Virginia Expands Its FAACT Opioid Data-Sharing Platform

Published: August 30, 2019

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF (VIRGINIA)Big DataCRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF (VIRGINIA)Disease TrackingGovernorGrantsHealth CareHealth Information TechnologyHealth ITHealth ServicesInformation TechnologyInnovationJustice/Public Safety & Homeland SecurityPrescription Drug MonitoringResearch & DevelopmentSocial ServicesVIRGINIA

Governor Ralph Northam has expanded Virginia’s opioid data-sharing platform to Roanoke Valley, where opioid-related deaths have quadrupled in recent years.

Virginia is expanding its Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation (FAACT) to the Roanoke Valley and will continue its operation in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, Governor Ralph Northam recently announced. The FAACT data-sharing platform, designed to fight Virginia’s opioid crisis, will now operate in a part of the state that has recently witnessed a spike in opioid-related fatalities. Between 2016 and 2017, Roanoke Valley saw its number of opioid-related deaths quadruple, while opioid misuse and abuse claim the lives of over 1,000 Virginians throughout the state every year.

FAACT first began in 2017 as a collaboration between the Virginia Departments of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). Their goal was to develop and implement a platform to share data across government agencies and local organizations. After receiving a Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) grant from the federal government, the state partnered with Qlarion Inc. to pilot FAACT in the Northern Shenandoah Valley in 2018. According to a press release from Governor Northam’s office, FAACT has been successfully operating and providing stakeholders with opioid-use data in the region since December 2018.

“As a Commonwealth, we must be strategic and proactive in helping individuals struggling with addiction and addressing the opioid crisis in our communities,” said Governor Northam. “As a physician, I know that we cannot defeat this epidemic in isolation. With the expansion of this platform, we will enable more of our government agencies and local organizations to share important data and improve their ability to work together to translate that information into real solutions that can save lives.”

The platform combines formerly separate data points from law enforcement, state, county and local agencies, courts, health-care and social services entities, and others. A self-service analytics layer allows the participating organizations to create reports and dashboards, look at incident maps, and more effectively collaborate with each other. This integration of opioid data also provides officials with an empirical view of the epidemic, contributing to better decision-making. According to Lauren Cummings, executive director of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Council, officials from the region have been successful in deploying resources and making key adjustments as a result of valuable insights from FAACT.    

“Everyone has long been in agreement that we cannot arrest our way out of the opioid crisis,” said Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “These collaborative efforts provide valuable insight that supports a targeted, evidence-based response to the [opioid] epidemic.”

The continuation and expansion of FAACT will be funded by opioid-response federal grants from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Qlarion Inc. will continue to work closely with the state during this expansion, specifically by partnering with the Roanoke Valley Collective Response to ensure that Roanoke’s critical partners are engaged.

Source: Office of Governor Ralph Northam