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Naloxone Prescription Access Expands

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(MEDFORD, OR 04/18/18) Rogue Community Health (RCH) is one of just a few pharmacies prescribing naloxone in southern Oregon.  Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.  It is an opioid antagonist — meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of opioids.   It can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.  Opioids are powerful pain medications.  Common opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol and can be found in brands such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin and Ultram. Heroin is also an opioid drug.

Naloxone is available to Rogue Community Health patients by prescription through pharmacies located within RCH clinics in Medford and White City.  For uninsured RCH patients, naloxone is made available through the grant-funded Medication Assistance Program.  Pharmacists in Oregon can independently prescribe naloxone to patients.

The program at RCH was spearheaded by Director of Pharmacy, Amy Baker, PharmD.  She is a member of the Naloxone Work Group in Southern Oregon and on the Oregon Pain Guidance (OPC) Steering Committee.  Baker states that “Patients can receive naloxone by many means here at RCH. Patients can request it, as can their providers. Additionally, pharmacists at RCH follow CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines and calculate the Morphine Equivalent Daily Dose (MED) of all of a patient’s opioid medications. For any patient ≥50 MED, we provide a naloxone prescription. Additionally, for any patient receiving suboxone for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), we provide a naloxone prescription. The conversation around opioids is changing for the better with the increased access to naloxone.”

Oregon law allows lay people to carry and use naloxone on others, but it is very important to call 911 anytime someone has a drug overdose.  If naloxone is administered, the effects are temporary and the person still needs medical attention.  By calling Police or 911 to get help for someone experiencing a drug overdose, Oregon law protects Good Samaritans from being arrested or prosecuted based on information provided by emergency responders.

So far in 2018, there have been five more deployments of Naloxone according to Medford Police which is more than used during entire year in 2017.  And by mid-March 2018, two overdose death occurred that were heroin-related.    Sometimes overdoses occur when family members gain access to opioid medication that is not prescribed for them.  RCH has received reports from two patients that obtained Naloxone by prescription, and used it to save the life of a friend and/or family member.

Back-to-School Health Fairs

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Rogue Community Health is hosting a series of Back-to-School Health Fairs during National Health Center Week, August 14 –17, 2017, 9am to 2pm, to help parents get their children ready for school.  Health Fairs are open to all school-age children in the community. Free backpacks filled with school supplies will be given to children receiving well child exams. No appointment is needed.  Parents are asked to please bring child’s immunization record and insurance card, if insured.  These events are sponsored in part by:  AllCare Health PlanJackson Care Connect and Nonstop Wellness.

Mon., Aug. 14, 2017 9am – 2pm Table Rock Elementary 2830 Maple Ct., White City
Tues., Aug. 15, 2017 9am – 2pm Shady Cove School 37 Schoolhouse Ln., Shady Cove
Wed., Aug. 16, 2017 9am – 2pm Eagle Point Middle School 477 Reese Creek Rd., Eagle Point
Thu., Aug. 17, 2017 9am – 2pm White Mtn. Middle School 550 Wilson Way, White City

“Summer is a very busy time for parents and students.  We want to help parents quickly accomplish all their back-to-school health needs for their children in one location,” said Terry Keesling, Chief Operations Officer for Rogue Community Health.  Health fairs include well child exams, free vision and hearing screenings, dental screenings & sealant applications, immunizations, and assistance with insurance enrollment.  “Sports physicals are $10 separately, but included with a well child exam and we will bill your insurance,” Keesling added.  Parents attending are encouraged to enter a drawing to win a $250 gift card.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany children to receive services. Parents should bring their child’s immunization record and insurance card.

Rogue Community Health is pleased to be an “I’m Healthy” (Soy Sano in Spanish) partner.  We can provide children and teens under 19 years of age with free health care services if they do not qualify for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or a Qualified Health Plans (QHPs).

Rogue Community Health (RCH) is a nonprofit health center dedicated to promoting the health of its patients and community by providing accessible, affordable, quality primary health care services to people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of ability to pay.  RCH offers medical, behavioral health, dental, pharmacy and integrative health services.

For more information about the Back-to-School Health Fairs, contact Rogue Community Health in White City Clinic at: 541-826-5853.

Catch the Health Bug

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Health Bugs will soon hit the roads of the Rogue Valley to increase access to health services and to bring awareness to the importance of a healthy community. Everyone is invited to see the Health Bugs at a Medford Chamber Ribbon Cutting planned for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1, in front ofInn at the Commons in Medford, just prior to Rogue Community Health’s annual fundraising event — the Rogue Way to Health Luncheon.

Rogue Community Health (RCH) is introducing a fleet of 5 new Volkswagen Beetles to educate people on the importance of healthy behaviors, reach patients throughout the valley who experience barriers to accessing healthcare services, and to support organizations, nonprofits and small businesses through direct services. The Health Bugs will also be at health fairs and community events throughout the region.

The vehicles will be wrapped with attention-grabbing art and the invitation for people to “Catch the Health Bug!” The purchase was made possible thanks to a combination of Oregon Health Authority “I’m healthy” grant funding and the generous support of Lithia Volkswagen of Medford.

“I’m healthy! (¡Soy sano! in Spanish) is an Oregon Health Authority grant-funded program that uniquely supports children and teens under the age of 19 who do not qualify for full Oregon Health Plan benefits or Qualified Health Plans.

“The implementation of the ‘Health Bugs’ will allow our patients better access to all of the services provided through Rogue Community Health,” said William North, CEO at Rogue Community Health. “We see it as a way to invest in the health of our community. We want everyone to Catch the Health Bug through health-promoting activities.” Each of the bugs were given a name: “Proby” for probiotics, “Penny” for penicillin, “Immy” for immunization.  “Rudy” for Lactobacillus Reuteri, and his brother “Dophi” Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

Dick Heimann, owner of Lithia Volkswagen of Medford and a long-time supporter of Rogue Community Health says, “I am more than happy to offer support from Lithia to help Rogue Community Health bring more health-related services to southern Oregonians. Rogue Community Health is an asset to the community.”

The Health Bugs will support people facing financial, geographic and psychological barriers to accessing health care. Health education, immunizations, screenings, and telehealth visits bring health promotion and disease prevention to the community level and provide ease of access for individuals.

So join us today and Catch the Health Bug!   https:healthbugs.net

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