Josh Luftig, PA-C
Bay Area Regional Director
California Bridge Program
Josh Luftig, PA-C is a founding member of California Bridge — a SAMHSA/DHCS funded statewide training program to enable acute care settings (ED and inpatient) to initiate 24/7 medication for addiction treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. He recruited over 50 hospitals into the program during expansion to 208 hospitals in 2021, and provides statewide technical assistance with ED and inpatient MAT implementation, buprenorphine dosing algorithms, data collection, and effective collaboration with community harm reduction and justice system partners. He created one of the nation's first high-volume low-threshold ED-based naloxone distribution programs resulting in a 65-fold increase in the naloxone provisioning rate and planned, managed, and executed statewide program expansion from 1 hospital in 2019 to 80 hospitals, with 33,624 naloxone kits for free distribution, as of June 2021. He is also establishing one of the first ED-based syringe exchanges.
At Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA where he works on the front lines in the Emergency Department he specializes in research, lectures, clinical instruction on emergency buprenorphine treatment and emergency ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (USGRA). He partnered with the Bridge team to establishing one of the largest ED-based MAT initiation projects in the nation and co-developed and implemented a novel high-dose rapid buprenorphine induction protocol in 2018, recently published in JAMA. He established collaborative partnerships with the county jail, Santa Rita Jail (SRJ), and the Oakland Police Department (OPD) providing technical assistance for SRJ's first buprenorphine MAT program, and co-leading OPDs naloxone distribution program, respectively. He and introduced three novel blocks (RAPTIR, ESPB, and PENG) into emergency medicine clinical practice via publication in American Journal of Emergency Medicine, clinical instruction of emergency medicine resident physicians, and training at ACEP national conferences; and overhauled highlandultrasound.com, a free open-access emergency USGRA training resource with 41,000 unique visitors and 84,000 pageviews annually as of 2021.