CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – It’s an epidemic of growing proportions and the statistics are staggering. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly two million Americans ages 12 and older either abused or were dependent on opioid pain relievers in 2015. Research indicates many became dependent on opioids following an injury or medical event where they were prescribed the pain killers. While officials on all levels work to find solutions to reverse this trend, Summit Health has planned an event to educate local employers on injury and drug prevention methods and resources relating to opioid abuse.
The free event, Injury Prevention, Workers Compensation, Chronic Pain, and Addiction in the Workplace, will be held Wednesday, May 11, at the Norlo Park Community Center. Networking and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., with a presentation and panel discussion to follow.
The roundtable is an offering of Summit Health’s recently initiated program, Wellness at Work, which educates employers on health information and offers preventative screenings and wellness education for employees. Quarterly Employer Wellness Roundtables are planned to help integrate the program into the community.
Vice President of Community Relations for Summit Health Barbara Rossini established the Wellness at Work program in 2015 after realizing a strong need for wellness services and health information available to employers. Recent changes to healthcare have created struggles for employers looking to keep healthcare costs down.
"I heard many horror stories of health screenings gone wrong or screenings in which participants had no medical follow up or interaction with doctors on their results,” Rossini explained. “It got me thinking, we are right here in the backyard of so many employers. We need to step up and make ourselves available to employers whether it is health information, guidance, services, or screenings they need for employees. We are here."
Working with Rossini to establish the program is Summit Health’s Employer Relations Specialist, Jamie Goetz. She hopes the upcoming event will not only tackle a major concern for the community, but help introduce the benefits of the Wellness at Work program to local businesspeople.
"We are striving to create a community where healthcare is not just thought of when residents are sick, but rather looked at as holistic, preventative, and a part of an everyday routine at home and at work", Goetz said. "Healthy living is a way of life, and we want to help the community stay healthy by encouraging it in the one place we spend most of our waken day, the workplace."