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April 22, 2021 (Cleveland, OH)

The Center for Health Affairs Joins HEALing Communities Study’s Opioid Education Campaign

The Center for Health Affairs, through the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium, is proud to join 33 other communities across Massachusetts, New York, Kentucky and Ohio in promoting an opioid education campaign connected with the HEALing Communities Study, a federally funded initiative aimed at preventing opioid overdose deaths. The Center will take part in the digital effort by raising awareness of the campaign and its educational materials on social media and by coordinating the distribution of customized campaign content to members and community partners in Cuyahoga County.

The campaign aims to increase demand for medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and naloxone (also known as Narcan®), increase MOUD prescribing and increase access to and availability of naloxone. The campaign also aims to address stigma by educating audiences that opioid use disorder (OUD) is a disease, people with OUD deserve the best medical care possible and anyone can develop an OUD.

The first phase of the campaign is focused on naloxone, a medicine that can save the life of someone who is overdosing on opioids, whether a prescription opioid pain medicine, heroin or a drug containing fentanyl. Anyone – emergency medical services (EMS), firefighters, loved ones of those with OUD and community members – can be a first responder and give naloxone to someone who is overdosing from opioids.

“An aspect of this campaign that’s unique to Northeast Ohio is that this is the only region in the state in which hospitals are receiving materials customized with their branding, supporting member hospital participation in this important effort,” said Jeri Jewett-Tennant, project manager for The Center for Health Affairs and co-chair of the HEALing Communities Cuyahoga County Subcommittee. “I’m confident this campaign will help our friends and neighbors in the community learn that they can make an impact and be a first responder to someone in need through the expanded distribution and use of naloxone.”

The HEALing Communities campaign aligns with the work of the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium, which is founded on the idea of sharing best practices for prevention and treatment, is working to combat stigma around OUD, and includes increasing awareness of and access to naloxone as part of its three-year strategic plan.

To learn more about The Center’s participation in the HEALing Communities Study campaign, contact us.

About The Center for Health Affairs:

As the nation's first regional hospital association, The Center for Health Affairs has served as the collective voice of Northeast Ohio hospitals for more than 100 years. Together with its business affiliates, CHAMPS Group Purchasing and The Essentials Group, The Center continues the legacy of its founders, working collaboratively to increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery, providing insightful healthcare information to the public and undertaking initiatives aimed at improving the health of the community. The Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium is a physician-led, member-driven partnership of The Center for Health Affairs, Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, University Hospitals and The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio. Together, these organizations are working to significantly reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio.

About the HEALing Communities Study:

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that 2.1 million Americans have OUD, yet fewer than 20% of those receive specialty care in a given year. A menu of evidence-based practices (EBPs) exists, including opioid overdose education and  naloxone distribution programs, prescription drug monitoring programs, FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder, behavioral therapies, and recovery support services.

Unfortunately, these EBPs have largely failed to penetrate community settings. As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the HEALing Communities Study (HCS) to identify the EBPs that are most effective at the local level in preventing and treating OUD. The goal of the study is to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over the course of three years. To reach this goal, a core component of the HCS intervention is a series of community-based health communication campaigns. To learn more about the study and how to get involved, please visit these websites and our social media pages: