ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) joined the new Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship (KY SOS) program, teaming up with hospitals across the state to fight opioid abuse. The Kentucky Hospital Association and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services formed a partnership to reduce opioid overprescribing and improve safe opioid use.
In addition, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Godfrey, M.D. and Assistant Vice President for Emergency Services Deanna Parker serve as HMH representatives. This statewide program will help to develop standards around opioid prescribing, assist hospitals with implementation of these standards, improve education to medical staff and the community around pain management and track success of these efforts as a state.
Kentucky ranks among the top 10 states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths rates, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“HMH cares for over 70,000 patients each year in one of Kentucky’s busiest emergency departments,” Parker said. “We are actively working to address the challenges of the opioid crisis by practicing good opioid stewardship, evaluating alternative treatment options for pain management and educating patients and families about drug usage and risks.”
HMH also partners with community stakeholders including public health and emergency response agencies to try and reduce opioid overprescribing and improve safe opioid use. NARCAN rescue kits are available without a prescription at the hospital pharmacy as well. Anyone in need will be required to receive specific education from the hospital pharmacist upon obtaining the rescue kit.
As a member of KY SOS, HMH will receive opioid stewardship resources, access to clinical advisors and experts, access to the Kentucky Quality County data system to track progress, and support from the Kentucky Hospital Association.
“Opioid abuse has had a devastating impact in Central Kentucky and beyond, and HMH’s entire leadership team is committed to become a leader in fighting the opioid epidemic,” Godfrey said. “We are proud to work with local and state partners to advocate for safe opioid usage, to try and stop illegal activities and most importantly, to save lives.”