Largo Medical Center September 04, 2019

The HCA Hospitals of Pinellas County including Largo Medical Center, Northside Hospital, Palms of Pasadena Hospital and St. Petersburg General Hospital will be hosting "Crush the Crisis," an opioid take-back event. Law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) will be on site to help with the collection and disposal of unused medications on Saturday, September 7th.

"Bringing awareness to this fatal epidemic by hosting this 'Crush the Crisis' event and teaching our community the way to properly dispose of these medications is our goal," said Jake Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Palms of Pasadena Hospital.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The Florida Department of Health reports more than 4,280 people died in the Sunshine State from an opioid overdose in 2017.

"Anyone can become addicted to opioids and when they go unused, they can become a major source of misuse and diversion," said Ron Rasmussen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Palms of Pasadena & St. Petersburg General Hospitals. "Providing this confidential opportunity to dispose of unused medications properly is key."

To further help combat the nation's opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, our parent company, proudly partners with the National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, consisting of more than 50 organizations that share best practices and identify gaps in the safe treatment of opioid addiction.

A learning health system, which uses data from approximately 31 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care, HCA Healthcare has been using the science of "big data" to reduce opioid misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings, including:

  • Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR)/ALTernatives to Opioids in the Emergency Room (ALTO in the ER): HCA Healthcare focuses on a multi-modal approach to acute pain management. This means two or more methods or medications are used to reduce the need to use opioids to manage a patient's pain while recovering from surgery or in the emergency room. As of August 2019, ESR is live at 140 HCA Healthcare facilities, with the goal to implement in all facilities, in at least one major service line, by the end of 2019. ALTO protocols will be expanded enterprise-wide by the end of 2019.
  • Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): Physicians have access to aggregated electronic health records that make it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop or alter prescriptions. ECPS is available across HCA Healthcare.

PCSO explains its team is happy to work with the HCA Hospitals of Pinellas County in safely disposing of expired and unwanted prescription medications. At the event, the sheriff's department will be collecting tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana), and liquids only if they are contained. Needles and syringes will not be accepted.

To learn more about this event and for an interview, please call Tammy Robiconti, Market Director of PR & Communications at 727-348-1896 or via email.