Community members receive Naloxone training at Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital

Sixty community members took part in free Naloxone training offered on July 17 at the Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital in Hyden.

Training participants also received two doses of Naloxone to use if they encounter someone suffering from an opioid overdose.

The training and Naloxone distribution — provided by the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association’s Naloxone Dispensing Program — is just one of the community outreach events planned as part of the Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH)-led Critical Access Substance Abuse Project (CASAP).

The one-year project, funded through the Heath Resources & Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, seeks to address substance-abuse issues and concerns at the hospital and community level through education and working to improve patient access to treatment options. The project also tries to better link the participating hospitals with their surrounding communities so that both can work together to meet the needs of their patients with substance-use disorders.

Ernie Scott, the director of the KORH, called the Mary Breckinridge event a success.

“When we first recruited area hospitals to take part in the Critical Access Substance Abuse Project, we were hoping that, by the end of the project, the hospitals and communities working together would take the initiative to plan and hold events that would directly help local community members dealing with the everyday reality of substance abuse in Kentucky. And that’s just what the staff at Mary Breckinridge and the volunteers who assisted at the event did,” Scott said. “We’re really excited to see community members come to one of our CASAP-sponsored events, be engaged with one of the most serious health issues impacting rural Kentucky today and learn about what they can do to help out.”

The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH), established in 1991, is a federal-state partnership authorized by federal legislation. The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health (located in Hazard) serves as the federally-designated Kentucky Office of Rural Health. The mission of the KORH is to support the health and well-being of Kentuckians by promoting access to rural health services. The program provides a framework for linking small rural communities with local, state and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to rural health issues. The KORH assists clinicians, administrators and consumers in finding ways to improve communications, finances and access to quality healthcare while ensuring that funding agencies and policymakers are made aware of the needs of rural communities.Besides Mary Breckinridge, the other critical access hospitals participating in the CASAP include ARH Our Lady of the Way, Barbourville ARH Hospital, Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital, Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital, McDowell ARH Hospital, Morgan County ARH Hospital, Ohio County Hospital, Russell County Hospital and Wayne County Hospital.

Photo 1:
UK College of Pharmacy student Nicole Kindelin provides training to community members on the use of Naloxone to help stop overdose deaths at a session on July 17 at Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital in Hyden. The outreach event was coordinated in part by the Kentucky Office of Rural Health and its Critical Access Substance Abuse Project.

Photo 2:
Staff from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA) distributed 60 Naloxone kits from the group’s mobile pharmacy on July 17 at a training event held at Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital in Hyden. The outreach event was coordinated in part by the Kentucky Office of Rural Health and its Critical Access Substance Abuse Project.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael McGill, 606-439-3557, michael.mcgill@uky.edu