SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Opioid Crisis in Alaska Presentation


May 18, 2018
Friday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Life expectancy in the United States dropped for the second year in a row in 2016*. The primary reason is the skyrocketing death rate from drug overdoses.

Davies-Barry Insurance - Ketchikan, Alaska

In Alaska, opioid deaths tripled in less than twenty years: from 46 in 1999 to 143 in 2016. Although opioid deaths declined slightly last year in the state, opioid addiction is still at tragic levels in Alaska.

According to PeaceHealth Ketchikan, this community problem will require community solutions.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan, with sponsorship from Guardian Flight, will provide three public sessions to address opioid addiction.

Jay Butler MD and Tessa Linderman DNP will lead “The Opioid Crisis in Alaska” Thursday, May 24 in the Sunny Point Conference Room. There will be three 90-minute sessions, at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., to provide the broadest opportunity for attendance. The sessions are free and open to the public.

There will be an overview of the current situation, an explanation of how we got to this point, and a discussion on where we go from here.

Dr. Butler MD, CPE, FAAP, MACP, FIDSA is the Chief Medical Officer for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and Director of Division of Public Health. Tessa Linderman, DNP, BSN, RN, APHN-BC, is Nurse Consultant with the State of Alaska Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention.

These sessions are part of the medical center’s participation in Nurses Week that honors those caregivers as ‘the heart of healthcare’. The nurses wanted to offer an educational opportunity for not just nurses, but the entire community.

Alaska’s drug usage ranks the state at 17 overall in a survey that includes all states plus the District of Columbia, which is ranked first. Alaska ranks fourth in Drug Use and Addiction by the same survey for WalletHub, a personal finance website.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, is also a Level IV Trauma Center for an area roughly twice the size of Massachusetts. Key services include general and orthopedic surgery, and primary, women’s health, pediatric, and behavioral health clinics. The Medical Center also has a 29-bed Transitional Care Unit.


Reference Note:

*This is the first time in more than a half century that life expectancy dropped two years in a row according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A baby born in the United States in 2016 has a life expectancy of 78 years, 7 months. That’s a month less than a baby born in 2015 and two months less than one born in 2014 according to the CDC.


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center



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