Hospital receives $50,000 grant to help fight opioid epidemic

Mercy Health — Irvine, KY

The grant ensures 24/7 access to care for people experiencing an overdose or with opioid use disorder

As part of a bigger program, new staff, medications, training and tools are coming to help Marcum and Wallace Hospital patients

These funds better equip our Emergency Department (ED) to help people suffering from opioid use. Part of that is having an existing staff member take on the title of Clinical Champion. Their job is to ensure 24/7 access to life-saving medications and to administer them. We'll have naloxone to counteract drug overdose, improving survival rates by over 90%. And we'll have buprenorphine, as well, to help treat symptoms of opioid use disorder (OUD).

The Clinical Champion will educate our staff about these medications and treatment protocol. And the program will give us screening tools to help identify patients with OUD or who may be overdosing.

While in the ED, staff will link patients to our Peer Support Specialist (PSS), Pat Bailey. A PSS is someone who is in long-term recovery themselves—a key component to the program's success. Pat can use his own experience to mentor and guide patients, who will be able to relate to him. He'll encourage them to seek ongoing treatment, bridging them to local clinics or outpatient programs.

Pat Bailey

Peer Support Specialist
Mercy Health - Marcum & Wallace Hospital

I’m excited for the opportunity with Mercy Health, as an adult Peer Support Specialist in the Emergency Department. I understand the value of peer-to-peer services, from my own personal recovery, and previous work experiences in primary care, as well as inpatient treatment. I’m grateful for the opportunity to find out the value this role adds to the ED.

The work extends beyond the walls of the ED, as well. Staff will offer identified patients a naloxone prescription and proper education to go. And the Pat will continue to follow up and support patients even after they leave our hospital.

Joining this program is an honor for Marcum and Wallace Hospital and our staff. This fight is close to our hearts. We go forward determined to be a success for both KY SOS and our cherished community.