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Will County SUI News Feed

2021 Hero Helps Community Summit to feature speakers from National Institute for Health & Illinois Department of Human Services
Anastasia Tuskey

2021 Hero Helps Community Summit to feature speakers from National Institute for Health & Illinois Department of Human Services

This year’s Hero Helps Community Summit, set for Oct. 15 at the Romeoville Athletic and Event Center, will feature Dr. Rebecca Baker, from the National Institute of Health HEALS (Helping to End Addiction Long Term) Initiative, and David Jones, from the Illinois Department of Human Services, who will speak about national and state initiatives in the continued battle against opioid use.

“We are proud to have Dr. Baker and Mr. Jones participate in our event to discuss these important strategies,” said Paul Lauridsen, co-chair of the event. “It is important to coordinate our efforts and understand what the federal and state governments are doing to address this topic. People are still dying from opioid overdose and sadly this issue has been somewhat overlooked due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The American Medical Association issued a report on August 4 stating how the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the nation’s drug overdose epidemic. Every state in the nation has reported an increase in overdose deaths which is driven by fentanyl-laced opioids. This increase is attributed to a reduction in access to care, support groups, and heightened anxiety due to COVID-19 mitigations.

“The added stress of social distancing, mask requirements, and other factors including unemployment and social isolation have impacted opioid use across the country,” Lauridsen said. “We are anxious to learn about new programs and bring this issue back to the forefront.”

This year’s event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a Resource Fair which will include representatives from healthcare providers, family support groups, educational institutions, and other businesses relating to opioid use. The In Plain Sight trailers from the Hero Group and the Will County Sheriff will be on display in front of the building. Family members are invited to share a photo of a loved one lost to overdose in the Memorial tent during the event.

The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. Naloxone training will be offered from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and continuing education hours (CEUs) will be available.

Pre-registration is required for CEUs and the Naloxone training. Please visit the website: www.herohelps.org for more information.


Previous Article Speaker to discuss state initiatives at 2020 Hero Helps Community Forum Friday, April 24, 2020
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