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Free course aids health care providers who treat patients with chronic pain

(ATHENS, Ohio – Oct. 8, 2013) The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, in collaboration with the Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association, will present a continuing education session for health care providers about opioid use for patient care on Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Ohio University Inn and Conference Center.

“ER/LA Opioid REMS: Achieving safe use while improving patient care in Ohio” will provide physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who treat patients with chronic pain with general and specific information about extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioids, as well as information specific to prescribing these products in Ohio.

Organizers expect the program to be approved for three hours of American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Category 1-A credit, pending approval by the AOA Continuing Medical Education Council. The course is free.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that more than 33 million Americans misused ER/LA opioids during 2007, up from 29 million in 2002. Yet these drugs have long been used effectively in managing chronic pain and in treating those suffering pain from an injury or surgery.

Although highly effective, ER/LA opioid therapy poses a number of challenges for health care professionals, including assessing initial and ongoing risks, managing adverse effects, communicating with patients about safe usage, and understanding laws and regulations regarding prescribing opioids.

Presenters for the Oct. 23 event include Theodore V. Parran Jr., M.D., a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University Medical School and a specialist in managing chemical dependency, and Melinda Ford, D.O., assistant professor of family medicine at the Heritage College, who is certified in Suboxone therapy for opiate addiction.

For information, contact Vickey Haller, B.S.N., R.N., AHEC education coordinator, at 740-593-2258. To register, go to

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Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Last updated: 01/28/2016