On April 5th, axialHealthcare hosted its Pain, Opioids, Problems and Solutions Forum at Music City Center in Nashville, TN. The event was very well attended by more than 350 providers, patients, government officials, DEA/CDC representatives, executives from payers in the state, and was covered by The Tennessean. The participating moderators and panelists were composed of progressive, nationally recognized thought leaders in the areas of pain, addiction, behavioral health, alternative treatment, and public policy. Please click here to see detailed topic and panelist information.
The event was kicked off with opening remarks by axial CEO John Donahue and The Honorable Mary Bono from the DC-based Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies (CEPOP). Following this, The Honorable Diane Black (R-TN) gave attendees an update on Tennessee state legislative efforts aimed at curbing pain killer abuse and fatalities within the state. From there, the discussion turned to clinical and legal issues with in-depth talks by leading law enforcement representatives and world renowned clinicians from around the country. The day was wrapped up with some very moving remarks from Dr John Dreyzehner who is Tennessee’s Commissioner of Health and someone who has been working tirelessly to combat the state’s epidemic for almost a decade.
Even while the clinical moderators and panelists shared their ‘in the trenches’ experience related to this outbreak and addressed cutting-edge approaches and therapies around patient risk stratification, alternative treatments and genetic testing, the comments by the audience and the recovering addict panelists may have been the most emotion provoking of the day. There were gut wrenching revelations about just how powerful these drugs really are and how many lives they destroy and take from young patients who begin taking them. To hear the victims of this epidemic describe what extreme measures they were willing to take to continue to use these drugs was astonishing to everyone in the overfilled conference hall. It took the emotions of the participants from a clinical best-practices discussion to a realization of the ground level humanitarian toll our communities have experienced for almost 15 years.
For those unable to attend the conference, axial’s media partner for the event, The Tennessean/Gannett will be running several stories over next few days to provide patients and physicians with valuable resources and tools to help combat this scourge on society. Additionally, multimedia content and CME from the forum will be offered free of charge through the axialHealthcare website.