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Health Extension: Advocacy, Research, Teaching (HEART) is partnering locally and nationally to address the Opioid crisis and other pressing public health issues. The Health & Wellness faculty team serves the state of Utah. Five faculty are housed in nine counties where Opioid Use Disorder has had some of the most devastating effects. HEART seeks to coordinate on-the-ground efforts that advance evidence-based information, community-based solutions, and multi-sector partnerships.
HEART Team Highlights
$1 Million Grant for Opioid Initiative

"Tooele County healthcare agencies will receive more than $1 million in federal grant money next month to bolster opioid prevention and recovery efforts in the county, local health officials say. 

'The money will be used to bridge prevention, treatment and recovery services in the county,' said Dr. Maren Wright Voss, health agent of Utah State University-Tooele Extension. She helped submit applications for the grant.

USU-Tooele Health Extension, Valley Mental Health, Tooele County Health Department and Mountain West Medical Center emergency department have formed a three-year alliance in effort to address the county's opioid abuse problem. The group is called the Tooele Rural Opioid Healthcare Consortium.

The HRSA funds will directly support pain education, alternative pain management programs (i.e., cognitive therapy, yoga, and mindfulness), and disease prevention for community members, according to Voss. Some funds will also be used to educate healthcare professionals. New programs will directly address gaps in treatment services in Tooele County.

The money will also pay for a clinical coordinator for the next three years at an annual rate of about $50,000 per year. This person will provide clinical support and training to the community parties, Voss said.

The grant funds will also provide evidence-based interventions for health care professionals and first responders, like stigma reduction and disease prevention coordination and tracking."

Learn more by reading Mark Watson's article, "Local agencies win $1M grant to help fight opioid abuse" in full here.

Did You Know? 
Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose
The CDC developed a document to help us all prevent opioid overdose. Topics discussed in their 2018 book include an introduction and overview of the current crisis, guiding principles of designing/implementing overdose prevention efforts, and a review of evidence-based strategies that have been implemented in the U.S. (e.g., targeted Naloxone distribution, Medication-Assisted Treatment, 911 Good Samaritan Laws, and others).

Check out the complete Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose: What's Working in the United States: An introduction for public health, law enforcement, local organizations, and others striving to serve their community document here.
Community Highlight
Pain education with alternative pain management options is coming to Tooele and Price Utah in October!

Education and alternative pain management are incredibly important - as this is the only way to reduce reliance on opioids. HEART members, in collaboration with the Veteran's Affairs office in Salt Lake City are piloting the VA Pain Education and Opioid Monitoring Program in community primary care settings. The program enrolls physician-referred participants and offers information on pain management and opioid safety. It teaches alternative pain management options, such as mindfulness and yoga, and it helps referring physicians identify risk factors for opioid overdose. The VA program has helped veterans successfully reduce pain levels and the number of opioids needed to manage pain. Piloting this same program in the community has the potential to create similar non-opioid pain solutions for Utahns, with the potential to significantly decrease opioid-related harms in Utah.

Learn more about evidence-based treatment for pain and opioids here.

For more information on current community pilots, contact Dr. Maren Voss (Tooele) at maren.voss@usu.edu or Dr. Ashley Yaugher (Carbon) at ashley.yaugher@usu.edu.

Upcoming Events 
Carbon & Emery 
Opioid & Substance Use Coalition Meetings

First Monday of the month from 11:00 am - noon
USU Eastern Student Center
Price, Utah
Mental Health Screening for Youth

Davis County students and families are invited to a free youth mental health screening night to address depression, anxiety, suicide, bipolar disorder, and more. Meet mental health providers, enjoy refreshments and learn more about the mental health resources in your community. These screenings are not a full psychological evaluation and are not a clinical diagnosis.

Secondary screenings: September 25, 2019 from 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Viewmont High School
Pre-Kindergarten & elementary screenings: October 1, 2019 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM
Davis Behavioral Health
Community Education Dinner

Open to all members of the community who are interested in learning more on the current Opioid Crisis affecting both Carbon and Emery Counties. Dinner will be followed by presentations and panel discussions.

Monday, November 4, 2019
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
USU Eastern Multipurpose Room
Price, Utah

To register or learn more about this event, click here.
Want more information on upcoming events?
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