By Anna Morgan-Barsamian, MPH, RN, PMP, Senior Manager, Training & Education, NaRCAD
An interview with José Peña Bravo, PhD, Health Educator, Florida Department of Health in Duval County.
Tags: Detailing Visits, Evidence-Based Medicine, Opioid Safety, Data
Anna: Hi, José! Thanks for joining us on our DETAILS blog today. Your journey that led you to the academic detailing community is unique – can you share that journey with us?
José: Yes! My background is not originally in public health. I’m a biomedical researcher by training, specifically preclinical research using animal models. My dissertation work was on understanding the neurophysiological changes and different brain regions involved in behaviors related to substance use.
My intention was to stay in academia and start my own lab, but my plans changed during COVID-19 and the opportunity to work with the public health department in Duval County presented itself. It’s been a learning curve for me to switch my perspective from preclinical research to public health—it’s been an enjoyable journey so far!
Anna: I’m sure your biomedical research skills have a positive impact with clinicians during your detailing visits too, especially when clinicians want to discuss the neurobiology of substance use disorder. Speaking of visits, your detailing work is funded through CDC’s Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) grant, which seeks to prevent overdoses. Can you tell us about what the work for this grant looks like in Florida?
José: The OD2A project is a team effort across three CDC-funded jurisdictions in Florida. The health departments share that funding with various community organizations, and we all work toward linking patients with substance use disorder to treatment, mental health care, and care coordination services.
Our detailing team is closely connected to organizations and resources within our community, and we share these resources with clinicians during our detailing visits. We also have access to aggregate prescription data from our jurisdiction and are continuing to find ways to present and incorporate this data at our visits with clinicians. We share this data and other resources across our three jurisdictions.
Anna: We’ve found that many AD programs have been successful when they are closely connected to community resources. NaRCAD recently hosted a detailing training for OD2A recipients that you attended. What was it like to train with other jurisdictions working on the same project?
José: It was helpful to hear from other jurisdictions because they’ve all approached their AD work differently based on the gaps in care in their own communities. I was able to hear from AD programs in rural areas and the specific challenges that their patients face with lack of access to care (long travel times, stigma, etc.).
I also enjoyed practicing my detailing skills in a space where I felt comfortable making mistakes. It’s valuable to try things out and see how they’ll go before going out in the field. I learned a lot at the training and am excited to try out some of my new skills at my next visit.
Anna: Hearing from other detailers who are doing this important work with you is so helpful as you continue to think about and grow your own program. What advice would you tell other detailers working on the OD2A project?
José: If you’re just starting out, reach out to community partners and get a sense of what patients with substance use disorder are experiencing and the challenges they’re facing before you start detailing clinicians. You’ll better be able to represent what is happening in the community and the resources that exist when you’ve done your research first!
Anna: That’s terrific advice – a key piece of being an effective detailer is understanding the patient experience for the clinical topic you’re detailing on. So, what’s next for your work and Duval County?
José: We’re currently working with our epidemiology team to collect population-level data and present it concisely. We want to be able to efficiently share this data with clinicians in a way that gets their attention and has them compare it to what they’re experiencing in their clinics to ensure an interactive dialogue during detailing visits.
Anna: Using data to tell a story helps clinicians see the impact that they have in preventing overdoses and starts a conversation about organizations and resources that exist within communities for patients with substance use disorder. Thanks for sharing your OD2A work with us, José. We look forward to connecting with you and the other OD2A recipients at our conference in November!
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Biography. José’s background is in Neuroscience preclinical research with over 10 years of experience in the field. His graduate work focused on the study of rodent models of substance abuse and the neurophysiological changes associated with controlled-substance experience. He has additional experience as an undergraduate and graduate level lecturer in different biomedical research topics. José recently transitioned to a position as health educator as part of the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program at the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. His role involves the implementation of the academic detailing program including outreach to clinics, integrating novel data and information to education materials, and keeping track of different metrics associated with outreach and AD sessions.
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