FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2017
CONTACT: Patrick Padgett
KMA Executive Vice President
KMA Addressing Opioid Issue through Education and Physician Input
LOUISVILLE, KY—The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) will hold its Annual Meeting Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 in Louisville with a new format designed to educate physicians on the opioid problem around the state. One education session will also allow physicians to participate in discussions on how to address the opioid problem.
The keynote speaker on Friday is reporter and author Sam Quinones, who will discuss his book, Dreamland, which discusses the history of the opiate addiction problem and how it spread across the United States over nearly thirty years. One reviewer called Dreamland “a book that every American should read.”
“We believe it is important to know the issue from a historical perspective,” KMA President Nancy Swikert, MD, said. “Knowing how we got to where we are on this issue will help us address it going forward.”
Other speakers scheduled to discuss the opioid issue for the sold out event on Friday include Kentucky Educational Television host Renee Shaw, along with producers and participants of the “Journey to Recovery” opioid documentary, as well as Ivana Grahovac, Director of Advancement for Facing Addiction, who will share her story of addiction recovery.
The meeting will continue on Saturday with faculty from Butler University, who will discuss how physicians can be leaders on a variety of issues. Other speakers will address specific facets of the opioid issue including David Hopkins, Program Manager at KASPER, Kentucky’s prescription monitoring system, who will provide statistical information related to KASPER reporting; Phillip Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the University of Kentucky Healthcare, who will discuss opioid use in an inpatient setting; attorney Sarah Spurlock of Stites & Harbison, who will discuss Kentucky’s new law limiting controlled substance prescriptions for acute pain to three days; and a follow up from KET representatives on their acclaimed opioid documentary.
Following the presentations, the attendees will break out into work groups to discuss the issues addressed in the presentations, with each breakout group led by a physician who recently graduated from KMA’s first class of the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute, or KPLI.
“These physicians have received in-depth training on various facets of leadership,” Doctor Swikert said of the KPLI graduates. “We trained them, and now we are putting them to work on one of the most important issues in health care. They developed the scenarios to be discussed, and they will lead the groups in their discussions. It is a perfect fit for their recent training.”
The breakout groups’ suggestions and feedback will be used later by KMA in developing steps the Association and its members can take to address the issue.
“This is the first time our Annual Meeting has had breakout groups to address an important public health issue,” Doctor Swikert said. “The structure that KMA put in place a few years ago allows us to work on problems like this. And our new Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute is the perfect place to train physician leaders. Physicians want to be involved in addressing the major issues of the day, and these new KMA initiatives provide them the perfect opportunities to do so.”
Established in 1851, the Kentucky Medical Association is a professional organization for physicians throughout the Commonwealth. The KMA works on behalf of physicians and the patients they serve to ensure the delivery of quality, affordable health care.