From a Moment into a Movement

From a Moment into a Movement: Looking Beyond the Opioid Epidemic

Looking beyond the opioid epidemic

Through grantmaking, strategic cross-sector partnerships, and evidence-based research, the Foundation’s STOP initiative has grown from a moment to a movement — driving change in the opioid epidemic and shaping the future of public health in our region and beyond.

The opioid epidemic continues to be one of our country’s most challenging public health issues.

The Foundation is leading on a national and local level with an interconnected approach that supports organizations committed to addressing gaps in prevention, education, and recovery to help individuals experiencing addiction and their families.

In 2019, we awarded $740,000 in grant funding to 15 organizations through the Foundation’s Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative.

Our grant funding supports a variety of community responses to the opioid crisis in Southeastern Pennsylvania — from additional training programs for health care professionals, to mentoring and grief resources for children and their families, to bilingual behavioral health counseling.

Early intervention is a key strategy in fighting the opioid epidemic, and the Foundation awarded its largest grant to date to Caron Treatment Centers to support Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training for health and school professionals.

Additional Foundation funding in 2019 expands this successful SBIRT training through the launch of a new program for nursing students and nursing professionals.

Reducing stigma through the Someone You Know® campaign

Stigma is often a barrier that prevents people from seeking help and treatment for opioid use disorder, and the Someone You Know campaign is an integral part of the Foundation’s commitment to addressing this issue.

Someone You Know shares diverse stories of real people in our communities to promote hope for those who have found a life in recovery, are supporting a loved one with opioid addiction, or lost a loved one as a result of an overdose.

Someone You Know began as a regional anti-stigma and awareness campaign and quickly gained widespread recognition and attention through a podcast heard locally, nationally, and globally and an interactive mobile exhibit that has traveled to local, state, and national events — including the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, the country’s largest public health conference.

This campaign has provided a platform to educate and engage elected officials to advance the campaign’s goal of reducing the stigma of addiction. Someone You Know® events were held in Washington, D.C.; Harrisburg; and Philadelphia to foster open dialogue with legislators.

These day-long events featured presentations by campaign participants, in addition to the campaign’s mobile exhibit, allowing guests to listen to powerful stories of hope. In honor of the event and the campaign, “Someone You Know Day” resolutions were introduced in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate.

Increasing access to treatment for overdose survivors

In 2017, the Foundation commissioned research to examine the utilization, design, and effectiveness of the Bucks-County-Connect-Assess-Refer-Engage-Support (B-CARES) program, a local warm handoff program in local emergency departments. Warm handoff programs immediately refer opioid overdose survivors to treatment programs, with the guidance and support of individuals who are already in recovery.

This research has helped to establish best practices and initiate broader discussions between government, providers, and community stakeholders about solutions to combat the opioid epidemic.

Based on the study results, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs in 2019 awarded an additional $650,000 to the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. to implement several of the best practices identified from the Foundation’s research.

These best practices include increasing the number of certified recovery specialists in all six hospitals in Bucks County and incorporating warm handoff training into new physician orientations.

The Foundation has commissioned a second study of the warm handoff program to track outcomes and provide additional recommendations to increase the effectiveness of this critical step in the recovery process.

Training health care professionals to improve outcomes

As the results of the Foundation’s study on warm handoff programs demonstrate, following best practices to immediately refer overdose survivors to treatment programs has a significant impact on overall health outcomes.

In partnership with Nurse.com, the leading provider of online continuing education for nurses, the Foundation is empowering nurses to take a leading role in translating policy to practice. Through this collaboration, we offer a free online course focused on the policy and practice of the warm handoff mandate in Pennsylvania for opioid overdose survivors. Nurses can take this course to learn and earn one free continuing education unit (CEU).

Building the momentum

In just a few years, the Foundation’s STOP initiative has transformed from a moment into a movement to address an urgent national health crisis that has deeply affected so many lives in our region.

There is more work to do and there are more stories to be told, and we will continue the momentum in person and online by developing the Someone You Know campaign — including releasing new episodes of the podcast — to give more people a way to learn, share, engage, and inspire hope.

We will also continue to ensure that health care professionals, educators, and parents have the latest information and tools on best practices to support people with opioid use disorder and to play a role in prevention.

With the Foundation’s continued strategic leadership and collaboration, we know it’s possible to turn the tide of the opioid epidemic to improve the health of our country and our local communities.

Leadership and collaboration

STORIES OF HOPE IN THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

The Foundation took the Someone You Know® campaign on the road in 2019 to share stories of hope and increase awareness about reducing stigma.

Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The Someone You Know movement reached our nation’s capital, increasing awareness among federal legislators, including Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (pictured above, left), around the stigma of addiction.

State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg

In recognition of National Recovery Month, we joined Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (pictured above, center) to discuss the opioid crisis and underscore the importance of reducing the stigma of opioid addiction.

Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (pictured above, right) joined Independence Blue Cross CEO Daniel Hilferty and members of City Council at the Independence Visitor Center to raise awareness about the stigma of opioid addiction.

Our Work with Caron Treatment Centers

300

Trained over 300 professionals working with youth to deliver SBIRT (after summer trainings were held)

50

Trained over 50 professionals working with youth on how to support youth impacted by addiction in the family

50

Delivered Kids of Promise programming to over 50 students

3,000

Distributed 3,000 resource guides throughout the community

400

Expanded Prevention Resources & Education for Parents (PREP) programming to 11 new sites and reached over 400 participants

Facing the opioid crisis together podcast

Launched in 2019, the Someone You Know® podcast is available for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms and features conversations with campaign ambassadors and advocates who explore the pain of addiction and the joys of a life in recovery.

Within the first 5 weeks of the podcast’s launch, the podcast reached

278 listeners in
5 countries and
25 states

More than

3,300 listeners in
28 countries and
49 states

Interactive mobile exhibit

The interactive Someone You Know®' mobile exhibit features listening stations that allow visitors to hear the voices of campaign ambassadors. The exhibit:

20

Visited nearly 20 community events in Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2019

670

Traveled 670 miles in 2019