Medical professionals, top NH law enforcement share best practices with sold-out crowd
BEDFORD, NH – More than 200 healthcare professionals gathered at SERESC in Bedford Friday for Catholic Medical Center’s 2nd Annual Summit on Treating Opiate-Dependent Patients. Attendees heard from medical providers and social workers, first-responders, and members of law enforcement about what’s working and what more the medical community can do to combat New Hampshire’s drug crisis.
“This conference brings together a wide range of experts from prevention, treatment and rehabilitation who have valuable insight into the rapidly changing opioid abuse epidemic. The best practices and advice they offer will help healthcare professionals who are on the front lines of emergency rooms, primary care offices, and other settings where addicted patients seek, or are brought for, care,” said CMC Chief Medical Officer William Goodman, MD, who founded the conference.
The care and support of opiate-dependent patients requires an integrated approach that draws on resources throughout the community. The Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health James Vara and New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster presented a panel on the state’s comprehensive response.
“The opiate, heroin and fentanyl epidemic is our biggest public health and public safety issue,” said Attorney General Foster. “We cannot arrest our way out the problem. To beat the epidemic we must work together to reduce the demand for these drugs. To accomplish that will require the full engagement of the medical community in this battle. That is why I am so pleased so many are attending this summit to learn about treatment for the opiate dependent patient and optimal pain treatment.”
Speakers included special guest Dr. Sarah Wakeman, from Massachusetts General Hospital, who spoke specifically to addressing addiction in the acute care setting. Three of the summit’s presentations have been designated by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine for satisfying new continuing medical education (CME) requirements. As of January 1, 2017, prescribers with a valid DEA number must complete three CME hours regarding opioid prescribing in order get and renew their license. That requirement is fulfilled by this event.
“The fact that this is sold out for the second straight year speaks to the demand for solutions in the care-giving community,” said Dr. Goodman
Slate of speakers:
Welcome – William Goodman, MD, MPH
Role of Drug Court – Judge Joseph Laplante
NH-PDMP- Current Role – Michelle Ricco Jonas
VAMC Comprehensive Ambulatory Opioid Management – Christina Neiman, LICSW & James Schlosser, MD
NH Opioid Crisis and NH’s Comprehensive Response – Attorney General Foster & James Vara, JD
Mayor’s Remarks – Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas
Addiction Medicine in MGH’s Clinical Setting – Sarah Wakeman, MD
Non-Opiate and Opiate Analgesia and their Risks – Andrew Kowal, MD
MFD Safe Station’s Role in Treatment & Recovery – Manchester Fire Chief Daniel Goonan & EMS Director Chris Hickey
No Wrong Door: Coordinated Community Care – Stephanie Bergeron, Executive Director, Serenity Place ; Ann Berthiaume, LICSW, Social Work, Catholic Medical Center; Marianne Savarese, Program Coordinator of the Health Care for the Homeless Program of Manchester; Meredith Senter, M.S.W. LICSW at The Mom’s Place, Catholic Medical Center.