Tools to Improve Care for Patients Taking Opioids for Chronic Pain by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded a contract to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to develop evidence-based guidelines for appropriate opioid analgesic prescribing for acute pain resulting from specific conditions or procedures. The FDA's announcement comes on the heels of a recent release by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of an online toolkit to help primary care practices improve care for patients taking opioids for chronic pain.

AzHHA is very hopeful these national tools will augment the hard work that providers, community partners and state agencies are doing locally to address the opioid epidemic. As Congress moves closer to passing federal legislation to address the epidemic, it is even more imperative that our state and national efforts align.

Southern Arizona Opioid Misuse Prevention Symposium by Joe Furia

The Southern Arizona Opioid Misuse Prevention Symposium will be held Friday, September 28th at the Tucson Convention Center. Speakers will address elements of a healthy community and how it relates to the opioid epidemic and substance misuse. Panels include:

  • Meeting consumers where they are
  • Addressing harm reduction strategies
  • Coping with trauma
  • Discussing health outcomes and disparities for populations affected by substance misuse

Early bird registration ends tomorrow so, register today. Vendors and sponsors are welcome! For more information about the event click here

Don’t Miss Out on AzHHA Leadership Conference Discounts! by Joe Furia

Karen Fallquist, Education and Office Coordinator

Early bird registration is still open for AzHHA’s Annual Leadership Conference. Attendees who register before August 31st will receive the early bird discounted rate. In addition, AzHHA Members receive a great multi-registration discount. Just register three people from your organization, and the fourth person attends FREE! Check out this year’s speakers and agenda. For more information or to register, click here.

Share Your Insights at the Arizona Health Equity Conference by Joe Furia

Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs

Registration for the October 11th 5th Annual Arizona Health Equity Conference is open and submissions for presenters are now being accepted until August 31st. Over 300 professionals from diverse backgrounds and from across the state will come together and discuss ways to address health equity in Arizona. Share what has worked and what hasn’t as your organization addresses health disparities and equity. For more information, click here.

Point of Pride: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona by Joe Furia

Last week our member Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona announced that they will be investing $10 million in an initiative to help reduce opioid misuse in the state. These funds will be spent over the next three years and include a minimum of $3 million in annual grants to organizations and academic institutions in Arizona in addition to funding that will fill in gaps in preventing and treating the misuse of opioids and other substances. In addition to providing funds to the Mobilize AZ initiative, other plans are to expand medication-assisted treatment for opioid misuse and remove barriers to treatment.