Opioid epidemic to be topic of April 6 panel presentation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Heroin and opioid overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the Commonwealth, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Few residents will be untouched by this crisis, and health care professionals and other caregivers will be among those affected the most.

The Penn State College of Nursing will host a panel discussion April 6 to provide education and understanding of the opioid epidemic and its statewide impact. "The Opioid Epidemic: Impacts on Nursing, the Community, and Family" will take place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Freeman Auditorium at the HUB-Robeson Center.

A panel of health care and law enforcement experts will present information and testimonials to help increase awareness of the epidemic’s reach, identify solutions for addressing the crisis, and provide tips on how to identify an addict. Among the topics discussed will be an overview of statistics on opioid addiction, its impact on families and health care practitioners, a comparison of the epidemic’s impact on the college population versus the community as a whole, and how a statewide coalition of nurses and community partners is responding to the crisis.

Panel members include Lynn Thompson, a nurse practitioner with Reinhardt Family Practice in Altoona; Diane Ebken, senior lecturer emerita, Penn State College of Nursing; Marianne Adam, associate professor of nursing at Penn State Schuylkill; Wendy Edgar, a nurse practitioner with Emergency Physicians of Pittsburgh and Children’s Express Care in Pittsburgh; Officer Adam Salyards of the State College Borough Police Department; and Sgt. Monica M. Himes of Penn State University Police.

Registered nurses will have the opportunity to earn continuing education contact hours by attending the presentation.

The event, which is co-sponsored by the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, is free and open to the public. All who are interested in attending should register at the College of Nursing website.  

For more information, contact Kim Woodward at 814-863-4039 or kms40@psu.edu.

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Last Updated March 07, 2018