Success Stories: Statewide Implementations

Within the challenging landscape of addressing the needs of their residents with substance use disorder (SUD), states are driven by a commitment to enhance health outcomes, ease system burdens, and achieve cost efficiencies. 

Following are summary highlights from case studies where CHESS Health’s services and solutions, principally its evidence-based Connections App, were deployed statewide to support states in their efforts to address the crisis of drug and alcohol addiction, including the opioid epidemic, in their communities.

Oklahoma: Improving SUD Treatment Outcomes with Fewer Readmissions

Background: Oklahoma’s rural landscape, disparate systems, lack of access to care, and disconnected recovery support resources presented a unique challenge to addressing the state’s burgeoning SUD crisis. Leadership within the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) sought a solution to facilitate continuous engagement, coordinate care across support services, and bolster short and long-term recovery outcomes.

Scaling a Proof of Concept

Oklahoma’s experience with CHESS Health began in 2016 with a narrow project supporting an innovative and nationally recognized prison diversion program, Women in Recovery (WIR).  This program partnered with CHESS Health to provide ongoing peer support and engagement.  Almost immediately, WIR participants touted the program as positive and essential in providing timely encouragement and assistance during pivotal moments between in-person treatments.

In 2019 and 2020, the success of the Connections App in the WIR program led ODMHSAS to fund its use by select behavioral health providers, including several of the large agencies that would go on to become CCBHBCs. ODMHSAS collected valuable outcomes data that reinforced the solution’s efficacy and potential for statewide expansion. 

After the success of the eRecovery solution, ODMHSAS engaged CHESS Health’s eIntervention solution, a program that facilitates connected, collaborative, and coordinated care through a streamlined and documented SUD referral process.  This program was deployed across multiple stakeholders including emergency rooms, detox facilities, crisis centers, departments of corrections clinics, state departments of health clinics, and SUD providers including all of the CCBHC’s in the State.

Deployed Solutions.

eRecovery – Multi-modal care management solution including the patient-focused Connections app, moderated peer engagement, and dashboard.

eIntervention – Closed loop referral solution.

ePrevention – Automated process supportive of SBIRT.

West Virginia: Boosting Recovery by Reducing Isolation Among Individuals with Substance Use Disorder

Background: West Virginia was ground-zero for the explosion of the opioid epidemic in the United States. According to a 2019 study published in Health Care Management, West Virginia was considered the epicenter of the opioid crisis, reporting the highest rate of overdose related deaths in the nation. 1 

Although the State was making progress in the fight against the opioid epidemic, the lockdowns required by Covid-19 pandemic had the potential to undo the state’s efforts by forcing separation, increasing isolation, and reducing access to recovery supports.  

Addressing an Urgent Need

West Virginia’s state leadership, including the Governor’s Office and the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy, acknowledged the pressing concern of isolation and disconnection from support during the pandemic and immediately recognized the need to address this critical issue as being central to their ongoing strategy in combating the state’s opioid crisis.  They were seeking a dynamic and inclusive solution; one that could be quickly and seamlessly deployed and integrated across rural and urban landscapes to effectively reduce isolation, bolster coping skills, and support sustained recovery.

Rapid and Expansive Deployment

West Virginia University (WVU) researchers, who were familiar with CHESS Health’s mobile engagement and care management program, recommended eRecovery to the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). The immediate focus was on mass and rapid deployment of the Connections Smartphone app and peer engagement program, both of which are core components of the eRecovery solution. These tools would offer a pivotal lifeline and foster sustained engagement during this time of isolation. Additionally, CHESS Health’s ability to rapidly deploy meant immediate support for those who were struggling with the lack of access to in-person treatment and recovery support services.

Deployed Solutions.

eRecovery – Multi-modal care management solution including the patient-focused Connections app, moderated peer engagement, and dashboard.


patients enrolled in eRecovery/ Connections app


increase in quality of life


decrease in risk factors

Insights, Outcomes & Next Steps

To date, over 7,800 patients have been enrolled in and use the Connections app. In a Recovery Improvement analysis from those using the app, key quality of life indicators showed marked improvements;  program participants reported a 29% increase in their quality of life measure through engagement in work, school, or volunteer activities and significant reduction in risk factors including a 19% reduction in sleep difficulty, 24% reduction in drug and alcohol cravings, 30% reduction in known exposure to risky situations, 27% reduction in relationship trouble, and 20% reduction in feeling depressed.  

Program success is attributed to focused, state-wide commitment to implementation of CHESS Health’s evidence-based programs. West Virginia has a CHESS Health Implementation workgroup consisting of individuals from the Department of Health & Human Resources, Office of Drug Control Policy, West Virginia University Office of Health Affairs, and Rural Health, all of whom partner with CHESS Health’s onboarding and client services teams to continually identify effective outreach and implementation strategies to reach and engage providers and at-risk populations.  This approach has resulted in continued success, including ongoing growth in onboarding, increased provider engagement, expanded patient enrollment including a specific focus on college student enrollment.

Let’s Talk.

Interested in discussing your statewide goals to combat the substance use disorder crisis?