Governor Wolf Urges Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to Fund Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act

first_img May 20, 2016 Governor Wolf Urges Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to Fund Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act Press Release,  Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Wolf sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation urging them to fund the comprehensive Opioid Abuse and Reduction Act of 2016. The text of the letter is below and can also be viewed here.Dear Congressman/Senator –The magnitude of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is shocking: at least seven Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. With nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 and estimates that the 2015 total will be higher, a collaborative effort on the federal, state, and local levels is crucial in combating this crisis.I have been holding roundtable discussions throughout Pennsylvania in order to listen to local and state officials about the challenges that they are facing, as well as discuss the initiatives of the administration, the state legislature, county agencies, treatment centers, hospitals, and medical schools. These roundtables are an opportunity to work collaboratively with the General Assembly and community leaders to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in the fight to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis.Last week, I was encouraged by the passage of a package of bills in the United States House of Representatives that would help to combat the opioid and heroin crisis in the United States. After meeting with local leaders and families throughout Pennsylvania who have been personally affected by this epidemic, I understand how crucial federal, state, and local resources are to combating this epidemic. I am respectfully requesting that you vote to fund Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016 (H.R. 5046) in order to provide addicted individuals and their families with the resources they so desperately need.My administration has taken several actions to fight the heroin and opioid crisis including: signing a statewide standing order for naloxone, making it possible for all Pennsylvanians to access this life-saving drug; equipping the Pennsylvania State Police with naloxone so that those troopers who are first on the scene of an overdose can have another tool on-hand during these emergencies; partnering with Adapt Pharma to make Narcan available to public high schools across the state at no cost; developing the ABC-MAP prescription drug monitoring program to detect and prevent prescription fraud and abuse, which contribute to addiction; and appointing a director for the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Office, who will work to ensure that the PDMP meets its goal of assisting healthcare professionals in identifying patients that would benefit from treatment.In an effort to curtail drug addiction and curb the supply of excess drugs that can be used illicitly, the Department of Health is leading an effort to build upon the opioid prescribing guidelines already created, including specific guidelines for emergency department providers, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, and pharmacists. These guidelines give healthcare providers direction for safe and effective pain relief practices, with greater emphasis on non-opioid therapies and greater caution to prevent addiction and diversion. In addition, the DOH recently joined dozens of healthcare organizations, medical experts, and consumer advocacy groups in signing petitions requesting changes to federal pain management requirements that are believed to foster dangerous prescribing practices.The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has led a statewide initiative to get naloxone into the hands of municipal police departments. To date, more than 320 municipal police departments are equipped with naloxone, and those departments have reversed more than 900 overdoses as a result of that effort. DDAP also has developed a “warm hand-off” policy, mandating county-level drug and alcohol administrators to create processes whereby overdose survivors are taken directly from the emergency department to a licensed drug treatment provider. In some areas of the commonwealth, early reports indicate as many as 50 percent to 70 percent of overdose survivors are getting into treatment immediately through this process. Under DDAP’s leadership, Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Program is helping communities properly dispose of unused and unwanted prescriptions. To date, there are nearly 450 take-back boxes located at police stations across Pennsylvania. In 2015, more than 56,000 pounds of prescription drugs were taken back and destroyed.Furthermore, the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act has greatly increased access to treatment services for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.Finally, my proposed 2016-17 budget provides more than $34 million to treat 11,250 new individuals with substance use disorder. The Department of Human Services will provide 50 new Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence for individuals with substance use disorder, providing medication-assisted treatment and appropriate wraparound services, such as cognitive-based therapies.The funding of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act would be instrumental to adding to state and local efforts to combat the heroin and opioid crisis. Please keep in mind the needs of the millions of Pennsylvanians who are personally affected by this as you consider funding the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016.Sincerely,Governor Tom Wolf# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

New York Takes Offshore Wind Lead

first_imgThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with an USD 18.5 million grant to lead an offshore wind research and development (R&D) consortium. The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium is a cooperative innovation hub that will bring together industry, academia, government and other stakeholders to advance offshore wind plant technologies, develop innovative methods for wind resource and site characterization, and develop advanced technology solutions for installation, operation, maintenance, and supply chain.The overall goal of the consortium created by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the US.The grant will be matched by financial support from NYSERDA and is for a term of four years.“There is enormous potential for offshore wind in the United States,” said Timothy Unruh, EERE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.“Through this consortium, DOE seeks to support fundamental research to accelerate the development of affordable offshore wind technologies.”With only one commercial offshore wind farm operating in the United States, further research is needed to address US-specific conditions, DOE said.This research will focus on conditions such as deep water where floating foundations are required, areas where the seabed conditions are not well understood, the impact of hurricanes on the East Coast, and challenging environments for installation and operations at sea.DOE is also providing an additional USD 2 million to DOE’s national laboratories to support consortium R&D activities.NYSERDA teamed with Carbon Trust and the Renewables Consulting Group to establish an industry-led and independent group with a nationwide focus. Its board members include offshore wind developers, public sponsors and representatives of national utilities and national laboratories. The consortium includes New Jersey and California and will be reaching out to other states to join.“New York leads the nation in its commitment to renewable energy, and offshore wind is an affordable clean energy source that will power our future,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.“This consortium cements our role as the national capital of the offshore wind industry and will drive innovation and development, support job creation and bolster our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”last_img read more