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Recovery Support Specialist
Job Number: 2021-38460
Category: Administrative Professional
Location: Worcester, MA
Shift: Day
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Exempt
Business Unit: UMass Chan Medical School
Department: School - Psychiatry-Clinical Research - W833010
Job Type: Full-Time
Salary Grade: 40
Union Code: Non Union Position -W60- Non Unit Professional
Num. Openings: 7
Post Date: Dec. 7, 2022


The Recovery Support Specialist provides peer recovery support services to patients with substance use disorder (SUD) and will assist patients in achieving sustained recovery.  Facilitates patient access to recovery­ oriented substance use disorder treatment, resources, and community recovery groups. Bridges the segregated treatment system into a more holistic care model through providing support across multiple systems of care.  Maintain ongoing patient support regardless of client relapse and will serve as a motivator, ally, role model, problem-solver, and advocate for patients with substance use disorders.  Possesses thorough understanding of community culture to address the barriers to successful recovery, better tailor health messages, and provide links to community resources and treatment options. 


  • Serves as a liaison between the recovery community, the addiction treatment system, the medical treatment system, and the patient's community, family, and social context to facilitate connections across systems of care.
  • Engages with patients identified with SUD referred by UMMS.
  • Meets with patients with SUD prior to discharge and facilitate patient access to next stage of treatment. Conducts initial needs assessment, reviews the patient's SUD history, and identifies the patient's goals and expectations together with clinical staff, facilitate referrals to appropriate disposition options for individual patients. 
  • Works collaboratively with treatment team to implement evidence-based services to patients with SUD.
  • Helps patient navigate the healthcare system and social service system; accompany patients to appointments and meetings as needed.
  • Provides transportation to clients to attend meetings and appointments as needed.
  • Educates patients about addiction and utilize motivational enhancement techniques to explore ambiguity and tip the scales towards treatment.
  • Provides peer counseling and support patients in establishing treatment goals and achieving and maintaining recovery.
  • Addresses barriers to successful recovery and serves as role model and advocate.
  • Conducts active outreach efforts to encourage attendance and participation in recovery-oriented, self-help, and pro-social groups.
  • Assists with access to treatment for SUD and co-occurring conditions, creating systems and procedures to rapidly identify treatment needs and determine appropriate level of care.
  • Assists with data collection for quality assurance and program evaluation
  • Develops a relapse prevention/intervention plan with patients and care team.
  • Monitors patients' progress and evaluate outcome, using a patient tracking system.
  • Clearly and effectively facilitates communication between the patient, PCP, consulting psychiatrist, and any external providers maintaining appropriate confidentiality procedures and boundaries.
  • Maintains accurate and up-to-date records and standardized data on all patients. Systematically reviews the caseload with the supervisor each week, focusing on new patients and patients who are having difficulties


  • Current Certification as a Recovery Coach or Peer Specialist.
  • Minimum of 3 years in sustained recovery.
  • Reliable transportation and comprehensive insurance coverage.
  • Strong interpersonal, facilitation, and leadership skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, physicians, social workers, and nurses.
  • Strong advocacy skills along with knowledge of community based services, resources, and local recovery community.
  • Comfort with multiple pathways to recovery from SUD and willingness to embrace a patient-centered approach that recognizes an individual's preferences and autonomy ("recovery by any means necessary").
  • Comfort in working in both medical and social service settings.
  • Clinical skills in motivational enhancement strategies.
  • Ability to provide accurate feedback without judgment or discomfort.
  • Flexibility to adapt to unforeseen needs or circumstances.
  • Excels at problem solving and multi-tasking, organized, efficient and goal directed. Ability to maintain effective working relationships with patients/families and staff.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Effective use of the Internet and Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
  • Ability to handle confidential information.

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