PCHC Receives Cardinal Health Foundation Grant to Increase Opioid Safety

The Cardinal Health Foundation announced that it has awarded Penobscot Community Health Care grant funding from its Generation Rx Best Practices in Pain Management program. Penobscot Community Health Care is one of 10 healthcare organizations that received a one-year grant to create measurable action plans designed to modify opioid prescribing, increase patient engagement and improve outcomes for patients suffering from chronic, non-cancer pain. The grants are designed to help healthcare organizations better engage healthcare providers, patients and caregivers to reduce the number of opioids prescribed for pain.

Chief Pharmacy Officer, Dr. Felicity Homsted says “We’re very excited to receive this grant to expand the work we have been doing in controlled substance stewardship over the last five years. These funds will support work to improve proactive chronic pain management and reduce prescribing of opioids, when can be potentially harmful when used unnecessarily.”

Penobscot Community Health Care will also participate in a virtual learning collaborative led by chronic pain pharmacists at the Chronic Pain Clinic (CPC) at Geisinger Health in Danville, Pa. The CPC was established in 2012 to help chronic pain patients better manage their pain, while providing clinical and educational support for the health system’s physicians.

Geisinger’s chronic pain pharmacists work with the health system’s primary care physicians to increase safe prescribing, and find alternative treatment options when appropriate, which include non-opioid medications, physical therapy, acupuncture and/or behavioral therapy.

The virtual learning collaborative will help grantees develop similar collaborations with pharmacists and physicians in their community.

“Penobscot Community Health Care shares our goal of improving overall quality of care, increasing patient engagement and minimizing or finding alternatives to prescription opioids,” says Dianne Radigan, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “We’re pleased to support Penobscot Community Health Care as it develops innovations in care for chronic pain patients; our hope is that their best practices can influence other healthcare systems around the country to help reduce opioid dependency.”