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Home » Uncategorized » Health provider training expands to include buprenorphine prescribing

Health provider training expands to include buprenorphine prescribing

UPDATE NM Clinical Educator Marissa Chacón hones her skills in a one-on-one session with Dr. John Andazola, MD, who part of the program’s clinical research team. UPDATE NM offers clinical education to health care providers throughout the state. Courtesy photo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022; Silver City, NM: In New Mexico someone dies every 11 hours from a drug overdose, with most of these deaths attributed to opioids, and health care providers are finding themselves placed at the frontlines of confronting and treating opioid use disorders (OUD) to save their patients’ lives.  

One program is putting cutting-edge medical knowledge and treatment information on opioids directly into the hands of New Mexico providers where it can save the most lives.

Understanding Provider Demands and Advancing Timely Evidence in New Mexico (UPDATE NM) is a free clinical education service which recently expanded its opioid educational offerings to include buprenorphine prescribing for treatment of OUD. Buprenorphine is used to treat pain as well as wean patients from narcotic pain relievers – like opioids, fentanyl, and heroin.

“Whether the provider has 10 patients in treatment and needs one-on-one support to expand their buprenorphine practice or if they don’t have their waiver and need direction on where to start, UPDATE NM is there to give them the information they need,” said Amy Lucero, UPDATE NM coordinator.

Lucero oversees a team of clinical educators who meet one-on-one with health care providers to answer their questions on opioids and buprenorphine prescribing. Providers also earn continuing medical educations (CME) credits for participating in UPDATE NM.

“What’s best is the program comes to them, our clinical educators can meet in the provider’s office or remotely, if needed,” Lucero said.

The clinical educators meet with providers, takes their questions, and find the answers, saving medical providers hundreds of hours of research and reading. The clinical educators distill medical studies, journal articles and peer-reviewed research then return to the providers for one-on-one educational sessions.

“Our team translates the knowledge into practice for providers,” Lucero said, which frees up provider time to work with their patients and save lives. The model used is a recommended strategy by the U.S. Center of Disease Control to prevent opioid overdoses.

UPDATE NM provides CME credits to medical doctors (MD), physician assistants (PA), doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO), doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM), nurse practitioners (NP), certified nurse midwives (CNM), and license types with prescriptive authority.

Currently, New Mexico providers from 12 different counties have participated in the program, whose goal is to each every one of the state’s 33 counties. 

The program’s clinical research is directed by Dr. John Andazola, MD, FAAFP, and pharmacy resident coordinator Dr. Davena Norris, PHARM.D., DCPS, PHC. They assure information taken directly to providers by the clinical educator team is evidence-based and best practices.

UPDATE NM is funded by the New Mexico Department of Health Epidemiology Response Division, and a program of the Center for Health Innovation, one of New Mexico’s Public Health Institutes.

For more information contact Amy Lucero at (575) 597-0031 or or visit: