After a pain management practice in Junction City, Kansas shuttered a local clinic began receiving calls from panicked patients. Many were taking opioids daily for pain management and some, without the ability to get their prescription filled, were experiencing withdrawal.
Megan Seidl, DO, Konza Prairie Community Health Center Medical Director, reached out to the Opioid Response Network (ORN) for help. The clinic’s treatment program was just getting started and Seidl was seeking guidance on safety measures, harm reduction and overdose prevention. Over the holiday season, Sherrie Watkins, LMSW, ORN’s local Technology Transfer Specialist, pulled in ORN consultant Daniel Warren, MD, to help.
Dr. Warren is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita and medical director of Wichita Comprehensive Treatment Center, an opioid treatment program. He also provides office-based opioid treatment at HealthCore Clinic, a federally qualified health center.
With guidance from ORN, Dr. Seidl was able to pull together a plan to assess the influx of patients, coordinate pain management plans, facilitate relevant referrals, and identify patients with opioid use disorder. “The situation was overwhelming,” said Dr. Seidl. “But I cannot express how helpful it was to have access to the ORN team. I have no doubt this kept our patients safer and likely saved lives.”
Dr. Warren and Watkins continue to support requests made to ORN. Prior to the work with Dr. Seidl, the pair convened a network of opioid treatment providers and created an outlet for them to ask questions and voice concerns about practices borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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