Working Together to Leverage Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Implement Recommendations
The York County, Pennsylvania, Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) Team was established by a joint initiative among the City of York Bureau of Health, the York Opioid Collaborative, and the County of York Offices of the Coroner and District Attorney. The purpose of the OFR team is to identify drug overdose fatality trends; improve incidence data to accurately record the number of overdose deaths in a county; define effective strategies for coordinating overdose prevention strategies; recommend statutory, regulatory, and policy changes; promote coordination among agencies that investigate drug fatalities and provide services to families; and develop plans for enhancing efforts of partner organizations. Recommendations to date have focused on communication, information/resource sharing, training, referring to services, naloxone distribution, and education opportunities. The recommendations generated are presented to the OFR team’s governing committee, the Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST), that supports and provides resources for implementation. The “We Care, York” initiative was developed based on a recommendation identified during the OFR team’s first case review in June 2021. The recommendation was to create a referral-to-help card that partner agencies could share with at-risk individuals and their loved ones, based off Winnebago County, Wisconsin’s “We Heart You” initiative. “We Care, York” links individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis to services and ensures that individuals are aware of resources in the community when they find themselves in need to minimize the stigma associated with seeking help.
January 19, 2023