ARH system to Collaborate with Hospitals Statewide to Fight Opioid Epidemic


Appalachian Regional Healthcare system is joining forces with hospitals across the state to end opioid abuse in Kentucky. 

To help the state’s hospitals in this battle, the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) is partnering with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as part of the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) to launch the Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship (KY SOS) program. This initiative will provide a mechanism for hospitals to demonstrate their actions and commitments to their patients and communities to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

KY SOS will focus on reducing opioid overprescribing and improving safe opioid use throughout the commonwealth. Additionally, this project will provide a voluntary certification opportunity for Kentucky hospitals that demonstrates their progress.

As a member of KY SOS, ARH hospitals will receive:

• Resources and education on opioid stewardship
• Access to clinical advisors and subject matter experts who can assist with improvement questions and provide recommendations
• Access to the Kentucky Quality Counts data system to track progress on applicable measures
• Support and coordination from KHA

All of the Kentucky hospitals that are joining this partnership will:

• Work to improve patient safety in the area of opioid stewardship
• Increase community outreach and education regarding pain management and safe opioid use
• Commit to collaboration, alignment and coordination
• Participate in site visits with the KY SOS Advisory Team

KHA President Mike Rust stated, “Kentucky hospitals are committed to working toward improving opioid stewardship collectively, and ultimately reducing the risk of addiction for their patients. KHA is proud to support our hospitals as they continue to provide high quality health care and further demonstrate their dedication to the communities they serve.”

“The National Institute on Drug Abuse ranks Kentucky among the top 10 states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths, and Kentucky’s hospitals are on the front line in the fight to help the state recover,” said Joe Grossman, ARH President and CEO, who will serve as a member of the KY SOS committee. “We look forward to working with KHA and our colleagues throughout the commonwealth on this new initiative, which will bring outstanding resources to the areas ARH serves throughout Eastern Kentucky.”

About Appalachian Regional Healthcare:
ARH is a not-for-profit health system operating 12 hospitals, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs over 5,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $370 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia, and is consistently recognized for its medical excellence.

About the Kentucky Hospital Association:
KHA was established in 1929. The Association represents hospitals, related health care organizations and integrated health care systems dedicated to sustaining and improving the health status of the citizens of Kentucky. The Association is headquartered in Louisville.


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