WHTM-TV, Partnership for Better Health to address viewers' concerns about opioids and addiction
Patriot-News - 2/17/2019
Feb. 16--WHTM-TV27 is joining forces with the Partnership for Better Health to bring vital information about opioids and addiction to midstate TV viewers with their "Fighting the Opioid Crisis" broadcast and volunteer phone bank on Monday.
Viewers across the Harrisburg, Lebanon, Lancaster and York region will be encouraged to call and talk with volunteers who are trained in the fields of pain management, addiction, treatment and recovery during three evening hours of station programming. Volunteers will include physicians, nurses and related addiction experts.
During the program, which will run from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., viewers can call a local number that will be frequently promoted in a "crawl" at the bottom of the viewers' screen through the station's 7:30 programming.
"Addiction does not discriminate, as such, WHTM is honored to join the Partnership for Better Health to provide viewers with the most up to date information and advice on dealing with opioids and addiction," said Robert Bee, station Vice-President and General Manager. "Public safety is a high priority, and this program has been created to increase education and awareness of the growing opioid crisis."
Volunteers will be prepared to guide callers to support and assistance. They also will be able to answer general questions about addiction treatment options, alternatives to opioids, pain management, naloxone, counseling and support groups, as well as family and children's issues. However, viewers are encouraged to direct specific medical questions to their family physician, as volunteers will not be able to provide specific medical advice by phone.
"Greater public education, awareness and easy access to local addiction experts is a key to solving this epidemic in central Pennsylvania," said Becca Raley, executive director of the Partnership for Better Health. "Our call center volunteers are eager to speak with viewers, to answer their many questions and refer people to the care they need. Our whole goal is to reduce and prevent the needless sorrow that so many families have endured."
In 2017, the last year for which official data is available, Pennsylvania had 5,456 overdose deaths--nearly double the national average. The 12-county region in south central Pennsylvania had an average rate of 24 overdose deaths per 100,000 people.
The Partnership for Better Health champions and invests in ideas, initiatives and collaborations that improve the health of the people and communities in Cumberland, Perry and surrounding counties.
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