Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Thomas Wright, participated in a recent Opioid Awareness Community Forum on July 31, at the Northern Illinois University Conference Auditorium.
Hosted by U.S. Representative for the 16th Congressional District, Congressmen Adam Kinzinger, the forum raised awareness on the opioid epidemic that is plaguing communities and devastating families nationwide.
Kristin Crowley of WREX-TV moderated the event, which featured an expert panel discussion. Along with Wright and Kinzinger, the panel included a variety of local officials and health experts: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Director, Doug O’Brien, Winnebago County, Illinois Sheriff, Gary Caruana, Mercyhealth Rockford Associate EMS Medical Dir. & REACT Medical Dir., Dr. John Pakiela, and New Directions Sober Living Caseworker and Grant Writer, Bobby Gattone.
On average, 115 people die from an opioid overdose every day. In 2016, we lost 2,411 people in Illinois to an opioid overdose. And this year, more than 2 million Americans will suffer from opioid use disorder.
Dozens of residents from across the region attended the forum to hear panel experts discuss preventative and treatment measures to combat the epidemic.