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Thank you to Joe Chille at Townsquare Media in Buffalo, NY for highlighting MATTERS as a resource for opioid and substance use disorder. Tune in to hear MATTERS’ Outreach Coordinator for Western New York and the Finger Lakes, Brigid Keane, discuss the program and our current service offerings.

How We Started

Brigid begins by discussing how MATTERS got started. In 2016, emergency medicine physician Dr. Joshua Lynch noticed a trend in Western New York. Individuals were repeatedly presenting to local emergency departments with opioid use disorder in acute withdrawal or post-overdose, even after being linked to resources nearby. Dr. Lynch quickly learned that individuals with substance use disorder were not receiving the care they needed out of the emergency department. These individuals were often sent home with a list of phone numbers to call on their own for a follow up appointment. These numbers often lead to a dead-end, whether that be a through a disconnected number or being on hold for hours at a time.


“That’s enough to discourage someone from even continuing [to pursue treatment]. That’s enough for someone to just hang up and say they’re done with it.” says Keane. “It really wasn’t efficient in connecting individuals to outpatient [treatment].”


Brigid continues “Or if they did get ahold of someone, they were told ‘We can see you in two months from now.’ And just imagine how that would feel if you went into the hospital for chest pain and were told [that]? People would be outraged. That would not be acceptable. So why would that be acceptable for individuals coming in for opioid use disorder?”

Resources Available

In this Townsquare Media interview, Brigid and Joe highlight that anyone can access MATTERS’ resources rapidly using its mobile app or visiting

Brigid highlighted that “We offer [patients] a ride to and from their first clinic appointment. So anybody that is referred through us gets access to that transportation voucher.” MATTERS also offers individuals who are under- or uninsured a medication voucher to cover the cost of up to 14 days of a buprenorphine prescription.


Brigid continues, “We understand how crucial that period of time is from when the individual presents to when they are cared for and when someone says they are ready for treatment – that may change in an hour. That may change in the next day. So we really want to make sure that we are able to get them in when they are ready {…} and minimize that window of time.”


MATTERS is proud to serve as a resource for individuals and organizations addressing substance use disorder across New York State. Access our services and supports on our website or mobile application.