Northam to discuss combating drug addiction from practice to policy at VCU

ralph northamGov. Ralph Northam will address VCU and VCU Health students, faculty and staff on the issue of the opioid epidemic during a Grand Rounds lecture next week. Grand Rounds are a traditional patient-centered education method at medical schools, often consisting of presentations on specific medical problems and discussion of treatments.

WHEN: Monday, Aug. 20, at noon
WHERE: VCU Medical Center Campus James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center, 1201 E. Marshall St.

Last year, 1,227 Virginia residents died from opioid overdoses, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The death toll rose from 1,138 deaths in 2016, state health data showed. At VCU Medical Center, emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses more than doubled from 273 in 2015 to 657 in 2017.

“The crisis of opioid addiction and overdose is killing Virginians and hurting families and communities in every part of our commonwealth,” Northam said, adding that he sees the issue as Virginia’s foremost public health crisis. “As a doctor, I’ve seen this firsthand, and I want to do all I can to engage my fellow physicians on this issue, and discuss ways we can help reduce addiction to painkillers, think innovatively about the treatment of acute and chronic pain, and recognize signs of dependence in our patients.”

At VCU and VCU Health, efforts are underway to combat the opioid addiction crisis through treatmentresearch and education. Across the university and health system, VCU faculty members are changing the way pain management is taught and working together to quell the opioid addiction crisis in Virginia and across the country.

The event is open to the public, but seating is limited. Overflow space will be provided to view the lecture on monitors on the MCV Campus. The lecture also will be livestreamed on VCU Health’s Facebook page.  

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