News & Stories

Joan Papp, M.D

Office of Opioid Safety to Open Doors Soon

At the Crain’s Health Care Forum held recently at the NEOMED Education and Wellness Center, health care professionals were introduced to several new initiatives, one being the Office of Opioid Safety at MetroHealth. The first-of-its-kind office in Northeast Ohio plans to open its doors soon to focus on education, advocacy and treatment for patients, physicians and others affected by the growing opioid crisis.

At the Forum, Joan Papp, M.D., a MetroHealth emergency medicine physician and founder of Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone), discussed the growing need for a bigger platform in Northeast Ohio—namely, the new Office of Opioid Safety.

Dr. Papp said programs like Project DAWN are making a difference by cutting response times and saving lives. By providing patients, family members and friends with free naloxone kits, Project DAWN has helped save more than 700 lives since 2013. But Dr. Papp noted that administering naloxone is not enough to turn around the current epidemic.

Dr. Papp was joined for the discussion by Thomas Gilson, M.D., Cuyahoga County medical examiner and crime laboratory director, also shown in the photo.

Aiming to improve opioid safety throughout Northeast Ohio, the Office of Opioid Safety will ensure that providers are educated in best practices and treat at-risk patients through medication assisted therapy. A full-time educational coordinator and Project DAWN staff, along with research and analytic support, are planned.