HSC's SaferCare Texas and School of Public Health awarded grant for opioid intervention

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

One Pill KillsSaferCare Texas, the patient safety department of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and the university’s School of Public Health recently were awarded a $310,339 grant from the City of Fort Worth to provide opioid intervention education to the community.

The grant-funded project focuses on community-based intervention, tasking SaferCare Texas clinical executives and School of Public Health staff with developing training education alongside HSC’s new College of Nursing and Fort Worth community-based organizations.

Shafik DharamsiDr. Shafik Dharamsi, dean of the School of Public Health, said he is proud of the collaborative efforts to provide opioid intervention education in the community.

“It underscores our commitment to creating solutions for healthier communities, and I commend the teams for their dedication to saving lives and promoting a holistic approach to addiction prevention,” Dharamsi said The education will focus on train-the-trainer sessions using community-based organizations, HSC students and community health workers to provide outreach in the community, schools and home-based care settings.

This grant also will expose students and health care providers to virtual reality training to help incorporate a holistic approach and prevention model that empowers them with the tools necessary to incorporate addiction prevention measures.

Cindy Weston“Merging community health with cutting-edge technology – like VR – is the future of health care education,” said Dr. Cindy Weston, dean of the HSC College of Nursing. “We’re thrilled to bring this training to the Fort Worth community so we can broaden our reach in educating the public about opioid addiction prevention.”

In 2022, overdoses in Fort Worth reached a three-year high, with MedStar Mobile Health treating an average of three patients a day in August of that same year.

HSC has taken a lead role in promoting opioid and fentanyl awareness and prevention by launching its own One Pill Kills campaign. The campaign efforts included the creation of a website with resources for anyone who knows someone struggling with addiction or who is struggling themselves, or those who want to get involved with prevention.

Dr. Teresa WagnerDr. Teresa Wagner, SaferCare Texas interim director, hopes the grant will help magnify and promote HSC efforts to decrease opioid use and opioid overdose deaths.

“This award is a great opportunity for SaferCare Texas and the School of Public Health to reduce preventable harm from opioid overdose,” Wagner said. “Along with the College of Nursing, we can take more action and equip our community with the skills and knowledge to save lives. I couldn’t be prouder of our campus for coming together on such a vital campaign.”

From HSC Newsroom - Community by Leslie Reyna