CNY Heroin & Opioid Key Stakeholder Summit: A Call to Action

Bassett Medical Center

March 16, 2017

Leatherstocking Collaborative Health Partners (LCHP), in collaboration with New York State Senator James Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) and Bassett Healthcare Network, staged a Heroin and Opioid Summit for key stakeholders in the region, Thursday, March 16 at the Otesaga Resort Hotel. The event brought together individuals, organizations, agencies and others with the ability to influence positive change in regard to the public health impacts of the heroin and opioid crisis.

“The goal of the summit was to understand all of the efforts underway in the region to address the crisis and engage in a conversation about how best to move forward toward workable solutions,” explains Julie Dostal, Ph.D., executive director, LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addiction. “By understanding the efforts currently underway, we can also better identify gaps, agree on those we can influence and decide on next steps. In the end, I believe it is important that we identify and commit to compassionate and evidence-based ways to reduce the impacts of this crisis in our region.”

Among those in attendance were members of the law enforcement community, local and state government officials, county public health representatives, members of the substance abuse treatment and recovery community, medical and mental health professionals, leaders and faculty from area colleges and others.

Senator Seward notes, “The heroin crisis has reached every segment of our population and is destroying individuals, families, and communities. As a member of the Senate’s Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, I have helped enact a number of new laws to increase access to treatment and support those in recovery. We have made progress but we have not beaten this public health epidemic. Bringing together community stakeholders that are on the front lines will help identify our needs and our strategy moving forward as we work to save lives.”

President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network, Vance M. Brown, MD, says, “Our network is extremely fortunate to have a highly committed group of practitioners and other health care professionals leading a multi-faceted approach to helping address this issue among our patient population. The initiatives underway cut across the primary care, behavioral health, inpatient and emergency room settings. However, this is a problem that stretches beyond the walls of our facilities and this summit recognizes the need to have as many stakeholders as possible involved in developing a plan to build on our collective progress to date.”

The summit brought stakeholders up to date on the following initiatives:

  • • Colgate Upstate Institute-Bassett Research Institute GIS mapping relative to the opioid epidemic 
  • • Improved substance abuse identification and treatment, and the integration of behavioral health into the Bassett Healthcare Network primary care setting
  • • Bassett Healthcare Network’s safe prescribing efforts and naloxone availability 
  • • American Medical Association resolutions regarding the removal of pain as the 5th vital sign
  • • Safe medication return 
  • • Community responses: Sober housing, police-assisted addiction recovery 

The summit’s keynote speaker was Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a senior scientist at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and executive director and co-founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP).

About Leatherstocking Collaborative Health Partners

Leatherstocking Collaborative Health Partners (LCHP) was formed by providers from Delaware, Herkimer, Madison, Otsego and Schoharie counties, in conjunction with Medicaid Redesign efforts in New York State. Our goal is to come together to collaborate and provide better care to patients. LCHP’s Performing Provider System (PPS) currently has more than 80 providers enthusiastic about transitioning health care towards patient centered care, collaboration, better access and reduced costs of health care. Learn more at leatherstockingpartners.org/

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