The Bethlehem School Board welcomed a special guest at its Dec. 4 meeting. Northampton County President Judge Stephen G. Baratta was in attendance to swear in the newest members of the board.
One by one, Board President Michael Faccinetto, Director Rogelio Ortiz, Vice President Shannon Patrick and Director Angela Sinkler were called to raise their hand and take the oath. Each was asked to swear that they would perform their duties in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth.
Gary Tuggle, Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA’s Philadelphia Field Division announced the release of its Analysis of Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania, 2016 report at a news conference this past summer.
Key findings from the report indicate that in 2016, 4,642 drug-related overdose deaths were reported by Pennsylvania coroners and medical examiners, an increase of 37 percent from 2015. In 2016, approximately 13 people died of a drug-related overdose in Pennsylvania each day.
On Sept. 22, Senator Lisa Boscola and Lt. Governor Mike Stack held a two-hour presentation at Bethlehem city hall called Pathways to Pardons. The presentation, part of a statewide tour, is designed to reach into communities and spread a message of hope.
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced his new initiative to address health care in the U. S.: a roundtable of community members and leaders directly impacted by health care legislation to discuss and debate the Affordable Care Act and offer recommendations on how to improve the ACA.
Administrators and police officials of Bethlehem and Bangor announced in the city Rotunda Nov. 16 a new program designed to help residents suffering during the ongoing opioid crisis. Called the Bethlehem/Bangor Police Assisting in Recovery program, or BPAIR, it allows people who want help initiating their recovery from addiction to go directly to the police and ask for it.
As part of the ongoing effort to curb the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, officials with the Wolf Administration today announced the opening of 65 prescription drug take-back boxes at Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) stations across the commonwealth. State Police Commissioner Tyree C.
Dealing with the opioid misuse epidemic in the country is being addressed in a preventive way through new procedures by medical professionals, according to Dr. Joanne Calabrese,an internist with the St. Luke’s Physicians Group.
“The rules and the guidelines are changing,” said Calabrese, referring to a 2016 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Opioid Misuse Strategy, “so it’s been challenging as a provider to know what the next step is, what’s going to happen, and how we’re going to guide our patients.”
“Every time you write about this topic, you help reduce the stigma,” Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro told journalists gathered in Harrisburg recently to explore ways of reporting on the opioid crisis.
But Shapiro warned his audience, “I can’t put into words the magnitude of this crisis, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
“It’s going to take a multi-disciplinary approach to reach a solution,” he added.
Drug overdose deaths have increased sharply in the Lehigh Valley since 2014, according to records maintained by both the Northampton and Lehigh county coroners. These fatalities have increased sharply even though drug overdose reversal kits have been widely available and have been used by first responders over the past year.