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Society’s efforts to address opioid epidemic continue

The Wisconsin Medical Society hosted the newly formed Wisconsin State Coalition for Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction last week. Comprised of several key stakeholders, the coalition’s mission is to optimize Wisconsin’s health care assets to best position the health systems and health care professionals in battling the prescription drug epidemic. The coalition is led by the efforts of state Rep. John Nygren, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Tim Westlake, MD, member of the Medical Examining Board (MEB). The Society and other state associations and stakeholders were in attendance to lend their support and expertise.

Meanwhile, the Society’s Opioid Task Force met Jan. 22 and continues to focus its efforts in three areas: legislation, physician education and public awareness. In addition to working with Rep. Nygren and other lawmakers on another round of Heroin, Opiate Prevention and Education (HOPE) Agenda bills, the Society last month partnered with the Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association to offer a series of free continuing medical education programs throughout the state on the safe use of opioids. The task force is tracking closely the efforts of the MEB to develop educational requirements for physicians and is working to develop additional education and resources for physicians and their care teams.

In addition, the Society’s Foundation has awarded two grants to support opioid education and prevention efforts in the clinic and the community. The first grant was awarded to Safe Communities Madison and Dane County for their “Opioid Addiction Recovery Interventions in the Emergency Room” pilot project, and the second was awarded to Columbus Community Hospital for their Project CLEAN program aimed at preventing future narcotic dependency.

For more information about any of these efforts, e-mail the Society’s Communications Department at communications@wismed.org.

Back to February 4, 2016 Medigram