New Supports in Chronic Pain: Peer Supports in the Medical Setting @ MAHEC Blue Ridge B
Jun 25 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Peer supports are quickly becoming a robust strategy for promoting overall health in hospitals and patient centered medical homes across the US. Peers Support Specialists can now serve on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic. This course will train peers, behavioral health, and medical providers in an integrated team-based model to provide valuable relief and assistance to those suffering from chronic pain and opioid addiction in health care settings.

Peer supports has been used in medical settings by the Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center for the past 10 years. Through this process, they are changing the culture of their hospitals to be recovery-oriented by the use of peer supports in various areas of the hospital. This course focuses on the work of the VA with peer supports services, the training used to prepare these peers for the medical services, the tools that are used to implement a whole health model and stories of patient outcomes contributed to peer support services. This course will show how peer support services in the medical setting can improve adherence to treatment recommendations, decrease stigma and labeling of individuals as their diagnosis, increase the quality of living, and improve overall health outcomes. This course will also describe the history of the VA with peers, local and national efforts using peers in a medical setting and showcasing how peers having been instrumental in the opioid epidemic on a local level by supporting individuals with chronic pain.

Target Audience

Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, care managers/coordinators, administrators, practice managers, mental health professionals (including substance abuse counselors, social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists), peer support specialists, intellectual/developmental disability providers and other professionals interested in this subject.


  • Describe the development and benefits of using peer support services in the medical home and the current evidenced based models being used in medical settings
  • Identify the key whole health outcomes of using peer supports in the medical setting
  • Summarize the benefits and health outcomes associated with peer support specialists working with chronic pain and opioid use disorder

Click here to be taken to registration ($40 for MAHEC employees)

Click here for a brochure


Behavioral Treatment of Chronic Pain: Evidence-Based Tools to Move from Hurt to Hope @ Northwest AHEC McCreary Tower a part of the Wake Forest Football Complex
Jun 26 @ 9:00 am – 4:45 pm






Across the nation, healthcare providers are taking another look at how to safely and effectively treat pain while also reducing the risks associated with opioids. It is estimated that 100 million people in the U.S. are living with chronic pain and that approximately 1/3 of these individuals are seeking medical treatment for their pain.

Pain management has typically not been a part of behavioral health practice, but research and clinical practice are demonstrating that behavioral interventions are the most effective treatment for chronic pain. The CDC recently put out guidelines that highlight the opioid epidemic and its tragic consequences, along with recommendations for treating chronic pain. Behavioral treatment is the most effective option and should be tried prior to prescribing opioids.

More behavioral health providers with expertise in behavioral interventions for pain management are needed to combat the opioid epidemic. This interactive and cutting-edge training will provide participants with innovative and evidence-based tools and techniques to expand their clinical practice and treat chronic pain. Participants will gain the skills and confidence needed to provide practical and life-changing interventions to help individuals manage chronic pain and enjoy active, healthy and meaningful lives.

Martha Teater, MA, LMFT, LPC, LCAS has been in private practice in Waynesville, NC since 1990. She has worked in primary care settings, free clinics and medication-assisted treatment programs. She has provided hundreds of trainings in 45 states and internationally on topics such as evidence-based treatments for trauma, DSM-5, compassion fatigue and behavioral treatment of chronic pain. Martha has written over 175 articles in newspapers and magazines, including Psychotherapy Networker and Family Therapy Magazine. She is the coauthor (with John Ludgate) of Overcoming Compassion Fatigue: A Practical Resilience Workbook. She is also coauthor (with Don Teater) of a book on behavioral treatment of chronic pain, due for publication in the fall of 2017.


  • Define pain and its emotional aspects.
  • Describe and map out the chronic pain cycle.
  • List risks of opioid medications.
  • Utilize effective components of the cognitive-behavioral treatment of chronic pain.
  • Demonstrate mindful approaches for chronic pain.

Click here to be taken to registration – increase in registration fee after June 12,2018

Click here for a program brochure

Controlled Substance Prescribing: What Every Provider Needs to Know – Sanford @ Central Carolina Hospital
Jun 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

According to NC DHHS and the CDC, North Carolina has experienced a 350% increase in drug overdose deaths since 1999 and was one of 19 states that saw statistically significant increase in drug overdose death rates from 2014 to 2015. Prescribing practices for opioids must change in order to address this epidemic.

Wake AHEC and the North Carolina Medical Board have partnered together to develop a webinar and panel sessions addressing the issue of prescription opioids. This blended learning activity will provide clinicians with best practices for effectively and appropriately treating pain, and ultimately, improving patient outcomes.

This educational activity combined with the recorded webinar under the same title are both being offered at no cost and will fulfill the controlled substances CME requirement for the North Carolina Medical Board.

These free CME panel sessions are designed for controlled substances prescribers to complete up to two hours of the required education in opioid prescribing. A one hour online training is recommended before attending a live panel session. Together they fulfill the three hour requirement.

Topics include managing acute and chronic pain, identifying when patients are misusing opioids, and what to do about patients who have developed a substance use disorder. The Governor’s Institute has partnered with the North Carolina Medical Board to help bring these educational panel sessions to communities across the state.

Register for 1-Hour Online Training Here

Click here for registration


Treating Pain Safer: Fewer Opioids and Better Results @ Catawba Valley Medical Center
Jul 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Physicians and nurses play a vital role in caring for the patient’s collaborative treatment plan related to their overall pain management goals. They also serve as a patient advocate when providing education for proper opioid use. However, studies have revealed a pain management knowledge gap among clinicians caring for patients who are receiving opioid analgesics. This gap includes patient assessment, pharmacologic management, use of adjuvant medications, risks of addiction, risks of respiratory depression, and disposal and storage of opioid analgesics.

This program is designed to assist clinicians in obtaining knowledge of opioids, with a concurrent and evidence-based presentation. All clinicians will also be provided with valuable information on current practice standards related to opioid prescribing, dispensing, and administration. Clinicians knowledge of, and attitudes about, opioid use can have a positive impact on the national opioid crisis.


Blake Fagan, MD, completed his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He completed medical school at Vanderbilt University SOM in 1998 before finishing his family medicine residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, NC in 2001. During that time, he has been the co-clinical director, assistant residency director, and the residency director. Currently he is the Chief Education Officer at MAHEC.


Click here for event details and registration information

Close Encounters of the Medical Kind: Conversations Related to Opioid Prescribing and Other Topics @ Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital
Jul 10 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Participants of this skills based program will have the opportunity to learn and practice effective interpersonal communication skills during emotionally charged encounters with standardized patients. Challenging topics such as opioid and stimulant prescribing, dementia and domestic violence will provide the backdrop for practicing essential communication skills.

  • Recognize effective interpersonal communication strategies for difficult conversations in the clinical setting
  • Examine communication skills during difficult conversations
  • Demonstrate appropriate techniques during emotionally charged conversations with patients or family members
  • Evaluate interactions based on scenarios with standardized patients

Click here for an event brochure.

Click here to be taken to registration page.

Jul 19 @ 8:15 am – 4:00 pm


More information to come. Please check back! 

The Opioid Crisis has reached a critical point. Providers in healthcare are faced with regulations and emerging new trends in best practices nearly every day. They are faced with the ethical dilemma of what is the best treatment approach for caring for their patients. This conference aims to address the ethical considerations of the Opioid Crisis and what providers can do to ensure that their patients are achieving the best possible outcomes.

Some of the topics we’ll cover are the ethics surrounding pregnancy, neonatal abstinence syndrome, infectious disease, and bias. North Carolina Attorney General, Josh Stein, will provide the Keynote Address and discuss the ethics of the North Carolina response to the Opioid Crisis. Stein has made combatting the opioid crisis a top priority. His office drafted the STOP Act to reduce the number of people who become addicted to opioids through smarter prescribing practices and the Synthetic Opioid Control Act to close loopholes in state criminal law concerning fentanyl. Both laws passed the General Assembly unanimously and were signed into law by the Governor.

Southern Pain Society 32nd Annual Meeting: ‘Balanced Approaches to Acute and Chronic Pain’ @ Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
Sep 21 @ 2:00 pm – Sep 23 @ 12:00 pm

19ME005 - Southern Pain Society 32nd Annual Meeting: 'Balanced Approaches to Acute and Chronic Pain'

The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Southern Pain Society will explore the benefits, challenges and education involved in using a balance integrative approach to managing both acute and chronic pain and how these impact health care professionals.

The Southern Pain Society (SPS) was established in 1986 as a regional section of the American Pain Society and endorses and supports the mission
and goals of the American Pain Society. The Southern Pain Society’s missions are to serve people with pain by advancing research and treatment and to increase the knowledge and skill of the regional professional community. Visit www.southernpainsociety.org to join and take advantage of the
discounted registration fee.


  • Discuss the unintended consequences of the current CDC Opioid Guidelines
  • Explain advanced techniques in neuromodulation, surgical and procedural modalities for chronic pain
  • Identify at least two innovative therapies, medications and procedures for the treatment of acute and chronic pain
  • Explain how pain of a catastrophic injury can be effectively managed using an integrative approach through the continuum
  • Identify opiate prescribing deterrent formulations to reduce opioid dependence

Click here to be taken to registration: Early registration is from 2/15 – 9/14

Click here for a program brochure


Recovery Within Reach: Building Team Expertise in Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) @ Mountain Area Health Education Center, Pisgah Room
Sep 28 @ 8:30 am – 12:45 pm

18MH032 - Recovery Within Reach: Building Team Expertise in Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT)

There are two dates to select from for this event: June 22 and September 28

Intended Audience is Mental health professionals (including substance abuse counselors, social workers, school counselors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists), nurses, practice managers, program administrators, medical assistants, care managers, care coordinators and other professionals interested in this subject.

Opioid addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that affects millions of Americans and produces tremendous burden on the healthcare system. In 2002, U.S. physicians gained the opportunity to treat opioid-addicted patients with buprenorphine in primary care settings, commonly referred to as office-based opioid treatment (OBOT). OBOT has been shown to be effective in primary care settings and impacts public health through the reduction of opioid use, opioid overdose mortality and transmission of infectious diseases. However, it remains underutilized.

One consistently cited barrier preventing OBOT expansion is lack of adequate clinical support given the additional needs for patient monitoring. Successful medication assisted treatment (MAT) requires a team-based approach just like treatment for other chronic diseases. In addition, treatment is more effective when providers can use a trauma-informed and gender-responsive treatment plan.

The goal of this companion program to the AAAP Clinical Support System—Buprenorphine Office Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders (The “Half and Half” Course)—is to increase comfort level and expertise of the healthcare team by outlining a team approach, trauma-informed interventions, gender-responsive care and recommendations for the implementation of buprenorphine OBOT.

Click here for a program brochure

Click here for registration

Providers’ Clinical Support System: Buprenorphine Office-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders, The “Half and Half” Course @ Mountain Area Health Education Center, Pisgah Room
Sep 28 @ 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm

18ME047 - Providers’ Clinical Support System: Buprenorphine Office-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders, The “Half and Half” Course

There are two dates to select from for this event: June 22 and September 28

The program is recommended for prescribers in primary care, emergency medicine, pain management, psychiatric, HIV and addiction medicine.

Opioid dependence is epidemic in the United States. While progress has been made in training providers, the gap in providing effective treatment of opioid use disorders continues to widen, moving beyond heroin addicted individuals to a much larger and diverse segment of the population. This increase is predominantly due to an alarming increase in addiction to prescription opioid analgesic medications.

Buprenorphine, the most recent addition to the pharmacotherapies available to treat opioid dependence, is novel among the opioid pharmacotherapies because of its partial agonist properties. It has been placed on Schedule III and is available by prescription from a physician’s office-based practice.

Recognizing the impact of this addiction, as well as learning how to treat opioid use disorders, are important steps in combating this ever growing medical problem. To obtain the waiver to prescribe, providers are required to take specialized training. PCSS-MAT uses the Half-and-Half format (4.25 hours of face-to-face training with an instructor, followed by 3.75 hours of on-your-own-training that must be completed along with a post test). This training meets the requirements for physicians; however additional training is required for advanced practice providers.

The training focuses on specifics of treating patients with opioid use disorders in office-based settings and clinical vignettes to help trainees think through “real life” experiences in opioid use disorders treatment. Once the waiver training is completed in full, participants will receive a CME certificate of attendance from AAAP.

Click here for registration

Click here for a PDF brochure

The 4th Annual Western North Carolina Rural Health Symposium: Challenges, Successes and Strategies @ Blue Ridge Room
Oct 4 @ 8:00 am – Oct 5 @ 4:30 pm

Image result for mahec

Save the date! Registration opens soon.

Rural communities in Western North Carolina – and across America – face many challenges including the opioid crisis, food insecurity, aging populations, chronic diseases, limited resources and reduced access to healthcare due to workforce shortages. Please join us to learn more about how these issues are impacting WNC, and how innovative, collaborative approaches and strategies are being used to combat these problems to build resiliency among individuals and throughout communities.

Hotel Accommodations
A block of rooms has been reserved for October 3, 2018 – October 5, 2018. The special room rate will be available until September 3rd or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. To book a room, please click here for the Hampton Inn.

Target Audience

This conference will be of interest to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses, mental health professionals, social workers, integrated healthcare professionals, public health professionals, and all healthcare professionals working with patients and their families in rural areas.


  • Recognize how social determinants effect health and cite strategies being used in rural WNC to improve health outcomes
  • Describe how WNC communities are addressing common health challenges such as aging, opioid misuse and workforce shortages
  • Identify strategies to promote individual and community wide resilience
  • Learn and integrate novel technologies to meet health care needs in rural communities


19ME012 – The 4th Annual Western North Carolina Rural Health Symposium: Challenges, Successes and Strategies – DAY ONE – Thursday
10/4 8:00 AM–4:30 PM
19ME012 – The 4th Annual Western North Carolina Rural Health Symposium: Challenges, Successes and Strategies – DAY TWO – Friday
10/5 8:00 AM–4:30 PM