Serving Northeast Ohio Hospitals for 100+ Years
Northeast Ohio Hospital Consortium on Opioid Addiction
Home > Community Outreach > Opioid Consortium

The Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium

Each day the heroin and opioid crisis continues to decimate communities across the United States, including those in Northeast Ohio. As the crisis reaches an all-time high, hospitals, law enforcement agencies and mental health providers have continued to grapple with ways to effectively address the crisis. With existing resources and programs failing to keep pace with the mounting number of fatal overdoses in the community, it became clear that the healthcare community needed to come together and more aggressively respond to this public health crisis. That’s why The Center for Health Affairs, in coordination with its Northeast Ohio hospital members, formed the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium.

History

The establishment of the Opioid Consortium, which is a partnership between The Center, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System, St. Vincent’s Charity Medical Center and University Hospitals, is the result of years of work by community leaders and hospitals to reduce the widespread effect of the heroin and opioid crisis in Northeast Ohio. Thanks to efforts led by the Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, hospital CEOs from the region agreed in late 2016 to fund a full-time position to lead a hospital-specific response to the crisis. This decision was born out of years of discussions that lead to the production of the Heroin and Opioid Action Plan.

Structure and Function

The Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium has named Randy Jernejcic, MD, chief medical officer for University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, as its first physician chair. The chair, who will serve a one-year term, will work closely with the executive director to guide the activities of the Opioid Consortium and implement its strategic plan. The new structure includes an Executive Committee, comprising The Center for Health Affairs’ leadership team and the designated lead clinicians from the five Opioid Consortium hospitals and the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio.

In addition to the Executive Committee, the following two subcommittees will further support the work of the Opioid Consortium:

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS - The purpose of this subcommittee is to monitor opioid-related policy and legislation as it pertains to hospital systems and provide written or verbal advocacy or testimony as warranted.

HOSPITAL FOUNDATION - The purpose of this subcommittee is to monitor and act upon opioid-related funding needs that serve the shared interests of Opioid Consortium members. 

Moving Forward

Components of the Action Plan have been incorporated into the mission and vision of the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium, and include monitoring prescribing practices to ensure alignment with existing guidelines, use of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and expanded distribution and use of Naloxone, among many other advances. The Opioid Consortium’s executive director receives input directly from hospitals, but also from governmental health agencies and community-based providers, which help illuminate the problem and identify solutions in real time. The ultimate goal of the Opioid Consortium and its members is to reduce the number of overdoses and deaths as a result of heroin and opioid use and misuse.

MISSION - To serve as a model hospital system-based and physician-led consortium that significantly reduces the impact of the opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio by sharing and implementing evidence-based practices, promoting policy changes, and increasing prevention efforts.

VISION - To be the cornerstone for the collaborative work of the region’s hospitals to significantly reduce opioid addiction, overdose and death.

More Information

For more information on the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium and its work to address the heroin and opioid crisis in Northeast Ohio, please contact us.

News


Crain's Publishes Letter Addressing Flawed Opioid Study