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ThedaCare-WISAM Joint CME Event: "Stemming the Tide of the Overdose Epidemic"

May 23, 2023 2:45 PM | Anonymous

May 20, 2023

Appleton WI

Clinicians learn tools to treat substance use disorders

On May 20th, clinicians from around the Fox Valley and surrounding areas gathered at Fox Valley Technical College to learn how to combat the opioid overdose epidemic. The event, Stemming the Tide of the Overdose Epidemic, was attended by over 70 physicians, nurse practioners and physician assistants. Clinicians came from as far away as Sturgeon Bay, Wautoma and Shawano to learn how to diagnose and treat opioid use disorder.

Attendees learned how to prescribe the life-saving medication buprenorphine, better known by its brand name Suboxone. Opioid overdose is now the leading cause of death in younger adults in Wisconsin and across the county. Treatment with buprenorphine reduces the risk of premature death by over 50% in people suffering from an opioid use problem. Many people struggle to access these medications and most PCPs do not treat addictions.

The event featured a panel of family physicians who are successfully treating opioid use in their busy primary care clinics. The panelists included Dr. Gretchen Wagner at Ascension in Greenville, Dr. Eric Smiltneek at Aurora in Oshkosh, Dr. Robert Sedlacek at ThedaCare in Waupaca and Dr. Karen Hulbert at ThedaCare in Princeton and Markesan.

The event closed with a panel discussion on stigma reduction in the treatment of people suffering from use disorders. Panelists shared how stigma keeps people from accessing life-saving treatment. The panel discussion was led by Joe Galey from Safe Communities of Madison and included Stephanie Good, a substance abuse counselor at Apricity/Mooring House in Neenah, Caitlin Reider, a substance abuse counselor at ThedaCare Behavioral Health and Jami Carlovsky, a collaborative care nurse manager at ThedaCare in Waupaca.

The event was led by Dr. Ritu Bhatnagar, an addiction psychiatrist at UW-Madison and the current president of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM), and by Dr. Ezra Lyon, a family physician at ThedaCare in Waupaca and ThedaCare‚Äôs Associate Medical Director for Integrative Addiction Treatment. The event was free to participants due to generous grant support from the ThedaCare Family of Foundations and from WISAM through federal and state grants. Fox Valley Technical College provided generous in-kind support for the event.  Another training is planned for fall of 2023.

Panel discussion on stigma reduction featuring (from left) Jami Carlovsky, Caitlin Reider, Stephanie Good and Joe Galey.

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