State Of Emergency: Gov. Wolf Declares Opioid Epidemic A Statewide Disaster
The declaration is ground-breaking for a public health emergency in Pennsylvania and will use a command facility at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to monitor progress and increase the coordination between public safety and health agencies.
“While we have made progress in combating the heroin and opioid abuse crisis and drastically expanded Pennsylvania’s response, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians.
I am taking this step to protect Pennsylvanians from this looming public health crisis, and I am using every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination.”
Thirteen key Initiatives mentioned in the declaration are the result of a collaboration between state agencies, with focus on drug and alcohol treatment programs, departments of health, PEMA, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, state law enforcement.
Initiatives And Three Areas Of Focus
Enhancing Coordination and Data Collection to Bolster State and Local Response which:
(1) establishes an opioid command center at PEMA
(2) expands access to the prescription drug monitoring program to other entities for clinical decision-making and to improve treatment outcomes and to monitor prescriber compliance
(3) adds overdose and neonatal abstinence syndrome as reportable conditions to the DOH to improve health outcomes
(4) authorizes emergency purchase under procurement code for hotline contract with a current vendor, allowing the DDAP to enter into a contract with the current alcohol and drug hotline vendor (1-800-662-HELP) to ensure interrupted services
Improving Tools for Families, First Responders, and Others to Save Lives which:
(1) enables EMS providers to leave behind naloxone (the overdose reversal drug)
(2) permits pharmacists to partner with other organizations to increase access to naloxone
(3) allows for the immediate temporary rescheduling of all fentanyl derivatives to align with the DEA schedule
(4) authorizes emergency purchasing under the
(5) procurement code to allow for emergency control to expand the advanced body scanner pilot program currently in place at Wernersville that is used on re-entrants returning to the facility.
Speeding Up and Expanding Access to Treatment which:
(1) waive the face-to-face physician requirement for Narcotic Treatment Program admissions to allow initial intake review by a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant
(2) expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
(3) waive annual licensing requirements for high-performing drug and alcohol treatment facilities
(4) waive the fee for birth certificates for individuals who request a good-cause waiver by attesting that they are affected by OUD
(5) waive separate licensing requirements for hospitals and emergency departments to expand access to drug and alcohol treatment to allow physicians to administer short-term medication-assisted treatment
You can read a full summary of the Governor’s declaration below.
References For PA State of Emergency