In a press conference attended by community leaders and program partners held on October 4th 2019, VNA Health Care announced the launch of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.
VNA Health Care President and CEO, Linnea Windel, remarked that over the past 100 years, much has changed in the world and in health care. “One thing has NOT changed during VNA Health Care’s 100 years of service and this is the organization’s willingness to address the most pressing healthcare needs of the time. Today, undoubtedly, the need for mental/behavioral health services and substance use disorder treatment is great. Opioid use is a public health crisis; in Illinois, we lost 2,778 individuals to opioid overdoses. Sadly, Kane County is not immune to this problem.”
Also in attendance to lend their support and share some highlights of their work providing solutions to this health crisis were Deputy Mayor Chuck Nelson, City of Aurora; Congressman Bill Foster – 11th District of Illinois; Mr. Douglas O’Brien, Regional Director - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Associate Judge Elizabeth Flood – Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Kane County; Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain, and Ms. Barbara Jeffers, Executive Director - Kane County Health Department.
“The Kane County Health Department partners and coordinates with VNA to provide holistic approaches that support solutions to the opioid crisis in Kane County. VNA now offering a MAT program to our community will make a huge impact in reducing the deaths and long term addictions related to opioid misuse” said Ms. Barbara Jeffers, Executive Director of the Kane County Health Department.
Opioid-related deaths have nearly tripled in Kane County in recent years. Opioids, used medically for pain relief, have analgesic and central nervous system depressant effects as well as the potential to cause euphoria. Opioid use disorder (OUD) can involve misuse of prescribed opioid medications, use of diverted opioid medications, or use of illicitly obtained drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. OUD is typically a chronic, relapsing illness, associated with significantly increased rates of morbidity and mortality.
In support of the national and local effort to tackle the opioid use epidemic, VNA Health Care has launched the delivery of a Medication Assisted Treatment option for individuals with OUD. This treatment is offered in conjunction with VNA’s mental and behavioral health services with a goal of patients achieving abstinence through medically supervised withdrawal with maintenance treatment as indicated to prevent relapse.