St. Vincent Charity Receives $200,000 Grant for Resilient Youth Project

by Wendy Friday, March 10, 2017

 

Cleveland, Ohio (March 9, 2017) – St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has received a $200,000 grant from the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation to support a new community outreach program aimed at helping adolescents in the Central neighborhood—the Resilient Youth Project.

With 82% of children in Central living in poverty and only 32% of residents graduating high school, Central youth fight huge barriers to stay on course toward high school graduation and a better future. They are vulnerable to problems with employment, health, safety, neglect, and self-esteem.

The Resilient Youth Project will enroll 20 youth ages 13-15 years from the neighborhood in work and activities designed to teach both life and job skills, as well as promote education and community impact, all while earning a small stipend. A dedicated employee from St. Vincent Charity will oversee the Resilient Youth Project. Working with the Central Recreation Center and St. Philip’s Christian Church, the program’s Outreach Specialist will create supervised, concrete identity and self-image building projects. Additionally, the funds will help to develop adult-supervised projects that promote job readiness and self-sufficiency. Teenagers in the Resilient Youth Project will participate in multiple enrichment activities on a monthly basis such as field trips to explore future job opportunities and mentorship/leadership programs.

“I’ve worked with the kids in the Central neighborhood for many years and the Resilient Youth Project is going to be extremely beneficial to those who participate,” said Bill Myers, Manager of Cleveland’s Central Recreation Center. “The activities and opportunities they are going to be involved with are going to help prepare them for high school and beyond.”

An estimated 40% of health outcomes are determined not by genetics or lifestyle, but by powerful social and economic factors such as education, employment, safety, and family stability. The objective of this program is to help create an environment that supports good physical and mental health and social and economic well-being, keys to resilience in dealing with the major stressors of poverty.

With an overarching goal of improved community health, the Resilient Youth Project will enhance the health of the local community by:

  • providing a safe location for youth to spend substantial amounts of time engaged in constructive activities with like-minded peers
  • providing multiple supportive adult relationships to help youth form healthy bonds with consistent positive role models
  • providing stipend income to promote the dignity and value of work, increase job-readiness, and teach financial literacy
  • engaging families in intentional activities focused on strengthening relationships

“For many years, St. Vincent’s Outreach Department has worked with the Central Recreation Center and other neighborhood organizations that are committed to strengthening the bonds of the families of the Central neighborhood,” said David F. Perse, MD, president and CEO.  “We are excited to further develop that relationship and create a lasting impact on the children in our neighborhood through the Resilient Youth Project.”


St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Awarded Chest Pain Certification from the Joint Commission

by Wendy Monday, February 06, 2017

 

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center announced today that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Chest Pain Certification. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. 

St. Vincent Charity underwent a rigorous on-site review in October 2016. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national disease-specific care standards as well as with Chest Pain-specific requirements. Clinical practice guidelines and performance measures also were assessed. 

Established in 2002 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses three core areas:

  • Compliance with consensus-based national standards;
  • Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and
  • An organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

"St. Vincent Charity has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients with Chest Pain,” said Patrick Phelan, interim executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We commend St. Vincent Charity for becoming a leader in Chest Pain care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for patients in its community.”

"St. Vincent Charity is pleased to receive Chest Pain Certification from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added David F. Perse, MD, President & CEO of St. Vincent Charity. “The certification provides us with the framework to create a culture of excellence for those in our community.”  

St. Vincent Charity Board elects new leadership

by Wendy Thursday, January 19, 2017

 

Cleveland, OH – (January 19, 2017)—St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Cleveland’s downtown hospital, has expanded its board of directors and elected new board leadership beginning January 1, 2017.

Robert W. Varley has been elected as Board Chair by the governing committee. He assumes the leadership position held for more than 10 years by Melvin G. Pye, Jr. Varley, retired earlier this year as Managing Director, State and Local Affairs at Dominion Resources Services, Inc. A member of St. Vincent Charity’s board since 2010, he also serves on the board of Cuyahoga County Public Library and The Leadership Center.

“I believe there is a place for Catholic health care in our city,” said Varley. He sees opportunities for St. Vincent Charity to lead not only in addressing the opiate crisis, but also in meeting the needs of the downtown community through its expanding relationship with Cleveland State University.

Board leadership also includes, Mary Lou Stricklin as Vice Chair; Jeff Weaver, Executive Vice President & Group Head of Credit Portfolio Management at KeyBank as Treasurer; and Brent Buckley, of Buckley King as Secretary.

Others joining the St. Vincent Charity Board of Directors are:

        John Bastulli, MD                                           St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

            Alex Diaz                                                           Eaton Corp.

            Mike Frantz                                                      Frantz Ward LLP

            Jim Kavalec                                                      Bernstein Global Wealth Management

            Tim Panzica                                                      IQ Advisors, LLC

            Rosemary Sweeney                                          Buckley King

            Margaret Wong                                               Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co. LPA

 “We are grateful for the many years of service that Mel Pye has given to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center,” said Dr. David F. Perse, president and CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, about the outgoing chair. “I’m confident that Bob’s leadership and the fresh perspectives of new members will add tremendous value to our efforts and I look forward to working with them.”

St. Vincent Charity Board elects new leadership

by Wendy Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cleveland, OH – (January 19, 2017)—St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Cleveland’s downtown hospital, has expanded its board of directors and elected new board leadership beginning January 1, 2017.

Robert W. Varley has been elected as Board Chair by the governing committee. He assumes the leadership position held for more than 10 years by Melvin G. Pye, Jr. Varley, retired earlier this year as Managing Director, State and Local Affairs at Dominion Resources Services, Inc. A member of St. Vincent Charity’s board since 2010, he also serves on the board of Cuyahoga County Public Library and The Leadership Center.

“I believe there is a place for Catholic health care in our city,” said Varley. He sees opportunities for St. Vincent Charity to lead not only in addressing the opiate crisis, but also in meeting the needs of the downtown community through its expanding relationship with Cleveland State University.

Board leadership also includes, Mary Lou Stricklin as Vice Chair; Jeff Weaver, Executive Vice President & Group Head of Credit Portfolio Management at KeyBank as Treasurer; and Brent Buckley, of Buckley King as Secretary.

Others joining the St. Vincent Charity Board of Directors are:

John Bastulli, MD                                           St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

Alex Diaz                                                           Eaton Corp.

Mike Frantz                                                      Frantz Ward LLP

Jim Kavalec                                                      Bernstein Global Wealth Management

Tim Panzica                                                      IQ Advisors, LLC

Rosemary Sweeney                                          Buckley King

Margaret Wong                                               Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co. LPA

“We are grateful for the many years of service that Mel Pye has given to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center,” said Dr. David F. Perse, president and CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, about the outgoing chair. “I’m confident that Bob’s leadership and the fresh perspectives of new members will add tremendous value to our efforts and I look forward to working with them.”

St. Vincent Charity board adopts 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment

by Wendy Thursday, December 29, 2016

CLEVELAND, OH—(December 29, 2016)—St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s commitment to the community it serves is sharpened through its deepened understanding of the breadth and type of health needs present in the community. The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) serves as a quantitative and qualitative tool to identify the greatest health needs within our community and where the hospital can have the greatest impact.The full report is available here.

The 2016 CHNA was completed by The Center for Health Affairs working with St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and adopted by the St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Board of Directors on December 7, 2016.

The 2016 St. Vincent Charity Medical Center CHNA will serve as a foundation for developing an implementation strategy to address those needs that (a) the hospital determines it is able to meet in whole or in part; (b) are otherwise part of its mission; and (c) are not met (or are not adequately met) by other programs and services in the hospital’s market area. 

This assessment considered multiple data sources, some primary (survey of market area residents, hospital discharge data) and some secondary (regarding demographics, health status indicators, and measures of health care access).

The report provides the following information:

  • ·         A demographic profile of the hospital’s primary and secondary market areas;
  • ·         Description of the economic status of the population, as a whole, within the hospital’s primary and second market areas (e.g.  poverty, unemployment);
  • ·         Community issues which are either related to health and/or access to health care;
  • ·         Health status indicators (e.g. morbidity rates for various diseases and conditions, and mortality rates for leading causes of death);
  • ·         Health access indicators (e.g. uninsured rates, ambulatory care sensitive (ACS) discharges, and use of emergency departments);
  • ·         An outline of the types of health issues related to hospitalization, both in St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and in other area hospitals;
  • ·         Availability of community-based health care facilities and resources.

After a thorough analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center through its Community Benefit Steering Committee identified the following health needs that impact the community served by the hospital as its priorities for the 2017-2019 period. These include:

·         Access to mental health and addiction services

·         Obesity and food insecurity

·         Quality of care focusing on culturally appropriate care, health literacy and access

Work has begun on a three-year strategic implementation plan that will be presented to the St. Vincent Charity Board of Directors for approval in April 2017.

For more information about community benefit, the Community Health Needs Assessment or the CHNA Strategic Implementation Plan, please contact Wendy Hoke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at wendy.hoke@stvincentcharity.com. 

Rosary Hall offering a free educational session on addiction

by Wendy Thursday, December 22, 2016

Does a loved one use heroin, pain pills, marijuana, alcohol or other drugs? If so, there is help and there is hope. If you are concerned, plan to attend our FREE educational sessions held the second and fourth Saturday of the month, beginning January 14, 2017.

Addiction is a brain disease that can be treated. Our educational sessions, held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Rosary Hall, located on the second floor of the West Administration Building on the St. Vincent Charity campus, will help families better understand addiction.

Complimentary parking is available. Lunch is NOT included, but is available in the hospital cafeteria.

Registration is required. Please call Joyce Pleasant at 216-363-2609 or 216-363-2580 ext. 4 to register. You can also email joyce.pleasant@stvincentcharity.com.

 

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Earns “A” Grade for Patient Safety in Fall 2016 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

by Wendy Monday, October 31, 2016

 

CLEVELAND, OHIO, October 31, 2016 – New Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide and provide the most complete picture of patient safety in the U.S., were announced today by The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center was one of 844 hospitals to receive an “A”, ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States.

“Patient safety is an ongoing priority for us at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center,” said Dr. David F. Perse, president and CEO. “We work extremely hard to ensure that our efforts translate into the best possible care and outcomes for our patients. We are proud of this recognition, but remain vigilant in our patient safety efforts.”

“Protecting patients from harm is the most important charge for any hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We recognize and appreciate ‘A’ hospitals’ vigilance and continued dedication to keeping their patients safe.”

Developed under the guidance of an Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

To see St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s full grade, and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org or follow The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

 

St. Vincent Charity launches new blog called Radiant

by Wendy Monday, October 24, 2016

From the beginning of time, people from all cultures have turned to stories to illustrate and examine the human condition. Stories have the power to touch our souls, enhance our understanding and transform our thinking.  At St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, we are surrounded daily by powerful stories of faith and healing, overcoming adversity and innovation in care—stories that illuminate Care Beyond Medicine.

In service of the magical pull and power of storytelling, we are proud to introduce RADIANT [www.svcradiant.com], our St. Vincent Charity Medical Center blog that shines a light on the patients we serve and the caregivers who heal through powerful words and images. This is not the place for press releases. Those will still appear on our hospital website as will a link to the blog. RADIANT, however, is for deeper engagement.

To be radiant means to send out something in rays or ways that cannot be seen, but that embody the qualities of happiness, love and health. We hope people find new reasons to engage meaningfully with St. Vincent Charity Medical Center through the narrative of those closest to us.

I hope you take a moment to read some of the stories. We intend to publish twice weekly to start. Examples of the kinds of stories we will share include:

·         Caregivers from all departments who goes above and beyond

·         Physicians who demonstrate extraordinary compassion and excellence

·         Patients who overcome adversity or touch others deeply with their experience

·         Innovations that makes life better for patients and the community

The STORIES page includes some featured patient stories. When you click on MORE STORIES toward the bottom of the page, you will see all of our current blog posts. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact me at 216.363.7440 or email wendy.hoke@stvincentcharity.com.

 

St. Vincent Charity and Cleveland State University announce collaboration to foster innovation and research in the heart of downtown Cleveland

by Wendy Monday, October 10, 2016

 

CLEVELAND, OH—(October 10, 2016)—At its signature fundraising event, Caritas: A Celebration of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and Cleveland State University announced a collaboration to support and expand on the existing academic and medical hub in the Campus District.

Individually, St. Vincent Charity and CSU are powerful economic drivers, representing hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy and thousands of jobs. Together, St. Vincent’s and CSU play an integral role in the ongoing revitalization of Cleveland, the Campus District and the Central Neighborhood.

For the past few years, both presidents have expressed a desire to leverage the institutions to benefit the community. Starting in early 2016, St Vincent Charity and CSU began exploring ways in which these two storied institutions could work together to make a greater impact on our city and region. For example, through a collaboration between St. Vincent’s Spine & Orthopedic Institute and CSU’s Washkewicz College of Engineering, researchers are working together to improve rehabilitation techniques and create new prosthetic technology. And that’s just the beginning.

True to their respective missions, these institutions are exploring ways in which they can address the opiate epidemic in a collaborative manner that not only expands treatment in the short term, but also identifies new evidenced-based treatments and research that will address tomorrow’s challenges.

“All of this is exciting for both of our organizations, but most importantly, it is exciting for the Campus District and the communities we are blessed to serve,” said Dr. David F. Perse, president and CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, at the event.  “Not even a year into our partnership and our collaboration is already generating tangible results.”

“As anchor institutions, we recognize our responsibility to serve the people of Cleveland,” said Cleveland State University President Ronald M. Berkman. “Together, St. Vincent and CSU are committed to this mission.”

“At the core of everything we do at CSU is our philosophy of Engaged Learning, which extends our classrooms into the city itself,” said Dr. Berkman. “Engaged Learning prepares our students to succeed in their chosen professions by combining higher education and hands-on experience through co-ops, internships and other real-world opportunities.”

Work has included engagements between St. Vincent Charity and faculty and researchers in the colleges of engineering, sciences and health professions, nursing and law. St. Vincent Charity is a teaching site for CSU’s joint medical degree program with Northeast Ohio Medical University, which is dedicated to training a more diverse group of health-care professionals to meet the unique health-care needs of urban neighborhoods.

In support of the collaboration, Dr. Perse announced at the event that more than a half-million dollars in gifts that support the collaboration. “I am confident that others will want to help us grow these efforts in scope and sophistication. Among those gifts are:

         

-          $250,000 of the Robert S. and Germaine Lahiff Hines Endowment will be earmarked for tuition scholarships for our nurses who wish to advance their RN degree to a BSN.  Those funds will be used to help our caregivers further their education at Cleveland State University’s School of Nursing.

-          $200,000 in each of the next 3 years was recently committed by the Everest Foundation for our Residency Program at St. Vincent Charity including projects with researchers at Cleveland State.

-          $100,000 of the Caritas event proceeds to help further develop the partnership with CSU.

 

 ###

 

About St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is Cleveland’s faith-based, high-quality healthcare provider. Our distinguished doctors and caregivers are devoted to treating every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute and the Center for Bariatric Surgery. Owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center provides Care Beyond Medicine. For more information, visit www.stvincentcharity.com.

About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With 17,000-plus students, nine colleges and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2017 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report. Find more information at www.csuohio.edu.

 

News from St. Vincent Charity September 2016

by Wendy Friday, September 30, 2016

ST. VINCENT CHARITY MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES $1.9 MILLION GIFT FOR NURSING EDUCATION FROM NURSING STUDENT ALUMNI.

A $1.9-million-dollar gift to strengthen nursing education has been given to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center—one of the largest gifts in its history, given by the Robert S. and Germaine Lahiff Hines Endowment. 

Germaine Hines graduated from St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing and served as a first lieutenant in the Army Corps of Nurses during World War II. During her service, she was one of the pioneers to use the new drug penicillin to treat soldiers fighting on the front line. Honored for her brave service, Mrs. Hines received a Commendation Ribbon for noteworthy service, the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and a letter from President Harry S. Truman.  \

She married Robert Hines who worked for General Motors and later became an educator, serving as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. The couple lived in Hawaii there until their deaths. Mrs. Hines lived to be 98 and died in 2006 and Mr. Hines died in 2014.  

Dr. David Perse, president and CEO of St. Vincent Charity, said in a release: "This amazing gift by Germaine and Robert Hines was given because of their love and appreciation for the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and the incredible education Mrs. Hines received decades ago. The Sisters taught not just the skills and discipline of nursing, but the importance of providing dignity to every patient. We are grateful that the Hines endowment will help preserve that legacy and provide opportunities for our own nurses to continue to deliver care beyond medicine."

The St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing, founded in 1898 trained more than 2,600 nurses during its 90 years. The school merged in 1984 with Ursuline College. Today, nursing education continues throughout the halls of St. Vincent Charity. Through the generous gift given by the Robert S. and Germaine Lahiff Hines Endowment, top priority will be given to continued professional nursing education, development of nurse educators, and specialized training for critical, emergency, surgery and behavioral health care. The view the full article, click here.

ST. VINCENT CHARITY MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES NATIONAL ACCREDITATION FOR THE CENTER FOR BARIATRIC SURGERY.

Obesity affects over 15 million people in the United States, increasing the risks of health issues including type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be successful in reducing comorbidities related to severe obesity.  

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has long been offering patients a comprehensive program for surgical treatment of severe obesity. Now, the Center for Bariatric Surgery has recently been designated as an Accredited Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). To earn this accredited status, the center had to meet essential criteria for staff, training, protocols for care and facility infrastructure. In addition, it participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

“Achieving this accreditation is a result of all of the hard work of the multidisciplinary team at the Center for Bariatric Surgery at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center,” said Dr. Michael Nowak, MBS Director and Medical Director of the Center for Bariatric Surgery. “We have a legacy of providing high quality of care for bariatric surgery patients and are driven to continue to do so.”

The Center for Bariatric Surgery includes a multidisciplinary team approach of surgeons, nurses, health educators and nutritionists working as a team with each patient. Bariatric surgery treatment includes preoperative and postoperative educational and clinical care tailored to each patient’s needs. This comprehensive program improves patient surgical outcomes and continued success throughout their life.  

“St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is very proud of its nearly 20-year history of providing exceptional care for our bariatric patients,” said Dr. David F. Perse, President and CEO. “Our multidisciplinary approach is critical to the success of our more than 8,000 patients.”

ST. VINCENT CHARITY MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVED THE PRESTIGIOUS 2016 EXCELLENCE AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL RESEARCH CORPORATION (NRC).

St. Vincent Charity was recognized at the 22nd Annual NRC Picker Patient-Centered Symposium in August, named a Patient-Centered Care Champion for Continuity of Care and Transitions of Care. The awards are given based on categories identified by patients as being most important to their care. Marijo Atkinson and Anne Messer, representing St. Vincent Charity Medical Center were in San Diego to receive the award.

“Quality and patient safety are part of our mission,” said Dr. David F. Perse, President and CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. “We are constantly striving to improve the care we provide our patients and our community and this kind of recognition is validation of that ongoing work.”

As a 2016 award recipient, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is among a select few healthcare innovators recognized by their patients as leading the way to quality patient-centered care. The awards are given based on those areas that patients have identified as being most important to their care.

Award recipients were selected based on categories that patients have identified as being most important to the quality of their care. The awards are given to those organizations that are ranked by patients as demonstrating high performance in one of the following categories: Overall Hospital Rating, Overall Provider Rating, Improvement Planner Champion, Value-Based Purchasing Champion, and Patient-Centered Care Champion.

The eight winners of the award were chosen from the large database of hospital clients based on their performance over the last four quarters.

"Implementing improvement processes are difficult and require large amounts of time and resources, so when organizations make the commitment to look past those constraints, it really defines who the winners are,” said Helen Hrdy, Senior Vice President of Client Service at NRC. “We congratulate St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for truly defining patient-centered care.”

NRC is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. For more information, visit www.nationalresearch.com

ST. VINCENT CHARITY MEDICAL CENTER IS ON THE FRONT LINES OF TREATING OPIATE ADDICTION WITH INPATIENT DETOX AND RECOVERY PROGRAMS.

Cuyahoga County is seeing an epidemic of opiate addiction and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s Rosary Hall is providing the only inpatient treatment program in all of Northeastern Ohio. As of July 2016, the county had lost over 230 individuals to opioid overdose. U.S. Surgeon General (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy recently made a visit to Rosary Hall and stressed that addiction is a chronic disease, encouraging community partners to come together with prevention and treatment efforts. 

Dr. Ted Parran, addiction medicine specialist and associate medical director of Rosary Hall said: “the ways that epidemics are beat down is through broad and ongoing community awareness about the dangers, increased treatment capacity and aggressiveness of a well-rounded program, and reinforcing to people with addictive brain disease that if you have a problem with one substance, you will have a problem with all substances.”

How does opiate addiction happen? 

People experience pleasure or happiness through a process called the dopamine surge. This can be achieved through a variety of experiences like being a parent, enjoying a sunny day, and activities with friends or loved ones. For those with an addictive brain, the dopamine surge can also be produced through the effects of opiate use. 

“Doctors have not been very good at figuring out who should never get within 100 yards of prescription opiates—people with addictive brain,” he said. When people cannot get prescription drugs or can no longer afford them, they get them illegally—drugs often made from illegal pharmaceutical labs.  Unlike prescription drugs that use a fixed amount of opiates within the chemical make-up, addicts do not know what the level of purity is when they use heroine, and other opiates made illegally.  

Why do we see more deaths from drug addiction than alcohol addiction?

“There are a handful of fatal overdoses from alcohol,” explains Parran. “The difference between intoxicated level and fatal overdose of alcohol is very broad. With heroin and opiates, the difference between intoxicated and fatal is very narrow.” 

Today, Rosary Hall is the only hospital in Northeast Ohio that has an inpatient opioid detox program, giving patients a safe and supportive place to chemically withdraw and then join a recovery program. Parron says: “People need a safe, clinically excellent place to chemically withdraw in a supportive environment. Being able to detox in a hospital setting is critical for opiate-dependent individuals. When you’re drinking or drugging, you’re not worrying about your health. They often require lab studies, imaging, medical or surgical consults, physical or occupational therapy and psychiatric evaluations. We have the ability to have those people seen and get treatment started while they are being detoxed. …Rosary Hall is rooted in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous that worked in 1935 and works today.”  To learn more, watch the video “The Addictive Brain.”