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The MATTERS Network was initially developed in partnership between the University at Buffalo Department of Emergency Medicine and UBMD Emergency Medicine to facilitate improved referrals from emergency departments to outpatient mental health and substance use treatment organizations. Since its expansion in 2019, the MATTERS platform has been integrated into workflows in over 40 hospitals, 100 clinics, and 1,000 other health-system partners across New York State.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The MATTERS Network partnered with UBMD Emergency Telemedicine to connect patients to two local Virtual Emergency Departments to improve access to emergency care. Through this partnership and the participation of many community partners, the MATTERS Network is now able to facilitate immediate emergency referrals to treatment for opioid and substance use disorders (OUD/SUD) from nearly anywhere. This type of resource is vital when treating individuals in acute withdrawal and post-overdose.


The Buffalo Police Department (BPD) and Erie County Probation Departments have recently partnered with the MATTERS Network to connect individuals in the criminal justice system to the care they need, reducing recidivism and improving overall treatment of individuals with OUD. This cross-sector collaboration is unique in that BPD and other police departments are addressing the root of the problem for many individuals in the criminal justice system: substance use disorder.