Bridge Navigator Program Launches at 278 Sites – Providing Coverage for Patients Across the State

In Spring of 2022, CA Bridge began administering the Bridge Navigator Program to support emergency departments (EDs) to become primary access points for the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs) and co-occurring mental health conditions. This program, funded by the California Department of Health Care Services, has provided funding to 278 hospitals, setting a new standard of care at an unprecedented rate. 

“Scaling this model from 8 to 278 in just over four years has been a fascinating real-life case study in how new evidence spreads in healthcare. First, a few hospitals launched this model. Once word got out about the effectiveness of this care and the positive impact it has on the hospital environment, more and more hospitals signed on as they saw this was the right thing to do for patients.” – Elizabeth Keating, CA Bridge Clinical Program Director 

Unprecedented Expansion of Local Resources

This round of funding has made 24/7, low-barrier access to addiction treatment widely available in counties across California.

  • 82 new hospitals in 24 counties are now providing low-barrier access to addiction treatment for the first time.
  • Rural counties that previously did not have any CA Bridge sites now have at least one hospital that is providing low-barrier access to addiction treatment. These counties include Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Mono, Tehama, Tuolumne, and Yuma.
  • Southern California saw particularly large expansion, from 88 to 141 hospitals. This region previously had sporadic coverage and has now expanded across the geographic area in counties including San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San  Bernardino.
  • Every single hospital in Alameda County, Fresno county, San Diego County, San Francisco County, Sacramento County, Ventura County and the Tri-County Region are providing this life-saving treatment.

Impact of The Bridge Navigator Program

This rapid expansion of access to addiction treatment has contributed to:

  • 208,596 patients seen for substance use disorders
  • 156,599 patients identified with opioid use disorders
  • 71,445 patients provided with buprenorphine

With 392 navigators across the state, patients are now connected to treatment without stigma and bias. These are patients who, prior to their hospitals launching CA Bridge programs, would not have been provided medication for addiction treatment. Thanks to the Bridge Navigator Program, patients have this necessary lifeline. 

“Because of the widespread impact of the Bridge Navigator Program, patients with SUD across the state will be cared for without stigma and biases and will have a support person during their medical crisis. Our 392 navigators will bring hope to a population that is often left without adequate care because they felt frustrated or ashamed. The CA Bridge model has started a movement in California ED’s to help our underserved populations, and employing a navigator is essential to providing this patient-centered care.” – Sherrie Cisneros, CA Bridge Navigator Program Director

Join This New Standard of Care

Although this funding round is complete, CA Bridge welcomes technical assistance requests from anyone interested in hospital-based addiction treatment. To get connected, fill out our technical assistance form.

Check out our hospital map to find emergency departments providing addiction treatment near you.