February 18, 2011 3:00 PM
White House Director of Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske will join administrators, faculty and students at the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM) on Feb. 24 to discuss educational programs on substance abuse, especially prescription drug abuse, and the medical school’s approach to training doctors facing these challenges in rural America.
One of several stops on Kerlikowske’s visit to Kentucky and West Virginia next week, the roundtable discussion hosted by PCSOM will include public health administrators, physicians and pharmacists, members of the judicial community, and representatives from Operation Unite and WestCare Kentucky.
Physician education is a key component to fully addressing the prescription drug issue, and Office of Drug Policy Control has been reaching out to various healthcare educational and professional societies to address prescriber education. Kerlikowske will discuss the Obama Administration’s response to the public health and safety threats posed by drug abuse, specifically the prescription drug epidemic – and drug-related crime. “Prescription drug abuse and its consequences is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem. The Obama Administration is mounting an unprecedented effort to address this national public health epidemic through a balanced approach of education, monitoring, proper disposal and law enforcement,” said Kerlikowske.
“Physicians and others in the healthcare field play an important role in preventing drug abuse but more education is needed on how to recognize and treat this disease and on the consequences of overprescribing prescription medication. With programs specifically related to substance abuse, the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine is helping the doctors of tomorrow reduce drug use in America.”
Pikeville College President Paul E. Patton will be among those participating in the roundtable discussion. “We are looking forward to Director Kerlikowske’s visit to our campus and the opportunity to be a part of this very important effort,” said Patton. “Our community partnerships with organizations like WestCare provide our medical students with valuable educational experiences.”
The roundtable discussion on Feb. 24 will be held at 4 p.m. in Pikeville College’s Booth Auditorium, Record Memorial Building, level five. A reception will follow. The community is cordially invited and encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Dr. William Betz, PCSOM senior associate dean for osteopathic education, at (606) 218-5420.