Nearly seven years ago, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville (UofSC SOMG) held a panel session with Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Greenville, an organization focused on recovery and providing intervention and recovery support services to those seeking recovery. The FAVOR Greenville representatives spoke amongst the faculty and students about substance use disorder (SUD) and recovery, and the mission and impact of FAVOR in the Greenville community. Since this original panel, the collaboration between FAVOR Greenville and UofSC SOMG has continued to grow and resulted in a series of positive initiatives between FAVOR, SOMG, and Prisma Health.
Specifically for the medical students, the collaboration with FAVOR has led initiatives which allows students to increase their medical education, medical experience, and community involvement with this disorder. During students' medical education, there is opportunity to take two different elective courses about SUD and recovery. Also, all SOMG students receive the education that will allow them to apply for the DATA waiver (DEA X license). This allows them to treat patients with the medication used to treat opioid use disorder. SOMG was one of the first medical schools to do this. Additionally, students are required to participate in experiential learning opportunities by attending a FAVOR meeting after their EMT training, having experience with a FAVOR recovery coach during their emergency medicine rotation, and completing time and experience in a treatment center that treats opioid use disorder.
Dr. Lauren Demosthenes, who serves a dual role, as Senior Medical Director for Babyscripts and provider for Groups Recover Together, and clinical professor at the medical school, explained that, “AAMC has issued a call for medical education to increase education around this disorder and our school (SOMG) seems to be way ahead of the curve in our curriculum.”
Currently, in addition to the many positive opportunities provided by this collaboration, one of the current medical students is taking further initiative and leading a fundraiser this year to support the FAVOR program.
Campbell Hathaway, an M4 student from the UofSC SOMG, felt empowered by the opportunities with FAVOR during his early medical education. Specifically, he was passionate about the organization’s mission to provide recovery support services to those in need. Hathaway explained that personal experiences throughout his life made him a witness to friends making a series of poor decisions resulting in substance abuse. Hathaway stated, “Unfortunately, that is all it takes. One poor decision.”
Also inspired by FAVOR’s mission to reduce society’s stigma towards addiction through advocacy and public education, Hathaway remained dedicated to being a part of the FAVOR mission throughout his time at SOMG.
Since his initial interest, Hathway became a trained phone coach for FAVOR. “I encountered patients struggling with substance use disorder in the Emergency Department, in the hospital bed, and in the psychiatric facility,” he explained. He also attended FAVOR meetings and provided coaching support to patients through this outlet as well. Working directly with these patients, Hathaway had the opportunity to walk alongside patients as he coached them through their recovery. He shared that experiencing success stories of patients in recovery has been “extremely gratifying” and that getting involved with FAVOR was “one of the best decisions” he has ever made.
Campbell Hathway shared further about his passions and goals behind this year’s fundraiser:
I was driven to start a golf tournament fundraiser for FAVOR to assist them with their mission and also to spread the word about the good they do in the community. It is amazing to think that they can help roughly 5,000 people in the Upstate with recovery services per year. I hope that they continue to receive the support they deserve for striving to stymie the substance use disorder epidemic that permeates so many households in our community today.
FAVOR Greenville Strokes of Hope Charity Classic will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2022. For any additional information, contact Campbell Hathway at CHATHAWAY82@gmail.com.
Thank you in advance for your support towards FAVOR Greenville and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville in their efforts towards helping patients with substance use disorder in their recovery journey.