The Substance Use Response Guidance and Education (SURGE) program aims to increase access and improve the quality of treatment for health conditions related to substance use and substance use disorders in medical settings, with a special focus on primary care providers.  Grant support allows us to offer programs at no cost to participants, including continuing education credits.

As part of the Training and Organizational Development division of Health Federation of Philadelphia, SURGE works in collaboration with the Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction (SUPHR) division of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) to develop training programs that prepare health care providers to screen for and treat opioid use disorder as well as other conditions related to substance use in primary care and other medical settings. 

SURGE is focused on developing a resilient health care workforce that is prepared to meet the complex needs and challenges posed by patients who use drugs. Our trainings, technical assistance, and learning collaboratives support practice improvement that is realistic and sustainable while advocating for timely, effective, and compassionate care for patients early in the disease process. Importantly, we work to prepare providers to use their skills to promote harm reduction and prevent overdose. While many providers have the credentials needed to treat patients who use drugs, some may feel unprepared to provide this kind of care. SURGE’s trainings and provider collaboratives give essential support to health care providers so that they can treat patients who use drugs confidently and effectively.

The centerpiece of the SURGE program is the Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Preceptor program, which offers a didactic training followed by on-site observation with a faculty preceptor. This program is complemented by case review sessions to illustrate the concurrent treatment of comorbidities associated with substance use. These sessions allow members of the care team to discuss common concerns that emerge within treatment scenarios. Additionally, we offer professional support for providers through our monthly MOUD Provider Collaboratives, and other trainings exploring emergent clinical issues.

With support from the PDPH division of Maternal Child and Family Health, we also offer a monthly Perinatal Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Collaborative and a series of didactic trainings to prepare treatment teams to address the needs of pregnant people who have OUD. This group discusses timely issues, shares resources, and identifies topics for future trainings.

SURGE also offers Resilience Programs to support front line workers who engage with people who use drugs. These programs promote wellness by recognizing the emotional and physical effects of working with a population that has experienced many kinds of trauma.

For over 30 years, HFP has offered trainings that emphasize the need to destigmatize care and promote harm reduction. The eastern Pennsylvania regional partner of the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, helping providers prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV since 1988, HFP is also the home of the Philadelphia ACES Connection, an online community of practice for individuals who are deeply committed to trauma and resilience work in areas ranging from education to the justice system, and from policy to parenting, and of the MARC (Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities) project, using the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma, and resilience—collectively called “ATR”—to build thriving and equitable communities.

To find out more about SURGE’s opportunities to learn, connect, and advance care for people who use substances, please reach out to us and start a conversation at