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Nursing school student organization to host Purple Gala for opioid crisis awareness

Nov 14, 2017

The Ohio University BSN Organization will be hosting the inaugural Purple Gala Tuesday, Nov. 28 in the Baker Center Ballroom. Scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m., the event will feature guest speakers presenting information on overdose resuscitation and prevention. Tickets cost $15 for one person and $25 for two.

“The whole aim of community nursing is to look at the root cause and think upstream, so we’re looking at how to educate the public,” said Ty Tracy, president of the group. “How do you spot an overdose? What can you do as a bystander? I think we’re at a point now where we have to inform people what they can do in that moment.”

Proceeds from the gala will be donated to Women for Recovery, which provides assistance for women in early recovery from substance abuse and is looking in the coming months to open Serenity Grove, an Athens-area transitional home for women. It will be modeled after successful local efforts providing transitional living for men.

The gala caps off the group’s activities this month aimed at bringing awareness to the opioid epidemic. In addition to heavy social media engagement, chalking and tabling at Grover Center, Baker Center and the Alumni gate this week, the BSN Organization will host “Shining Light on the Opioid Epidemic” on Wednesday, Nov. 16. The group will be lighting Scripps Amphitheater with the cause’s signature purple light.

“Empowering our students with prevention tools allows them to be stewards in both this community and their home communities,” said Professor Eliza Harper.

Discussions about the need to call attention to opioid abuse started late last school year, Tracy said, in Professor Harper’s class on community nursing, when it emerged as an impactful event the seniors of OHIO’s BSN Organization could put on. He added that organizers hope to leverage the unique voice that nurses have in community health discussions.

“We’re the ones who are with the patients the whole time, so we’re the ones who are getting a good sense of how the patients are tolerating their pain and spot someone overusing,” Tracy said.