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Governor Wolf and Senator Gene Yaw Host a Roundtable to Address Pennsylvania’s Opioid Epidemic

first_img April 28, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  Substance Use Disorder Williamsport, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Gene Yaw were joined by Rep. Jeff Wheeland, state and local officials, law enforcement and health care professionals at the Pennsylvania College of Technology to discuss local and statewide efforts to lead the nation in combating the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic in Pennsylvania. In an effort to confront this epidemic collaboratively, Governor Wolf is conducting roundtables statewide to discuss the initiatives of his administration, the state legislature, county agencies, treatment centers, hospitals, medical schools, and to listen to local officials about the challenges they are facing.“Fighting Pennsylvania’s opioid and heroin epidemic is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor Wolf. “These roundtables are an opportunity to work collaboratively with the General Assembly and community leaders to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in the fight to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis.”“We appreciate the opportunity to sit down with Governor Wolf today in order to increase public awareness of the heroin and opioid crisis facing our rural counties,” Sen. Yaw said.  “However, this is not just a rural issue. It’s a statewide issue.  Fortunately, we have a coalition in Lycoming County called Project Bald Eagle that is working to stem the tide of heroin and opioid abuse through education, prevention, treatment, enforcement and data monitoring.  Undoubtedly, it will take a statewide-wide effort to combat this issue and we thank the Governor for his involvement.”Governor Wolf was joined by Secretary Gary Tennis, Representative Jeff Wheeland, Lycoming County Commissioner Rick Mirabito, Williamsport Mayor Gabriel Campana, and a number of other state and local leaders and health care professionals, students, and professors. The governor lauded the efforts of these legislators and drew attention to the work of the Center for Rural PA, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency chaired by Senator Gene Yaw, who has been holding hearings with the Center on the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis since 2014.Beginning in 2014, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania convened a series of statewide public hearings to examine the increasing use of heroin and opioid abuse and addiction rates in rural Pennsylvania communities. The hearings were in response to questions posed by state legislators on the increasing number of arrests and overdose deaths attributed to heroin and opioid abuse within their respective legislative districts.The Wolf Administration hopes that these discussions are just the beginning of a larger conversation with both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate as well as local officials, law enforcement, emergency responders, and health care professionals.“I look forward to continue working collaboratively with the General Assembly and community leaders to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in the fight to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic,” said Governor Wolf. “The magnitude of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is shocking: at least seven Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. With nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 and estimates that the 2015 total will be higher, a collaborative effort on the federal, state, and local levels is crucial in combating this crisis.”Some of the administration’s initiatives in the fight against heroin include: signing a statewide standing order for naloxone, making it possible for all Pennsylvanians to access this life-saving drug; equipping the Pennsylvania State Police with naloxone so that those troopers who are first on the scene of an overdose can have another tool on-hand during these emergencies; partnering with Adapt Pharma to make Narcan available to public high schools across the state at no cost; developing the ABC-MAP prescription drug monitoring program to detect and prevent prescription fraud and abuse, which contribute to addiction; and appointing a director for the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Office, who will work to ensure that the PDMP meets its goal of assisting healthcare professionals in identifying patients that would benefit from treatment.In an effort to curtail drug addiction and curb the supply of excess drugs that can be used illicitly, the Department of Health is leading an effort to build upon the opioid prescribing guidelines already created, including specialty specific guidelines for emergency department providers, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, and pharmacists. These guidelines give healthcare providers direction for safe and effective pain relief practices, with greater emphasis on non-opioid therapies and greater caution to prevent addiction and diversion. In addition, the DOH recently joined dozens of healthcare organizations, medical experts, and consumer advocacy groups in signing petitions requesting changes to federal pain management requirements that are believed to foster dangerous prescribing practices.DOH is also working with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to develop the “warm hand-off” process, whereby overdose survivors would be taken directly from the emergency department to a licensed drug treatment provider, as well as Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Program. This program helps communities properly dispose of unused prescriptions at any of the 400+ police station locations across Pennsylvania. To date, approximately 40,000 pounds of prescription drugs have been taken back and destroyed.Governor Wolf’s decision to expand Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act has greatly increased access to treatment services for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.Finally, Governor Wolf’s proposed 2016-17 budget provides more than $34 million to treat more than 11,250 new individuals with substance use disorder. The Department of Human Services will provide 25 new Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence for individuals with substance use disorder, providing medication-assisted treatment and appropriate wraparound services, such as cognitive-based therapies. After this first phase of implementation, there will be a push for 25 more facilities that would have the capacity to treat 22,500 individuals total.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img Governor Wolf and Senator Gene Yaw Host a Roundtable to Address Pennsylvania’s Opioid Epidemiclast_img read more

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Graeme Smith in running for CSA’s director of cricket

first_imgGRAEME Smith is in the running to become Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) first permanently appointed director of cricket.The appointment of the former South Africa men’s captain would help quell doubts about the quality of administrative leadership in a turbulent time for the game in South Africa.Smith confirmed on Saturday that he was interviewed for the position on Friday.TMG Digital has learnt that Corrie van Zyl, CSA’s interim director of cricket when he was suspended last month, and Hussein Manack, a national selector until the panel was dissolved in terms of the restructure prompted by the disappointing men’s World Cup campaign in July, were also interviewed.Smith played 345 games for South Africa across all formats, and captained them 284 times.He presided over 163 wins, 89 losses, 27 draws and a tie.Smith’s 109 Tests as captain, one at the helm of an ICC XI, is a world record.He was appointed at 22 in the aftermath of the 2003 World Cup, when South Africa crashed out in the first round at home.Smith relinquished the one-day reins after the 2011 World Cup, by which time he was no longer the T20 skipper.But he continued to lead South Africa’s Test team until March 2014 — when he announced his retirement during the third and last match of a series against Australia, a month after his 33rd birthday.Many felt he called it quits too soon, and he has subsequently stayed in the game as a commentator.In August 2014 he was named tournament director for CSA’s T20 competition, followed a month later by an appointment to a corporate social responsibility position by financial services company Momentum, a CSA sponsor.Both Van Zyl and Manack likely had their playing careers stunted by apartheid.Most of Van Zyl’s career coincided with South Africa’s isolation, and his international experience was limited to two ODIs on the tour to West Indies in April 1992.A fast bowling allrounder, Van Zyl took 349 wickets at 23.38 and scored a century and 10 half-centuries in his 104 first-class matches.He coached South Africa from January 2010 to March 2011 and was appointed CSA’s general manager in May 2009.Manack, who is of Indian heritage, was prohibited from playing for South Africa by apartheid, but was listed as a non-playing “development” member of the squad that went to India in November 1991 to play three ODIs — the national team’s first engagement after 22 years of isolation. Manack, a highly regarded wicketkeeper-batter in the non-racial structures, was given no other opportunities to play at the highest level.He played 52 first-class matches, scoring three centuries and 11 half-centuries and averaging 27.79.A commentator of 16 years standing, he became a national selector in 2012.Van Zyl and Manack have solid credentials for the position, but Smith is the obvious frontrunner, not least because he is the standard bearer for a more successful era.South Africa established a brand of tough, competitive cricket under his leadership that saw them rise to the No. 1 Test ranking in July 2012 — where they stayed for the rest of his career.Having suffered their worst Test series defeat in 83 years in India last month, which came in the wake of their worst performance at a World Cup, and all that in the shadow of multiple challenges on the administrative front — not least court battles with the players and a provincial affiliate — South Africa are in dire need of the good news that is Smith’s interest in the position.TMG Digital has learnt that the panel that interviewed the three candidates comprised CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe and board members Jack Madiseng, Tebogo Siko, Dawn Makhobo and Shirley Zinn.None of them played first-class cricket, some through no fault of their own. It is understood they will make a decision in the next two weeks.last_img read more

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