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Opioid Disaster Declaration

The Opioid Disaster Declaration expired on Wednesday receiving many reactions from local hospitals and state lawmakers.

Chelsea Johnson joining us live with how this could possibly impact one area hospital and why state officials say there’s no need for this declaration.

Penn Highlands officials say the Opioid Disaster Declaration increased awareness throughout the community.

While the declaration expired Wednesday, they say the Opioid crisis still exists in rural Pennsylvania.

Governor Wolf first signed the opioid disaster declaration in January of 2018.

On Wednesday that order expired after state lawmakers declined to extend it.

“Given that many of the benefits of the opioid disaster emergency declaration are now accomplished through other means, it is clear renewing the declaration is unnecessary.”

Some of those means include the prescription drug monitoring program and the drug take back program.

Hospitals throughout the region are reacting to this news.

“By the fact that the declaration has ended I don’t believe that it’s really going to change any of the good efforts that’s going on.”

Richard Nenneau says the declaration expanded funding for the health system.

Just recently, Penn Highlands was awarded a one million dollar grant to fight the opioid crisis in rural Pennsylvania.

“What we’ve done is identify some gaps in the services in the region and what the grant does is it seeks to address those gaps in services.”

Expand behavioral and mental health services in rural communities
Increase access to medication assistance services
Expand efforts to support care for neo-natal abstinence syndrome babies
Increase referrals of clients to existing services
Educate first responders on handling the opioid crisis

Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman said the legislature would not be returning to session ahead of schedule to address the mask mandate request.

The letter says in part local leaders have already made important decisions they believe are in the best interest of their residents and are prepared to adjust those decisions as challenges evolve.

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