SOAR, UPIKE to host free substance use disorder education event for healthcare providers, medical students on October 3


19th September, 2017



Joshua Ball




SOAR, UPIKE to host free substance use disorder education event for healthcare providers, medical students on October 3

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) Healthy Communities is partnering with the University of Pikeville-Kentucky (UPIKE) College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) to host a substance use disorder education event on Tuesday, October 3. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Health Professionals Education Building (Kentucky College of Optometry) at UPIKE. SOAR and UPIKE invite health professionals and stakeholders who share the vision of reducing the scope and impact of substance use disorder and related consequences through education, awareness, prevention, and access to services.  The event is free but space is limited and registration is required. On-site lunch is sponsored by Morehead State University Department of Nursing.

“We are facing an opioid crisis in Eastern Kentucky that is threatening our livelihood and way of life,” says Dr. Joshua Crum, associate dean of clinical affairs, KYCOM. “In an effort to combat the drug abuse epidemic in our region, the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine is strengthening partnerships and ensuring our students are prepared to be on the forefront of ending the devastation to our communities.

“KYCOM is meeting the challenge put forth by Governor Bevin to fight this epidemic through an inter-professional and collaborative approach known as the Kentucky Addiction Prevention Education program. Partners include the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville Schools of Medicine and Dentistry,” Dr. Crum continues. “We are proud to host the upcoming Provider Education on Substance Use Disorder event in partnership with SOAR. We look forward to providing future and current health care professionals with the tools and resources they will need to become the drivers of change and healing in our communities.”

SOAR and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have partnered for more than two years to build a more connected network of health-focused organizations, institutions, federal partners, and individuals in Appalachia. This network readily comes together to share best practices and work collaboratively to enhance community health initiatives.

The issue of substance use is complicated and multifactorial. Successful solutions must be grounded in the uniqueness of the communities that make up the Appalachian Region. Speakers at the substance use disorder event will provide evidence-based guidelines, discuss how to integrate prevention and management into practice in a rural setting, and provide resources and tools to help current and future providers in Appalachia turn the tide on the substance use epidemic.

“Substance use disorder is a real issue in every community in the SOAR region,” says Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “This epidemic has touched every single person in our region in some way, shape, or form. A groundswell of meaningful solutions and best practices has evolved from the work of countless individuals and organizations that are passionate about treating those battling substance use disorder.”

The event will feature presentations on the following topics:

Special Circumstances: Pregnancy and Postpartum | Connie White, MD, Deputy Director, Kentucky Department for Public Health; Allen Brenzel, MD, Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Development and Intellectual Disabilities; and Jill Martin, M.Ed., LPCC, Hazard Primary Care Centers and Mountain Comprehensive Care Clinic.

Legislative Updates | Mark Birdwhistell, Vice President of Administration and External Affairs, UK HealthCare; and Douglas Oyler, PharmD, Chair, Opioid Stewardship Program, UK HealthCare; and John O’Brien Jr., MD, Chief, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, UK HealthCare

Personal Stories of Addiction | Rex Chapman, Pat Fogarty, and Matt Brown.

Prevention in the Primary Care Setting | Tom Vicini, Deputy Director, Operation UNITE; Debbie Trusty, Education Director, Operation UNITE; Stephanie Johnson, Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services; and Laura Griffin, DO, FAAO, Professor and Chair of Osteopathic Principles and Practice, KYCOM

Infectious Disease Complications and Substance Use Disorder| Ardis Hoven, MD, Infectious Disease Consultant, Kentucky Department for Public Health and Fadi Al Akhrass, MD, FACP, Medical Director of Infectious Disease and Infection Control, Chief of Staff at Pikeville Medical Center; and Philip J. Peters, M.D., HIV Testing and Biomedical Interventions Activity Lead, Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Management of Substance Use Disorder | Tim Robinson, President/CEO, Addiction Recovery Care; Dana Quesinberry, Program Manager, Kentucky Drug Prevention Program; Kris Preston, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Appalachian College of Pharmacy; and Mark Jorrisch, MD, President, Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine.

Operation UNITE Deputy Director Tom Vicini will highlight primary prevention and community coalition building. "While UNITE's mission involves targeting those who continue to bring drugs to our region and providing treatment assistance for those who are battling an addiction, prevention is the key to real change. Utilizing partners, such as SOAR, to provide fact-based education initiatives—especially those targeting youth from an early age—can provide hope and change attitudes. It is so important not only to teach people how to avoid drugs but also to offer them tools to make better decisions in life.”

The event is being live streamed at numerous locations across the region. To find the location nearest you and to register to attend in person or via live stream, visit

You can also access the live stream at

SOAR extends a special thank you to the event sponsors that have made this educational opportunity possible: Morehead State University Department of Nursing, Highlands Regional Medical Center, and Community Trust Bank.

For more information about SOAR Healthy Communities goals and objectives, visit or contact Jenna Meyer at (606) 766-1160 or email