Recovery Coaches in Primary Healthcare Settings

The National Association of Community Health Centers NHCAC working with Provider Clinical Support System PCSS , launched a pilot study on how to best address intake, billing and coding procedures in community healthcare centers, critical aspects in positive patient outcomes. which and summarized with a blueprint for a successful OUD/MAT practice. Peer Support is one distinct and specific recommendation to bolster effectiveness in a practice and so are the CCAR trainings we deliver. Here is an excerpt from that report:
PURPOSE: If a health center’s goal is to expand access to MAT Program services for individuals suffering from opioid addiction, or at risk of becoming addicted, facilitating community outreach efforts targeting shelters, soup kitchens, and similar locations
can be a valuable process.
Here is a re-posting of Appendix A-2 in that report.
  • Successfully expanding community outreach efforts requires finding the right individual(s) to serve in this capacity. A “recovery coach” may be a good fit for this function, as these individuals commonly possess the following attributes:
  • Typically is in recovery (i.e. a peer)
  • Have acquired knowledge about how to successfully sustain recovery
  • Non-clinical role – this person is not diagnosing or treating addiction or mental health issues
  • Able to remain engaged with patients throughout the recovery process
  • The recovery coach can be valuable in a case management role and in assisting patients with sustaining their recovery.


Below are some examples of specific roles a recovery coach can fulfill as a MAT Program resource.


  • Spends time at shelters & soup kitchens engaging with individuals, eating meals with them, etc.
  • Establishes rapport as a peer over time
  • Facilitates scheduling willing patients for an assessment at the health center
  • Stays engaged with individuals on a waiting list for the MAT Program
  • Communicates regularly with the MAT Program team Helps develop the recovery plan


  • Helps to initiate and sustain an individual/family in recovery from substance use
  • Helps client find transportation, housing, clothes, employment, child care, etc.
  • Promotes recovery by removing barriers
  • Serves as a personal mentor for people seeking recovery assistance
  • Works with individuals beyond the recovery phase through stabilization and into maintenance
Specific training for individuals serving as a recovery coach are available, including through the Center for Addiction Recovery Training (CCAR Recovery Coach Academy): CCAR (or)
For more information about recovery coaches:

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