NYSARH is pleased to recognize the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force as the Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year. The nomination, submitted by Julie Gutowski, included information about an emergency department screening process used at local hospitals that helps to identify people using opioids that then connects patients with Peer Advocate or Recovery Coach in addition to a referral for treatment. The Task Force operates a tri-county crisis line. Their combined efforts have resulted in a measurable decrease in drug overdose visits to local hospitals as well as opioid related deaths between 2017 and 2018.
The goal of the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force is to address the growing opioid crisis in the tri-county area. Through active collaboration and engagement, the Task Force envisions a community free from opioid related deaths and overdoses. The GOW Opioid Task Force currently has over 350 members from across the tri-county region. Members represent various sectors of the community, including public health, mental health, human services, local government, substance use disorder treatment and recovery agencies, law enforcement, EMS, faith-based groups, health systems and medical practitioners, education, businesses, concerned individuals, families, and individuals in recovery. There are six active work groups that meet regularly to address the needs of the community. For more information please visit: www.gowopioidtaskforce.org.
The New York State Association for Rural Health (NYSARH) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural New Yorkers and their communities. NYSARH membership includes representatives of all facets of the rural health care industry, as well as individuals and students. On many different levels, NYSARH serves individuals, consumers, non-profit organizations, government agencies and officials, health care facilities, emergency medical service providers, long-term care organizations, businesses, universities, foundations, associations, and other stakeholders in rural health.