Manatee Hospital Officials to Outline Opioid Program in Capitol

Health

BY ALTERNATIVES TO OPIOIDS PROGRAM TO BE DISCUSSED BY STATE SENATORS. SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY MAR 11, 2019

As Florida leaders continue to seek answers to an opioid crisis, Manatee Memorial Hospital executives will offer potential solutions utilized here. CEO Kevin DiLallo and Chief Nursing Office Candace Smith will testify in the Florida Senate about the Alternatives to Opioids Program utilized in the Bradenton area.

“Manatee Memorial wants to be part of the solution to this crisis,” DiLallo says.

He and Smith will testify to the state Senate Health Policy Committee today.

Manatee Memorial leaders know too well the consequences of opioid abuse. Manatee County in 2017 served as the epicenter of the crisis after seeing a 174 percent spike in opioid deaths. The county saw 126 opioid fatal overdoses in 2015 and recorded 984 heroin overdoses in 2016.

In response to the epidemic, hospital officials developed a tool kit for pain management and addiction prevention based on opioid research and supporting programs.

Overdoses and deaths related to opioids have seen substantial decreases each year since, law enforcement reports.

The Manatee health leaders head to Tallahassee at a time when state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, serves as Florida Senate president. DiLallo hopes to see successful efforts in this region to be considered and explored elsewhere in the state.

“Our goal is for the Florida Senate to consider implementing this program in every hospital in Florida,” he says. “A funding source is critical to the success of this program as well.”

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