Even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) initiated a pilot program to provide low-threshold buprenorphine via telemedicine to people living in San Francisco, in partnership with community-based sites. SFDPH needed a project manager that was experienced in harm reduction and could steer the overall trajectory of the project, coordinate meetings between project collaborators, handle day-to-day logistics and challenges arising at each site, and ensure that action items were completed in a timely manner.
Facente Consulting’s role in this 18-month project required collaborative planning with and coordination between SFDPH, the telehealth vendor (Bright Heart Health) and community partner sites, including GLIDE, the Community Behavioral Health Services Pharmacy, and a new hospital step-down program for COVID-19 patients known as San Francisco’s Alternate Care Site. Other key activities included planning meetings with SFDPH staff, site visits, troubleshooting challenges, creating an evaluation plan, and producing a report summarizing the process and lessons learned. Final deliverables included an incident log identifying all issues that emerged throughout the project, and a detailed final report that summarized all major project components, barriers, analysis of available data on program participation, and key recommendations.