Tuba City Regional Health Care receives grant to increase opioid safety

Generation Rx Grant supports healthcare systems in the misson to reduce risk of opioid overdose and dependency

Photo courtesy Tuba City Regional Healthcare Corporation

Photo courtesy Tuba City Regional Healthcare Corporation

TUBA CITY, Ariz. — The Cardinal Health Foundation announced Aug. 1 that it awarded Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) a grant from its Generation Rx Best Practices in Pain Management program.

TCRHCC is one of 10 healthcare organizations that received a one-year grant to create measurable action plans designed to optimize opioid prescribing, increase patient awareness about risk and improve outcomes for patients suffering from chronic, non-cancer pain. The grants are designed to help healthcare organizations better engage healthcare providers, patients and caregivers to reduce the number of opioids prescribed for pain.

“TCRHCC will be addressing the epidemic from multiple angles, including prescriber education about opioid prescribing guidelines, and increasing the use of non-medication treatment alternatives where appropriate,” said Mary Byrne, TCRHCC pharmacist. “We will also be providing community awareness and education about the risks of certain pain medications and obtaining medication return bins, where patients can dispose of their medications, at Sacred Peaks Health Center and LeChee Health Facility.”

TCRHCC will also participate in a virtual learning collaborative led by chronic pain pharmacists at the Chronic Pain Clinic (CPC) at Geisinger Health in Danville, Pennsylvania. The CPC was established in 2012 to help chronic pain patients better manage their pain, while providing clinical and educational support for the health system’s physicians.

Geisinger’s chronic pain pharmacists work with the health system’s primary care physicians to increase safe prescribing, and find alternative treatment options when appropriate, which include non-opioid medications, physical therapy, acupuncture and/or behavioral therapy.

The virtual learning collaborative will help grantees develop similar collaborations with pharmacists and physicians in their communities.

“TCRHCC is fortunate to have innovative staff that search for programs to assist in prevention and healthier models of care for our community. We have already hired key staff to address the opioid crisis; this grant will augment the programs and task forces we have already created to raise awareness,” said Lynette Bonar, CEO of TCRHCC.

Dianne Radigan, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health, said TCRHCC shares its goals of improving overall quality of care, increasing patient engagement and minimizing or finding alternatives to prescription opioids.

“We’re pleased to support TCRHCC as it develops innovations in care for chronic pain patients; our hope is that their best practices can influence other healthcare systems around the country to help reduce opioid dependency,” Radigan said.

More information about TCRHCC prescription medication disposal or education programs is available at tchealth.org/pharmacy.html .

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