Educational Initiatives to Address Opioid Crisis in Northwest Ohio

Northwest State Community College (NSCC) and Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers (CHWC) will host a series of educational initiatives to address the opioid crisis affecting northwest Ohio. The initiatives, made possible through the generous support of the Eugenio Madero Family Medical Education Fund at Harvard Medical School, will run April 12 and 13 at Northwest State. They will include a screening of the award-winning documentary “The Providers;” a continuing education course designed for health care providers and delivered by Harvard Medical School faculty on key aspects of treating opioid addiction; and an open town forum. Learn more and register.

A NATIONAL CRISIS HITS HOME
More than 2.5 million Americans are struggling with addiction to opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. [1]  Ohio is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths, [2] with, on average, 14 people dying each day.[3] Every county in Ohio and every city, town and village — urban and rural — is affected. The human toll, the increased crime and the economic and societal damages caused by this epidemic are devastating.[4]

Mr. Eugenio Madero is vice chairman, president and CEO at Rassini SAB de CV, a global company in the automotive industry with a strong presence in more than 14 countries, including the United States. Rassini has manufacturing plants and technological centers in Ohio and Michigan — two states heavily impacted by the opioid crisis. Mr. Madero made a gift to Harvard Medical School supporting addiction prevention and treatment in the northwest region of Ohio, home to one of the Rassini plants.

“Given Rassini’s ties to the Midwest and our concern for the people in these communities, we are dedicated to tackling this critical issue,” said Mr. Madero.

The Eugenio Madero Family Medical Education Fund at Harvard Medical School has enabled the creation of an extensive educational program at NSCC, at which HMS faculty will collaborate with local providers to share best practices and experiences for managing pain, treating addiction and preventing overdose deaths. Clinicians, first responders, law enforcement agencies and residents of multiple Ohio counties will benefit.

Mr. Madero notes, “HMS is key to helping support impacted communities and shape public policy around this pervasive and destructive health problem.”

“Medical professionals have taken great strides in recent years to help combat the opioid issue and stop addiction before it starts by using alternative pain management methods, setting realistic expectations with patients about pain and only writing opioid prescriptions in short-term increments,” said Mr. Phil Ennen, CEO of Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers. Dr. Michael Thomson, NSCC president, added, “The opioid and mental health crises facing northwest Ohio present major challenges spanning health care, legal and addiction services. While the task seems daunting, we can make a measurable difference in this crisis by working together using proven best practices from other rural communities.”

Scheduled Events Include:

Film Screening and Discussion of “The Providers”
Date: Friday, April 12, 6-8:30 p.m.
Location: NSCC Atrium
Target Audience: Open to the public and local residents impacted by the opioid crisis
Cost: Free; Registration is not required, but encouraged.

“The Providers” is an award-winning documentary chronicling three health care providers bringing care to those living in a rural American community struggling with a shortage of doctors and the ravages of the opioid epidemic. The screening will be immediately followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and two of the medical professionals featured in the film. Refreshments will be provided.

Treating and Preventing Addiction in Community-Based Settings
Date: Saturday, April 13, 8 am-12:30 pm
Location: NSCC Auditorium
Target Audience: Regional medical and addiction treatment professionals
Cost: Free; Registration required

This continuing education course is presented by Harvard Medical School and features HMS faculty who will discuss preventing and treating opioid addiction. Multiple sessions will include best practices for managing pain; identifying treatment strategies for opioid misuse and dependency; recognizing psychiatric and medical issues with substance use disorders (SUDs); determining how to best work with pregnant women with SUDs; and learning about mindfulness-based practices that can help with healing and prevent burnout.

A Community Town Forum on Addiction Prevention and Treatment
Date: Saturday, April 13, 1-2:30 p.m.
Location: NSCC Auditorium
Target Audience: Open to local residents, health care professionals, policymakers and law enforcement
Cost: Free; Registration not required

How can we work together as a community to eradicate the opioid crisis? This Town Forum will be a deep discussion about leveraging local partnerships to make a positive difference in addiction prevention, treatment and recovery in northwest Ohio, and will contain vital information for community leaders and medical professionals.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/ohio-opioid-summary

[3] https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/executive-orders/2019-01d

[4] https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/executive-orders/2019-01d