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Prescribers' Summit III

On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the Tri-City Area United Way’s Substance Abuse Task Force Prescribers' Committee held their third in a series of summits held exclusively for the medical community. Heroin is not the only drug that causes addiction problems in our community and the abuse of drugs that can be prescribed by health care providers can be just as devastating. At this Summit we are pleased to bring in Dr. John Lehtinen, pictured above, who practices medicine in Marquette, MI and specializes in addiction medicine. His talk is titled "Prescription Drug Abuse in Our Communities". Dr. Lehtinen has a suboxone clinic in Marquette where a lot of his work is focused on helping pregnant women and others who suffer from drug addictions.

Your Tri-City Area United Way and its partners, through its Educational Success – Cradle to Career Initiative, has been working hard to look for effective ways of helping reduce the abuse of both recreational and prescription drugs. The Substance Abuse Task Force is currently comprised of four committees, 0 to 10 Year Olds; Middle to High School, Business, and Prescribers'. This Summit is the work of the Prescribers' committee who are focused solely on helping health care providers from our medical community better understand how their efforts in pain management are being abused and what alternatives they have available right here in our area.

In our first “Prescribers Summit” a panel of representatives from varying health care and law enforcement professions discussed what they are seeing happen within our communities regarding prescription drug abuse. The second “Prescriber Summit” focused on the areas offerings in alternatives to pain management in lieu of prescribing potentially abused drugs. A resource guide listing all the providers for these types of alternative pain management has been developed by the Prescribers' Committee and will shortly be available on the Tri-City Area United Way’s website.

For more information on how your United Way is working to improve the lives of all in our tri-county region, contact us HERE.

Educational Success: Cradle to Career Initiative

  • Educational Opportunities: Educational success starts at birth and continues throughout life.
    • Ages 0-8 Action Plan
      • Kindergarten School Advisory Committee works with partners who work with children ages 0-5 for school readiness.
      • Big Brothers Big Sisters' Mentoring Program is into its second year which pairs at-risk kindergartners and second grade students with volunteer high school students.

    • Middle School Age Action Plan
      • Encourage middle school students to participate in extracurricular activities by having an Activities Fair.

    • High School to Post Secondary Action Plan
      • Implement a Business/Industry Tour program for high school students, parents, and teachers.
      • Implement a Job Shadowing Program for high school students.
      • Implement a Mentorship Program for high school students.

  • Parenting Education: When families come together, everyone wins.
    • Strengthening Families Program
      • Seven 2-hour group session preceded by a meal that includes informal family practices and group leader coaching.
      • Focusing efforts on families with children 10-14 year old range which consists of:
        • Parenting skills training
        • Children's life skills training
        • Family skills training

  • Substance Abuse: Substance Abuse affects not just the user but the whole family and community.
    • Ages 0-8 Action Plan
      • Families with young children will have access to substance abuse services.
      • Substance abuse treatment services will reflect and be sensitive to the unique needs of families with young children.
      • Individuals coping with substance abuse getting the support for treatment options.

    • Youth Action Plan
      • Healthy Youth Coalition programs educate youth on the prevention of using drugs, alcohol, smoking, and risky behavior.

    • Business Action Plan
      • Empower employees and employers with knowledge and options in making informed choices in finding a solution by:
        • Developing a business and industry speakers' circuit.
        • Hold presentations for employees at their place of work.
        • Audit for effectiveness

    • Prescription Drug Abuse Action Plan
      • Educate health care professionals on the effects of local Prescription Drug Abuse.
      • Prescibers' Summits held providing a better understanding of how prescribed drugs are abused.
      • Determine what information is needed to inform prescribers on local alternatives in pain management without the worry of abuse or addiction.
      • Hold additional summits for information sharing and learning.

    • Community Services
      • Investigate and lead on acquiring transitional living facilities and reintroduction into society services.

How You Can Help:

Great schools have great communities. This is your opportunity to really make a difference in your community. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 715-735-7785 to sign up.