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NKU Serves as Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 

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April 19, 2019— Northern Kentucky University is proud to once again serve as a platinum sponsor of the 2019 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which runs from April 22 through April 25 in 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 3,000 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 23, NKU’s Dr. Valerie Hardcastle, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Executive Director for the Institute for Health Innovation and Vice President for Health Innovation, will present “Early Detection of Substance Use Disorder Among Youth: Integrating SBIRT into Rural Public Schools” and explain how school systems can proactively move beyond primary prevention programs.

Valerie Hardcastle IHI

"Even experienced healthcare providers can miss the substance use without a screening tool. We have partnered with the Owen County Drug Prevention Coalition and Owen County High School to integrate the SBIRT screening in schools,” said Dr. Hardcastle. “SBIRT uses motivational interviewing strategies to quickly assess the severity of substance use, then intervene if needed, and refer those who need treatment to specialty care.”

Joretta Crowe, with the Owen County School District; Sarah Paige Tuttle, with Owen County Drug Prevention Coalition; Sandra George, with NorthKey Community Care; and Dave Wilkerson, lecturer in NKU’s Department of Counseling, Social Work and Leadership, will also take part in the presentation.

On April 24, Dr. Hardcastle, along with Kathy Wedig from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Teri Wilde from St. Elizabeth’s Healthcare, will present on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and provide examples of how organizations are starting to meet the needs of the care-givers for children diagnosed with NAS.

NKU’s exhibition booth features the Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) and NKU’s latest on-line degree programs that showcase university’s work to address health challenges facing the region. Visit NKU’s booth 709 to learn more about the IHI is providing pathways for future health leaders in our region.

The 2019 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is being held at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. Visit its website for more details.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit