA

GAB 2021

Nurse care managers in a safety net system OBAT program

Speaker at Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry 2021 - Kathryn Crary
Harris Health System, United States
Title : Nurse care managers in a safety net system OBAT program


Harris Health is the largest safety net care system in Texas and the fourth largest safety net in the nation. The patient population is comprised of a high rate of uninsured/underinsured patients, of which many have chronic diseases, including substance use disorders. 

Access to treatment for substance use disorders has been somewhat limited due to multiple factors such as resource constraints, increasing demand for mental as well as behavioral health. In order to improve access to substance abuse treatment Harris Health System has adopted the Massachusetts model of Office Based Addiction Treatment. This is a program aimed at integrating treatment for opioid use disorder in primary care. This innovative program utilizes a nurse care manager role working closely with waivered physicians. Currently Harris Health System has three clinical nurse care managers practicing in two separate satellite clinics within Harris County.

Clinical nurse care managers are tasked with being able to provide patient-centered care within the nursing license scope of practice including: initial assessment and intake, induction, stabilization, and maintenance phases of treatment.  The Harris Health System OBAT program has been able to recruit and retain a large percentage of patients screened and found to suffer from opiate use disorder.

The patient’s treatment regimens include physical, social, behavioral and mental health.  The implementation of Evidence Based Practice models of care ensure that our teams are constantly improving clinical care delivery models through technology, partnerships with community resources, education and research.

The multidisciplinary approach is used in multiple Harris Health clinical sites which entails the collaboration between the Physician (PCP), Nurse Care Manager, Psychiatrist, Behavioral Therapist, Social Worker/Case Managers, Patient Educators, Pharmacists, Information Technology and other community resources.

Our presentation will encompass the leadership journey, the model of care, treatment goals, bridging the treatment gaps, enhancement of access to care and clinical outcomes data.


Kathryn Crary is Director of Grant and Resource Development at Harris Health System in Houston, Texas. In this role, she develops the grant-related activities of the third-largest safety-net health system in the United States. Ms. Crary’s background includes experience partnering with governmental, philanthropic, and corporate agencies to build clinical, research, and teaching partnerships in public health and medicine. She currently serves as co-project director on the Integrated Family Planning Opioid Response program, funded by a grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.