MEMO: Governor Wolf Makes the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Top Priority

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Memo,  Substance Use Disorder SUBJECT: Governor Wolf Makes the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Top PriorityTO: Interested PartiesFROM: Jeff Sheridan, Press SecretaryDATE: April 29, 2016The Wolf Administration has made the fight against the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis a top priority.The Wolf Administration hopes that the following steps and actions, as well as a series of statewide roundtable discussions, are just the beginning of a larger conversation with both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate as well as local officials, law enforcement, emergency responders and health care professionals. And, while we know that avoiding the upcoming fiscal cliff is critical to fixing our structural budget deficit and having the resources necessary to do even more, we look forward to working 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 epidemic.The magnitude of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in this state is astounding — 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 combatting this crisis.Some of the Wolf Administration’s current and ongoing initiatives include:Drug Take-Back Boxes: The Wolf Administration, through DDAP, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association (PDAA), developed a statewide drug take-back system to address the problem of excess prescription drugs.This is funded through grants managed by PDAA.The program has placed over 400 boxes resulting in the collection of over 40,000 pounds of prescription drugs in 2015.Naloxone Distribution:The Physician General, Dr. Rachel Levine, signed two standing orders to make naloxone, a drug that temporarily reverses the symptoms of an opioid overdose, available.The first standing order made naloxone available to all first responders.The second, subsequently, made it available to all Pennsylvanians.Thanks to those orders, the Pennsylvania State Police and more than 300 municipal police departments have started ubiquitously carrying naloxone.To date, police departments have made over 740 reversals.Additionally, the Wolf Administration has partnered with Adapt Pharma to offer free naloxone to schools.Expedited Behavioral Health Coverage:Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations (BHMCOs) provide behavioral health, SUD, and recovery-oriented supplemental services in the Medicaid System.DHS and DDAP are collaborating to ensure that individuals in need of SUD treatment are able to access those services immediately through an expedited enrollment process.This means persons have BHMCO coverage as soon as their Medicaid is approved.A particular emphasis is placed on facilitating immediate BHMCO coverage for individuals being released from state and county correctional institutions and transferring directly to Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities to ensure Medicaid covers the cost of care.Warm Handoff Policy:“Warm handoffs” refer to health care professionals are transitioning patients from primary physician care to specialized drug and alcohol treatment programs.DDAP developed the warm hand-off policy, which mandates that Single County Authorities create and execute a process whereby overdose survivors are taken from the emergency department directly to treatment. These facilitated referrals support individuals with SUD and increase the odds of a successful recovery.Behind-the-Walls Treatment:The Department of Corrections (DOC) is working to reduce criminal behaviors through individualized SUD treatment and education for inmates.This will result in successful community reintegration.DOC provides comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment to inmates through a variety of services, including assessment, outpatient care, inpatient care or aftercare.As part of this ongoing mission, DOC is also conducting a pilot program using Vivitrol, a long-acting injectable form of naltrexone that blocks certain receptors to prevent a ‘high.’Some of the Wolf Administration’s plans and ideas for moving forward include:Continuing Medical Education:DOH, DDAP, the Department of State (DOS), and the PA Medical Society are working on developing and offering continuing medical education (CME) credits for physicians on SUD.The educational modules are broken into 4 sessions.Currently, modules on naloxone and prescribing guidelines are available on the PA Medical Society’s website.Still under development are modules on the ABC-MAP program and warm handoffs.Substance Use Disorder Medical School Curricula:Physician General, Dr. Rachel Levine, and DDAP are working with the deans of Pennsylvania medical schools to incorporate SUD courses into their curricula required for graduation from the program.This effort was successfully accomplished in Massachusetts and has been advocated by the Obama Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.Opioid Prescribing Guidelines:DOH and DDAP have been working collaboratively to create a set of specialized opioid prescribing guidelines in an effort to curtail the excess supply of drugs.The departments have completed multiple guidelines, including emergency department providers, chronic non-cancer pain, obstetrics and gynecology, pharmacists, geriatrics and dental pain.In development still are pediatrics, neurology and sports medicine.The departments are working to get the guidelines affirmed by the appropriate medical boards.Syringe Services Program:Syringe services programs can reduce the spread of disease and assist in connecting those with SUD with treatment professionals.In addition, these programs provide opportunities for program staff to share treatment options and assistance to intravenous drug users in a safe environment.$34M for Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence (aka “Health Homes”):Governor Wolf’s proposed 2016-17 budget provides more than $34 million to treat more than 11,250 new individuals with substance use disorder.The Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide 50 new Centers of Excellence for individuals with substance use disorder, providing medication-assisted treatment and appropriate wraparound services, such as cognitive-based therapies.Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence will focus on whole-person care and will treat all of the health care needs of an individual through a collaborative approach that consists of physical and behavioral health care and links to appropriate community supports that can increase chances of recovery and reduce expensive health care costs.Increasing the Number of Providers in the Medicaid System:BHMCOs use local needs assessments in the development of new services, including the expansion of the provider networks and development of additional supplemental services to address the needs identified within the local community.DHS continues to use these local assessments to inform and pursue recruitment and retention of additional providers to meet the increasing needs of Pennsylvanians affected by the opioid epidemic.Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP):Pennsylvania’s PDMP, implemented by DOH, is the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) program.Recently, DOH named Meghna Patel the PDMP director.Pharmacies and health care professionals who dispense Schedule II through V controlled substances will be required to electronically report prescription dispensing information to the ABC-MAP system within 72-hours.ABC-MAP will aid regulatory and law enforcement agencies in detecting and preventing fraud and abuse, as well as, helping individuals with SUD get into treatment. MEMO: Governor Wolf Makes the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Top Prioritycenter_img April 29, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

UW begins preparation for outdoor border battle

first_imgFresh off a victory against Bemidji State, the focus of UW men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves’ press conference Monday was this weekend’s series with Minnesota.Games against a rival like No. 2 Minnesota always have a buzz around them, but this weekend is special. Sunday’s game will be the only outdoor game either team has this season, and it will be played on Chicago’s historic Soldier Field.When asked about Sunday’s game, dubbed the “Hockey City Classic,” Eaves was excited about what the game could mean to the Badgers.“This weekend will serve to be a real emotional boost,” Eaves said. “The fact that we play, [have] a day off, and then do something totally out of the norm, playing outside in front of 50,000 plus people, I think it’s a really good thing.”Eaves, who has coached teams in outdoor games before – including a game at Camp Randall two years ago against Michigan – hopes his previous experience, along with the experience from the players who participated in that game, will give the Badgers an edge in terms of the intangibles that come with this type of event.“I don’t know what Minnesota knows about playing outside,” Eaves said. “I don’t know what kind of underwear they are going to wear … I don’t know if that becomes a big factor. So it’s hard to measure. A lot of our guys, I’d have to go check our list. How many of our guys played that outdoor game at Camp Randall, that’s another factor.”With only eight games left in the season, Wisconsin is tied for fifth in the WCHA standings with 25 points, just one point behind Minnesota and six points off the pace of first-place St. Cloud State.If the Badgers are hoping to launch a late-season run for the top of the standings, there may be no better opportunity than under the lights of Soldier Field against a rival like Minnesota.But in order to do that, Wisconsin will need to score goals, plain and simple. Over the past week of games, Wisconsin’s two leading scorers – junior forwards Tyler Barnes and Mark Zengerle – have both been held off the stat sheet, a particularly worrying situation as the Badgers take on the second-ranked college hockey team in the country.“I think one of the greatest challenges of our job is to try to figure out where these young people are at in their growth emotionally, mentally, physically and try to coach them up,” Eaves said. “It’s really easy to get down and berate them. I think there has to be some honesty in your talk, but at the same time you have to find where they are at, what’s going on.”Even if the offense does get firing on all cylinders, another boost may be coming for UW, in the form of sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe.“Jake made progress this Saturday on the ice,” Eaves said. “I’m hoping that with another day off that he’ll come out today and be able to do more, and be ready to get interjected back into the lineup.”The return of McCabe could be great news for Wisconsin, whose squad has been riddled with injuries the whole season.McCabe is currently seventh on the team in points with 10 and fifth in assists with eight. The presence of one of the better players on the team could give UW help with their struggling power play.The struggles with injury and the power play has led to an interesting season so far, one in which the Badgers have tied the school record for both ties (seven) and overtime games (seven).“Moving forward we keep pressing on the same things that we’ve been hitting in practice,” Eaves said. “I think that if we can get our power play to spike up a little bit here by getting everybody back on that number one unit that we would like to, that [could] be a difference maker in those close games.”last_img read more

No Salah for Nigeria, Egypt Friendly in Asaba Next Month

first_imgMohamed Salah Femi Solaja with agency reportLiverpool and Egypt mega star, Mohamed Salah, has been confirmed to miss the much-anticipated international friendly against the Super Eagles scheduled for March 25 in Asaba, Delta State.Salah in the Egyptian line-up was supposed to be a boost for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s policy of using sports tourism to drive more patronage to Delta State. It is against this backdrop that the state offered to host the high-profile international friendly as well as the Seychelles dead-rubber. The match is scheduled to hold three days after the last Group D AFCON qualifying clash with Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.But according to UK’s Daily Mirror Thursday, Liverpool FC and Egypt Football Association (EFA) have reached an agreement to excuse the 2018 African Footballer of the Year from the inconsequential matches to enable him concentrate on The Reds’ quest to wrestle the English Premiership trophy from Manchester City in the ongoing season.The Liverpool forward will also not be part of the Pharaohs’ last group match against Niger Republic on March 21.Daily Mirror quoted Egyptian FA boss, Ahmed Shobier, as confirming that Salah will not be involved in the two matches. “Mohamed Salah will not play the Niger game in the AFCON qualifiers or the Nigeria friendly.”The no-show in Asaba will come as a major boost to the 26-year old forward because he is going to have rest enough before Liverpool’s trip to Fulham on March 17 and a potentially season-defining clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 31.The Reds dropped to second in the Premier League table on Wednesday after Manchester City’s win over Everton, but they have a game at hand.After his 32-goal Premier League campaign last term Salah has again been crucial to Liverpool’s title challenge in 2018-19.He has scored 16 goals and provided seven assists in 25 league appearances in the on going season and his combination with the duo of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is regarded as one of the most potent in world football today.After taking as much as eight-point lead, Liverpool have wobbled in the recent matches to surrender their the summit on goals deference to defending champions Manchester City although with a game in hand. The team is also looking to win its first league title since 1990.They have drawn back-to-back games against Leicester City and West Ham United and need to get back to winning ways against Bournemouth on Saturday.Given how key Salah is to Liverpool’s success, as well as the packed schedule the Reds have up to the end of the season, it will be a big boost for the Merseyside outfit that their key man will have some time off international duty for Egypt in March.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more