NKU Serves as Platinum Sponsor of the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit


Northern Kentucky University is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which runs from April 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

The Summit is the largest national collaboration of federal, state and local professionals seeking to address prescription drug and opioid abuse, misuse and diversion. More than 2,500 of the nation’s top researchers, advocates, policy-makers, medical professionals and law enforcement agencies will participate.

NKU’s sponsorship highlights the university’s commitment to addressing population health issues. On April 3, NKU will host a Vision Session that will discuss the region’s battle with the Opioid Crisis, how the community rallied to respond and will share tools that others can use to replicate our efforts in their communities.

“The Kenton County Detention Center redesigned a 125-bed unit to be a treatment center for inmates addicted to heroin and other drugs. The criminal justice, medical and social work professionals who collaborated on the inmate treatment unit are now designing a Quick Response Team to keep people who overdose out of jail and get them into treatment. It’s an evidence-based approach that will be monitored and evaluated in real time, with support from Northern Kentucky University. It’s also an approach that can be replicated elsewhere in America. Our panelists will offer guidance on how to adopt the approach,” said Provost Sue Ott Rowlands.

The Vision Session, “Coordinating a Community Response: The Northern Kentucky Story,” will feature Jason Merrick, the director of Addiction Services at the Kenton County Detention Center; Dr. Mina (Mike) Kalfas, a primary care physician in The Christ Hospital Health Network; and NKU’s Dr. Suk-hee Kim, assistant professor of Counseling, Social Work and Leadership.

“The drug epidemic requires a multi-faceted effort,” said Nancy Hale, president/CEO for Operation UNITE, the educational adviser to the Summit. “All of those approaches – from prevention and education to law enforcement to treatment – must be utilized together so we can protect and save our families and communities. We are pleased that Northern Kentucky University is a key participant and sponsor. Through sharing important resources and expertise, NKU is helping create solutions that will save lives.”

NKU’s exhibition booth will showcase the Health Innovation Center and the Institute for Health Innovation (IHI), two solutions coming online in the fall to transform health science education. Dr. Valarie Hardcastle will lead the IHI as the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Executive Director for the Institute for Health Innovation and Vice President for Health Innovation. Dr. Hardcastle will guide the IHI to develop solutions through collaboration and research, serve as a leader in health policy and promote the transdisciplinary work of health innovation across the university.

To learn more about the Health Innovation Center and the Institute for Health Innovation, visit NKU’s exhibition booth 802 at the Summit.

For more information on the Summit, visit http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org.