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Media Contact: Emily Blackie /216-315-0805

Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio Presents Free Continuing Education Presentation on Opioid Crisis in Northeast Ohio for Nurses and Social Workers

CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 1, 2017) – Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio is pleased to present “Fighting Northeast Ohio's Opioid Epidemic: Continuing Education Presentation,” on Friday May 5, 2017. This free event takes place from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Nurses and social workers receive 2.0 continuing education credit hours by attending. The event will be held at VNA of Ohio’s Cleveland headquarters in the Jerry Sue Thornton Center – Ford Room, 2500 East 22nd Street, Cleveland 44115. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and free parking is available. A light breakfast will be served.

In 2016, the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office estimated that the opioid epidemic has claimed the lives of over 600 people just in Cuyahoga County. That’s more than double the 2015 death toll due to opioid overdose. Psychiatric nurse Thom Huggins, RN, will present relevant education detailing this epidemic.

The presentation will include interventions to assist clinicians with this emerging crisis.

Guest speakers include:

  • Valeria Harper, MA, CDCA, Vice President of Operations at the ADAMHS Board of
    Cuyahoga County
  • Patrolman Dave Kammerman, PAARI, Community Engagement, Berea Police Department
  • Molly Leckler, Recovery Court Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Drug Court

As a visiting nurse, Thom brings the perspective of someone who has worked in the home healthcare industry for over 40 years but you will also hear from others in our communities who have been leading the charge to combat the epidemic from all angles: policing, hospitals, and public policy. Thom Huggins, RN is a psychiatric nurse with Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio’s mental health department. In his role, Thom is the lead psychiatric nurse for the Bridge Program which is designed to meet the needs of uninsured individuals living with a mental illness and are being discharged from the state psychiatric hospital. Thom has extensive knowledge in the industry and has worked in several aspects of the healthcare system including inpatient and psychiatric emergency departments, schools, home care and corrections.

This event is now full. Media who are interested in attending should contact Emily Blackie at or 216-315-0805. More information available at

About Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio
VNA of Ohio is a non-profit, community-based healthcare organization that has been helping patients for more than 100 years. The organization works with hospitals, doctors, community agencies and companies to provide services for patients in their homes. Services include skilled nursing care, mental healthcare, social work services, rehabilitation therapies, hospice and personal care assistance.

VNA of Ohio provides high-quality, comprehensive home health and hospice care to promote health, independence and dignity to those living in our communities. Learn more at

The Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91) (OH-108, 2/01/18).

The Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio is approved as a provider by the State of Ohio, Counselor and Social Work Board (03/19.RSX051202.) Continuing education credits for these programs satisfy license renewal requirements for Social Workers.


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