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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.