Heroin and Opioid Addiction

Public Hearing on the State of Addiction in Pennsylvania


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To learn more about the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), and how information in the PDMP database and other sources are being used at the local level for heroin/opioid education, prevention and treatment efforts, the Center's Board of Directors held its 16th public hearing on Wednesday, September 25 at the Commonwealth Keystone Building in Harrisburg.

Center Board Chairman Senator Gene Yaw presided over the hearing. He was joined by Center Board Vice Chairman Rep. Garth Everett, Center Board Treasurer Steve Brame, and Center Board Members Sen. Katie Muth, Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Dr. Michael Driscoll, Dr. Lawrence Feick, Dr. Stephan Goetz, Shannon Munro, Dr. Joseph Nairn, and Darrin Youker, and Center Director Barry Denk.

"State of Addiction" Public Hearing Set for September 25


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HARRISBURG - The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, chaired by State Senator Gene Yaw, will hold a public hearing at the Commonwealth Keystone Building on Wednesday, September 25, on the heroin/opioid epidemic to gather information, including the status of and accessibility to the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

"The Center's work continues as we hold our 16th public hearing on Pennsylvania's heroin/opioid crisis," said Sen. Yaw. "The Center's board is expecting an update on the PDMP, and how information in the database and other sources are being used at the local level for education, prevention and treatment efforts."

The PDMP was established through Act 191 of 2014 to collect information on all filled prescriptions for controlled substances. The information collected helps health care providers safely prescribe controlled substances and it also helps patients get the treatment they need.

"The Center's board remains committed to raising awareness about heroin/opioid addiction in Pennsylvania and helping inform and shape public policy to combat this public health crisis," Sen. Yaw said.

At the public hearing, Sen. Yaw will be joined by fellow Center Board Members: Board Vice Chairman Rep. Garth Everett; Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Board Treasurer Stephen Brame, Governor's representative; Sen. Katie Muth; Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski; Dr. Michael Driscoll, president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Lawrence Feick, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Stephan Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development; Dr. Timothy Kelsey, Pennsylvania State University; Shannon Munro, Pennsylvania College of Technology; Dr. Joseph Nairn, founding president of Northern Pennsylvania Regional College; and Darrin Youker, Governor's representative.

Presenters are: Dr. Thomas Farley, Philadelphia County Health Department director; Melissa Lyon, Erie County Health Department director; Barbara Kovacs, York City Health Department director; Meghna Patel, deputy secretary of Health Innovation, and Jared Shinabery, PDMP director, Pennsylvania Department of Health; Laken Ethun, project director, Program Evaluation and Research Unit, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy; and Michael Krafick, certified recovery specialist, Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission.

The public hearing will be held in the Commonwealth Keystone Building, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Hearing Room 5, 400 North St, Harrisburg, PA 17120, and will begin at 9 a.m.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania's nearly 3.5 million rural residents.


Barry Denk, Director
Center for Rural Pennsylvania