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September 20, 2016 Public Hearing on Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held its 11th public hearing on the heroin/opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 20 at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA. Center Board Chairman Senator Gene Yaw welcomed board members, area legislators and staff, and attendees to the hearing, which was hosted by Senator Don White. Treatment and recovery specialists, emergency services professionals, local government officials, law enforcement personnel and family of those addicted to heroin presented testimony at the hearing, which was held from 9:30 am to 2 pm. A video of the hearing is available here.

Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, center joined by Center Director Barry Denk, third from left, and Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo, second from left, welcomed presenters, panelists and attendees to the public hearing on the heroin and opioid epidemic. Panelists included Sen. Pat Stefano, left, Sen. Don White, second from right, and Sen. Scott Hutchinson, right.
Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, center joined by Center
Director Barry Denk, third from left, and Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo,
second from left, welcomed presenters, panelists and attendees to
the public hearing on the heroin and opioid epidemic. Panelists
included Sen. Pat Stefano, left, Sen. Don White, second from right, and
Sen. Scott Hutchinson, right.

.Ms. Debbie Friday presented testimony on how heroin/opioid addiction of children affects parents and families.
Ms. Debbie Friday presented testimony on how heroin/opioid
addiction of children affects parents and families.
Apollo Mayor Jeffrey Held, left, and Armstrong County District Magistrate J. Gary DeComo talked about the effects of heroin on rural communities.
Apollo Mayor Jeffrey Held, left, and Armstrong County District
Magistrate J. Gary DeComo talked about the effects of heroin
on rural communities.

Sen. White, center, with Sen. Yaw, left, and Sen. Hutchinson.
Sen. White, center, with Sen. Yaw, left, and Sen. Hutchinson.

Sen. Stefano and Dr. Falvo.
Sen. Stefano and Dr. Falvo.


Daniel Christy, left, and Randy Thomas, center, of Citizen's Ambulance Service and Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman presented testimony on trends in overdose calls, emergency response and overdose deaths in rural areas.
Daniel Christy, left, and Randy Thomas, center, of
Citizen's Ambulance Service and Indiana County
Coroner Jerry Overman presented testimony on
trends in overdose calls, emergency response and
overdose deaths in rural areas.

Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty, right, and Indiana County Chief Detective David Rostis talked of how law enforcement is working to address the heroin epidemic in their communities and statewide.
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty, right,
and Indiana County Chief Detective David Rostis
talked of how law enforcement is working to address the
heroin epidemic in their communities and statewide.


Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission Executive Director Kami Anderson, right, Spirit Life Executive Director Louis Wagner, left, and Alliance Medical Services Executive Director Pam Gehlmann presented information on making more treatment services available to those with addiction.
Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission
Executive Director Kami Anderson, right, Spirit Life Executive Director
Louis Wagner, left, and Alliance Medical Services Executive
Director Pam Gehlmann presented information on making more
treatment services available to those with addiction.



Sen. Yaw recognized and thanked IUP nursing students for attending the public hearing, before wrapping up the proceedings.
Sen. Yaw recognized and thanked IUP nursing students for attending
the public hearing, before wrapping up the proceedings.

 


 

September 8, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact: Barry Denk, Director or
Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
denkb@rural.palegislature.us / caldarac@rural.palegislature.us

CONFRONTING THE HEROIN/OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN PENNSYLVANIA

WHAT: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold its 11th public hearing to solicit testimony on confronting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania and how this epidemic is affecting our most rural counties. The hearing will be held at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and will be hosted by State Senator Don White. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says the public hearings are intended to continue raising awareness of the health crisis of heroin/opioid addiction and fatalities, and to bring greater focus and attention to treatment and recovery services.

WHO: Click here for a copy of the Indiana Agenda.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors
Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman
Senator John Wozniak, Vice Chairman
Representative Garth D. Everett, Treasurer
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University, Secretary
Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
Dr. Livingston Alexander, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Theodore R. Alter, Pennsylvania State University
Stephen M. Brame, Governor’s Representative
Taylor A. Doebler III, Governor’s Representative
Dr. Stephan J. Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Karen M. Whitney, Clarion University

WHEN: Tuesday, September 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon.

WHERE: Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, 711 Pratt Drive, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA (Map)

BACKGROUND: A July 2016 report from the Drug Enforcement Administration Philadelphia Field Division’s Intelligence Program indicated that more than 3,300 people died from an overdose in Pennsylvania in 2015. That same report cited a 23.4 percent increase in the total number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania from 2014 to 2015. Sadly, information being collected this year will most likely point to an increase in overdose deaths for 2016. The continuing increase in drug-related overdose deaths certainly confirms a clear and present crisis for our state’s law enforcement, public health agencies and educators to combat drug availability, provide drug treatment and promote drug education.

Since 2014, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania has conducted 10 public hearings on the heroin epidemic, which has now taken center stage on the local, state and national levels. Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, said the Center will continue to lead the way to educate policymakers, inform the public, and enhance current policies in Pennsylvania related to heroin and opioid addiction treatment.


 

June 2, 2016 Public Hearing on Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania, the Fez, Aliquippa, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held its 10th public hearing on the heroin/opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania on Thursday, June 2 at the Fez in Aliquippa. Center Board Chairman Senator Gene Yaw welcomed board members, area legislators and staff, and attendees to the hearing, which was hosted by Senator Elder Vogel and Senator Camera Bartolotta. Treatment and recovery specialists, health care professionals, educators, and law enforcement personnel presented testimony at the hearing, which was held from 9:30 am to 2 pm.

Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, joined by Center Director Barry Denk 
and Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo welcomed presenters, panelists and attendees 
to the public hearing on the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Panelists included (left to right) Rep. Jason Ortitay; Rep. Robert Matzie; Sen. Elder Vogel;
Sen. Camera Bartolotta; Sen. John Wozniak, Center board vice chairman;
Sen. Gene Yaw, Center board chairman; Barry Denk, Center director;
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Center board secretary; Sen. Guy Reschenthaler;
Rep. Jaret Gibbons; and Rep. Jim Marshall.

.Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, joined by Center Director Barry Denk 
and Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo welcomed presenters, panelists and attendees 
to the public hearing on the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, joined by Center Director
Barry Denk and Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo
welcomed presenters, panelists and attendees
to the public hearing on the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Dr. Michael England of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, 
second from left, presented information on the model 
used by Magee-Womens Hospital to treat pregnant women 
with addiction. Also presenting were (from left) John Lovelace, 
UPMC for You, Bawn Maguire, Magee-Womens Hospital, 
and Dr. James Jacobson, Gateway Health.
Dr. Michael England of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC,
second from left, presented information on the model
used by Magee-Womens Hospital to treat pregnant women
with addiction. Also presenting were (from left) John Lovelace,
UPMC for You, Bawn Maguire, Magee-Womens Hospital,
and Dr. James Jacobson, Gateway Health

Dr. Janice Pringle of the University of Pittsburgh School of 
Pharmacy (right) told the panel about the information available
to communities at http://overdosefreepa.org. Dr. Julie Kmiec of
UPMC/Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic described
the multifaceted approach needed to address the heroin/opioid epidemic.
Dr. Janice Pringle of the University of Pittsburgh School of
Pharmacy (right) told the panel about the information available
to communities at http://overdosefreepa.org. Dr. Julie Kmiec of
UPMC/Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic described
the multifaceted approach needed to address the heroin/opioid epidemic.

(Left to right) Dr. Edward Zelich, superintendent of Charleroi School District, 
Dr. Roberta DiLorenzo, superintendent of Washington School District, 
and Jack Manning, president of Beaver County Chamber of Commerce,
shared insights on experiences and responses of schools and communities to the epidemic.
(Left to right) Dr. Edward Zelich, superintendent of Charleroi School
District, Dr. Roberta DiLorenzo, superintendent of Washington
School District, and Jack Manning, president of Beaver County
Chamber of Commerce, shared insights on experiences and
responses of schools and communities to the epidemic.


(Left to right) Kate Lowery, director of Beaver County Behavioral Health
Drug and Alcohol Program, Cheryl Andrews, executive director of Washington County 
Drug and Alcohol Commission, and Janine Valko, Emergency Department director
at Mon Valley Hospital, provided information on the “warm-handoff “ to treatment.
(Left to right) Kate Lowery, director of Beaver County Behavioral Health
Drug and Alcohol Program, Cheryl Andrews, executive director of Washington
County Drug and Alcohol Commission, and Janine Valko,
Emergency Department director at Mon Valley Hospital,
provided information on the “warm-handoff “ to treatment.

Dr. Bryan Negrini (right) of Negrini Medical Associates, Amanda Cope
of Positive Recovery Solutions, and Joshua Nirella of the Pennsylvania
Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence provided information
on medication assisted treatment.
Dr. Bryan Negrini (right) of Negrini Medical Associates,
Amanda Cope of Positive Recovery Solutions,
and Joshua Nirella of the Pennsylvania
Association for the Treatment of Opioid
Dependence provide information on medication
assisted treatment.


(Left to right) Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone, Lawrence County
District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa and Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier
talked about law enforcement response and tools needed to address the heroin epidemic.
(Left to right) Washington County District Attorney
Gene Vittone, Lawrence County District Attorney
Joshua Lamancusa and Beaver County District
Attorney David Lozier talked about law enforcement
response and tools needed to address the heroin epidemic.

(Left to right) Sen. Vogel, Sen. Bartolotta, Sen. Wozniak, 
Sen. Yaw, Barry Denk, Dr. Falvo, Rep. Gibbons and Rep. Marshall.
(Left to right) Sen. Vogel, Sen. Bartolotta, Sen. Wozniak,
Sen. Yaw, Barry Denk, Dr. Falvo, Rep. Gibbons and Rep. Marshall.


(Left to right) Sen. Vogel, Sen. Bartolotta, Sen. Wozniak, Sen. Yaw, Barry Denk, Dr. Falvo, Rep. Gibbons and Rep. Marshall.
(Left to right) Sen. Vogel, Sen. Bartolotta, Sen. Wozniak, Sen. Yaw, Barry Denk, Dr. Falvo, Rep. Gibbons and Rep. Marshall.

 


 

May 24, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact: Barry Denk, Director or
Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
denkb@rural.palegislature.us caldarac@rural.palegislature.us

Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania

What: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold its 10th public hearing to solicit testimony on confronting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania and how this epidemic is affecting our most rural counties. The hearing will be held at the Fez in Aliquippa, PA and will be hosted by State Senator Elder Vogel and State Senator Camera Bartolotta. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says the public hearings are intended to continue informing the public of the health crisis of heroin/opioid addiction and fatalities, and to bring greater focus and attention to treatment and recovery services. Click here for a video background on the upcoming hearing, featuring Sen. Yaw, Sen. Vogel and Sen. Bartolotta.

Who: Click here for a copy of the Aliquippa Agenda.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors
Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman
Senator John Wozniak, Vice Chairman
Representative Garth D. Everett, Treasurer
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University, Secretary
Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
Dr. Livingston Alexander, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Theodore R. Alter, Pennsylvania State University
Stephen M. Brame, Governor’s Representative
Taylor A. Doebler III, Governor’s Representative
Dr. Stephan J. Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Karen M. Whitney, Clarion University

When: Thursday, June 2, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: The Fez, 2312 Brodhead Rd, Aliquippa, PA 15001 (Map)

Background: Pennsylvania leads the nation in drug overdose deaths among young adult men, according to a 2015 report released by the Trust for America's Health, a public health nonprofit. Additionally, states across the nation are reporting an increase in heroin use as addicts are shifting from more costly prescription opioids to cheaper alternatives. More recent reports indicate that approximately 80 percent of heroin addicts traced their addiction back to prescription opioids. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report also confirmed that health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of prescription painkillers.

In 2014 and 2015, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania conducted seven public hearings on the heroin epidemic, which has now taken center stage on the local, state and national levels. Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, said the Center will continue to lead the way to educate policymakers, inform the public, and enhance current policies in Pennsylvania related to heroin and opioid addiction treatment.

 


April 21, 2016 Public Hearing on Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania, Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, Lewistown, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held its ninth public hearing on the heroin/opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania on Thursday, April 21 at Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital. State Senator Jake Corman hosted the meeting and welcomed Center board members, area legislators, local leaders and attendees to the hearing. Treatment and recovery specialists, state officials, health care professionals, educators and law enforcement personnel presented testimony at the hearing, which was held from 9:30 am to 1 pm.

Sen. Gene Yaw, Center chairman, (second from left) welcomes participants and guests to the public hearing. Joining Sen. Yaw were Barry Denk, Center director; Sen. Jake Corman; and Rep. Adam Harris.
Sen. Gene Yaw, Center chairman, (second from left) welcomes participants and
guests to the public hearing. Joining Sen. Yaw were Barry Denk, Center director;
Sen. Jake Corman; and Rep. Adam Harris.

The first group to present testimony included ( left to right) Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Medical Assistance Programs Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Kelley; Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis; and Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug and Alcohol Executive Director Michael Hannon.
The first group to present testimony included ( left to right) Pennsylvania
Department of Human Services’ Office of Medical Assistance Programs
Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Kelley; Pennsylvania Department of Drug
and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis; and
Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug and Alcohol Executive Director Michael Hannon.
(Left to right) University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation and Research Unit Director Dr. Janice Pringle; Pennsylvania State University EPISCenter Managing Director Dr. Stephanie A. Bradley; and Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Office of Financial Management/Administration Director Derin Myers.
(Left to right) University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation
and Research Unit Director Dr. Janice Pringle; Pennsylvania State University
EPISCenter Managing Director Dr. Stephanie A. Bradley; and Pennsylvania
Commission on Crime and Delinquency Office of Financial Management/Administration
Director Derin Myers.

Juniata County District Attorney Cory J. Snook; Mifflin County Detective Craig E. Snyder; and Mifflin County First Assistant District Attorney Mark J. Remy.
Juniata County District Attorney Cory J. Snook; Mifflin County Detective
Craig E. Snyder; and Mifflin County First Assistant District Attorney
Mark J. Remy.

(Left to right) Center Board Member Steve Brame; Barry Denk; Sen. Yaw; and Sen. Corman.
(Left to right) Center Board Member Steve Brame; Barry Denk;
Sen. Yaw; and Sen. Corman.


(Left to right) Geisinger Health System Addiction Outreach Counselor Erica C. Kramer-Smith; Geisinger Health System Clinical Disease Management Pharmacist Justin W. Troutman; Geisinger Health System Pediatric Service Line Associate in Neonatology and Director of Quality Dr. Lauren A. Johnson-Robbins; and Geisinger Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine Dr. Christopher J. Wilson.
(Left to right) Geisinger Health System Addiction Outreach Counselor Erica C. Kramer-Smith;
Geisinger Health System Clinical Disease Management Pharmacist Justin W. Troutman;
Geisinger Health System Pediatric Service Line Associate in Neonatology and Director of
Quality Dr. Lauren A. Johnson-Robbins; and Geisinger Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine Dr. Christopher J. Wilson.

(Panel left to right): Steve Brame; Barry Denk; Sen. Yaw; Sen. Corman; Rep. Harris; and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff.
(Panel left to right): Steve Brame; Barry Denk; Sen. Yaw; Sen. Corman; Rep. Harris; and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff.

 


 

April 14, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact: Barry Denk, Director or
Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
denkb@rural.palegislature.us,caldarac@rural.palegislature.us

Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania

What: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold the second of three public hearings to solicit testimony on confronting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. The hearing will be held at the Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, in Lewistown, PA and will be hosted by State Senator Jake Corman. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says the public hearings are intended to continue informing the public of the health crisis of heroin/opioid addiction and fatalities, and to bring greater focus and attention to treatment and recovery services. Click here for a video background on the upcoming hearing, featuring Sen. Yaw, Sen. Corman, and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Director Barry Denk.

WhoClick here for a copy of the Agenda for Hearing 2 – Lewistown, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors
Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman
Senator John Wozniak, Vice Chairman
Representative Garth D. Everett, Treasurer
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University, Secretary
Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
Dr. Livingston Alexander, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Theodore R. Alter, Pennsylvania State University
Stephen M. Brame, Governor’s Representative
Taylor A. Doebler III, Governor’s Representative
Dr. Stephan J. Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Karen M. Whitney, Clarion University

When: Thursday, April 21, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Classroom 4, Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, 400 Highland Ave., Lewistown (Map)

Background: Pennsylvania leads the nation in drug overdose deaths among young adult men, according to a 2015 report released by the Trust for America's Health, public health nonprofit. Additionally, states across the nation are reporting an increase in heroin use as addicts are shifting from more costly prescription opioids to cheaper alternatives. More recent reports indicate that approximately 80 percent of heroin addicts traced their addiction back to prescription opioids. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report also confirmed that health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of prescription painkillers.

In 2014 and 2015, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania conducted seven public hearings on the heroin epidemic, which has now taken center stage on the local, state and national levels. Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, said the Center will continue to lead the way to educate policymakers, inform the public, and enhance current policies in Pennsylvania related to heroin and opioid addiction treatment.

 


April 1, 2016 Public Hearing on Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, Bradford, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held its eighth public hearing on the heroin/opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania on Friday, April 1 at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford. Center Board Member and Pitt-Bradford President Dr. Livingston Alexander welcomed Center board members, area legislators and staff, and attendees to the hearing. Treatment and recovery specialists, health care professionals, educators, law enforcement personnel, and local government officials presented testimony at the hearing, which was held from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. in the Bromeley Theater.

Pictured at top, left to right: Dr. Livingston Alexander, Center board member; Dr. Nancy Falvo, Center board secretary; Barry Denk, Center director; Senator Gene Yaw, Center board chairman; Senator John Wozniak, Center board vice chairman; Representative Garth Everett, Center board treasurer; and Representative Martin Causer.
Pictured at top, left to right: Dr. Livingston Alexander, Center board member; Dr. Nancy Falvo, Center board secretary; Barry Denk, Center director;
Senator Gene Yaw, Center board chairman; Senator John Wozniak, Center board vice chairman; Representative Garth Everett,
Center board treasurer; and Representative Martin Causer.

(Left to right) Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Marty Henneman; Bradford Police Chief Chris Lucco; McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenberg-Shaffer; and Elk County Sheriff Todd Caltagarone.
(Left to right) Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Marty Henneman;
Bradford Police Chief Chris Lucco;
McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenberg-Shaffer; and
Elk County Sheriff Todd Caltagarone.
(Left to right) Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson; Potter County Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator Colleen Wilber; McKean County Adult Probation Chief Gary Seefeldt; and Blossburg Mayor Shane Nickerson.
(Left to right) Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson;
Potter County Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator Colleen Wilber;
McKean County Adult Probation Chief Gary Seefeldt; and Blossburg Mayor Shane Nickerson.

(Left to right) Outpatient Supervisor Jennifer Greenman, Inpatient Manager Thomas Patterson, and Executive Director Angela Eckstrom, Cameron/Elk/McKean Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Inc.
(Left to right) Outpatient Supervisor Jennifer Greenman, Inpatient Manager Thomas Patterson
and Executive Director Angela Eckstrom,
Cameron/Elk/McKean Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Inc.
(Left to right) Clinical Service Director Angela Chew and Program Director Tana Funair, Dickinson Center; and St. Marys Area School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Toth.

(Left to right) Clinical Service Director Angela Chew and
Program Director Tana Funair, Dickinson Center;
and St. Marys Area School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Toth.


Penn Highlands Healthcare Emergency Department Director Kim Cicon and Bradford Regional Medical Center Emergency Room Physician Dr. Henri Lamothe.
Penn Highlands Healthcare Emergency Department Director Kim Cicon and
Bradford Regional Medical Center Emergency Room Physician Dr. Henri Lamothe.

(Left to right) Dr. Falvo, Dr. Alexander, Mr. Denk, Sen. Yaw, Sen. Wozniak, Rep. Everett and Rep. Causer.
(Left to right) Dr. Falvo, Dr. Alexander, Mr. Denk, Sen. Yaw, Sen. Wozniak, Rep. Everett and Rep. Causer.

 

 


March 29, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact:  Barry Denk, Director or
Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
info@rural.palegislature.us

Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania

What: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold three public hearings to solicit testimony on confronting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. The first hearing will be held at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, and will be hosted by Center Board Member and Pitt-Bradford President Dr. Livingston Alexander. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says the public hearings are intended to continue informing the public of the health crisis of heroin/opioid addiction and fatalities, and to bring greater focus and attention to treatment and recovery services. Click here for a video background on the upcoming hearing.

Who: Click here for a copy of the Agenda for Hearing 1 – Bradford, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors
Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman
Senator John Wozniak, Vice Chairman
Representative Garth D. Everett, Treasurer
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University, Secretary
Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
Dr. Livingston Alexander, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Theodore R. Alter, Pennsylvania State University
Stephen M. Brame, Governor’s Representative
Taylor A. Doebler III, Governor’s Representative
Dr. Stephan J. Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Karen M. Whitney, Clarion University

When: Friday, April 1, 9:30 a.m.

Where: The University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, The Bromeley Theater, Blaisdell Hall (Campus Map)

Background: Pennsylvania leads the nation in drug overdose deaths among young adult men, according to a 2015 report released by the Trust for America's Health, public health nonprofit. Additionally, states across the nation are reporting an increase in heroin use as addicts are shifting from more costly prescription opioids to cheaper alternatives. More recent reports indicate that approximately 80 percent of heroin addicts traced their addiction back to prescription opioids. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report also confirmed that health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of prescription painkillers.

In 2014 and 2015, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania conducted seven public hearings on the heroin epidemic, which has now taken center stage on the local, state and national levels. Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, said the Center will continue to lead the way to educate policymakers, inform the public, and enhance current policies in Pennsylvania related to heroin and opioid addiction treatment.