Members of the LG Health team join HAP President Andrew Carter during the award ceremony on May 23

In 2018, with community partners, Lancaster Joining Forces achieved one of our primary goals, which was to reduce deaths from opioids and heroin,” said Alice Yoder, executive director of Community Health. “The number of overdose deaths declined 35 percent, from 168 deaths in 2017 to 108 deaths in 2018. This decrease provides evidence of the power of partnerships within Joining Forces.”

LG Health recently received statewide recognition from The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) for its outstanding efforts to improve health care in the communities it serves.

LG Health’s entry, Aligning Efforts to Fight the Opioid Crisis, was chosen as a Community Champions Award winner. Fourteen award recipients selected from 127 total submissions were chosen for their exceptional work and innovation in community health projects, quality improvement efforts and operational efficiencies.

In 2017, Lancaster Joining Forces was launched to strategically impact the number of deaths from opioid addiction in Lancaster County. With LG Health as facilitator, Joining Forces brought together key stakeholders, including community members, healthcare organizations and task forces to strengthen existing initiatives. Efforts include identifying and addressing gaps in services and resources, and implementing unified, comprehensive strategies for addiction prevention, intervention and recovery monitoring.

“In the past year, Joining Forces has distributed more than 100,000 informational materials to the community,” explained Yoder. “The materials share where to get help, how to take medications as prescribed, keep them locked up and dispose of them when they no longer need them.”

In addition to community outreach, the group has helped to increase access to treatment programs and worked with local health systems to equip providers with the data and tools needed to improve prescribing methods and increase use of alternative therapies.

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