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CHI St. Vincent Hosts Opioid Epidemic Discussion with Arkansas State Police Drug Director
CHI St. Vincent welcomed Arkansas Drug Director Kirk R. Lane to discuss the state of Arkansas’ opioid epidemic with medical staff on Friday, July 19. Lane’s presentation, entitled “Arkansas Opidemic,” emphasized that the opioid problem in Arkansas is among the worst in the country and far more endemic than many believe. He also highlighted to role medical professionals must play to help address this challenge.
“The ‘Opidemic’ in Arkansas is gaining momentum with the influx of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl seeping into an opioid dependent population,” said Lane, who was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2017 to lead efforts to reduce opioid abuse and overdose deaths. “We need to have an ‘all in approach’ led by our medical professionals to turn this momentum around. Knowing what the issues are through education will lead us in the right direction to make a difference and save lives.”
CHI St. Vincent continues to develop programs to help educate patients, provide alternative pain management options and support those who may be suffering from opioid addiction. That includes coordinating with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to have peer recovery specialists on call at CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock and CHI St. Vincent North in Sherwood. In June, CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs hosted a summit to kick off a drug overdose prevention program targeting opioid abuse in Garland County.
“The opioid epidemic in Arkansas is far worse than many of us can imagine. Too many are quietly suffering from opioid addiction that impacts not only their lives, but also the lives of friends, family and others around them.” said Dr. Gerry Jones, CHI St. Vincent Vice President of Medical Affairs for Central Arkansas. “CHI St. Vincent remains committed to helping protect our children and all Arkansans from this insidious epidemic as part of our healing ministry and work to create healthier communities.”
Lane’s presentation was part of the CHI St. Vincent Grand Rounds Lecture Series. The monthly series offers physicians, APRNs and nursing staff the opportunity to review and discuss the latest developments in health care, share research highlights, learn best practices and collaborate on improving care for patients.