Project Engage

A hospital-based intervention and referral program in Delaware for patients presenting with substance use disorders

Project Engage, a program hosted by the Wilmington and Christiana hospitals in Delaware, provides early intervention and treatment referral services for patients with substance use disorders (SUD).

Engagement starts in the hospital, where services are provided at the beside by peers in recovery - Engagement Specialists - and include:

  • determining the recovery goals of the patient
  • motivational interviewing
  • exploring treatment options
  • supporting patients on their initial steps to recovery.

The specialists continue to work with patients after discharge from the hospital to help them remain in treatment and access appropriate community resources and programs. Project Engage also has a special program for pregnant women with opioid use disorders and collaborates with local construction companies to offer recovery support services to their employees.

Project Engage is a collaboration between Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. and ChristianaCare Health System. More information on the program can be found in this presentation

That a relatively large proportion (43%) of Project Engage patients entered SUD treatment after discharge from the hospital is promising.

Continuum of Care
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Early Intervention
Post-overdose response
Recovery coaching
Peer-reviewed Article

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

"...a large percentage of patients entered SUD treatment after participating in Project Engage, a novel intervention with facilitated referral to treatment. Although the findings are limited by the retrospective nature of the data and the small sample sizes, they do suggest a potentially cost-effective addition to existing hospital services if replicated in prospective studies with larger samples and controls." (Pecoraro, A., Horton, T., Ewen, E., et al., 2012)