The Governor’s Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was founded in 1990 to collaborate with the then 4 NC medical schools to develop a comprehensive approach to improve how the health care professions, particularly physicians, prevent, identify, and treat substance use disorders. The first Board of Directors was appointed by Governor James G. Martin and initial funding was provided through the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.
Twenty-five years later, the Governor’s Institute remains an important partner and resource, providing innovative professional education, workforce development, networking opportunities and other collaborations among research and educational programs, professional organizations, clinics and hospitals, treatment facilities, consumer groups and the substance use disorder field.
The work of the Governor’s Institute is built on evidence-based practices, interventions that have been proven effective in reducing the burden of substance use disorders on individuals, families, communities, and federal, state and local economies.
Evidence-based Practices, Programs, and Policies
- Coordinating role in statewide adoption of substance abuse and mental health evidence-based practices, programs, and policies.
- Coordination of conferences and meetings associated with evidence-based practices, programs, and policies in mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders.
- Development and dissemination of bulletins and newsletters highlighting behavioral health issues.
Doctors, Nurses and other Healthcare Professionals
Thousands of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners trained and supported to identify and intervene with patients with substance use issues.
- Medical School Curriculum Project: A collaboration with NC medical schools to develop and implement substance abuse curricula, giving future physicians assistance in preventing, identifying and intervening with patients with alcohol/drug problems.
- Training and technical assistance for physicians and other healthcare providers on addiction medicine issues including safer opioid prescribing, medication assisted treatment for suds, and other evidence-based practices.
- Lead Agency for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) initiatives in NC.
- Region’s premier 2-day Addiction Medicine Conference providing basic and advanced addiction education for physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Military Service Members, Veterans, and their Families
- Coordination of multi-stakeholder behavioral health initiatives in the State including SAMHSA-funded initiatives, the Governor’s Working Group on Veterans, Service Members, and their Families, and the inaugural Student Veterans in Higher Education conference on behavioral health and academic needs of student veterans in NC.
- Development and dissemination of bulletins, infographics, and newsletters highlighting behavioral health issues of veterans, service members, and their families.
- Grant-writing assistance to community organizations serving homeless veterans that subsequently received more than $28 million in a two-year period (2009 and 2010).
Substance Abuse Workforce Development
- Robust behavioral health workforce development working with students, community colleges and universities through training, skill building, and a scholarship program.
- Governor’s Institute named in NC Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Substance Abuse Task Force to take a lead role in increasing and improving the workforce.
Meeting Tomorrow’s Challenges Today
Never has the work of the Institute been more critical than it is today. The current transformation of the health care system from a fee for service/acute care focus to a more integrated, recovery-oriented, and value based system necessitates a more comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing substance use disorders across the continuum of prevention to early intervention to treatment to recovery. GI initiatives are designed to facilitate this transformation, creating solutions to the deep rooted issues and significant direct and indirect costs of substance use disorders.