Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office and Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Collaborate o

Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office and Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Collaborate on Federal Grant to Enhance Response to Opioid Overdoses

The Atlantic County Sherriff’s Office has announced the receipt of a four-year federal grant to provide overdose prevention training for first responders across Atlantic County. The money was received from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Sheriff’s Office and Rowan University will receive $500,000 the first year and two-million dollars over a four-year period.

“This grant will enhance access to naloxone for first responders, helping them to save the lives of individuals who experience an opiate overdose and prevent future fatal overdoses,” says Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler. Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a medication that can prevent overdose by opioids such as heroin and oxycodone.

Chief Warrant Officer Tim Reed, of the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, will be Project Director and will collaborate with Dr. Richard Jermyn of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan SOM) to implement the project to train first responders.

The program, named “Enhancing First Responder Access to Overdose Treatment in Atlantic County, New Jersey,” will train police, firefighters, casino and hospital security, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in Atlantic County on a novel train-the-trainer model that will distribute naloxone and train overdose survivors and their family members on its use.

In addition, a portion of the grant money will be used to create an Atlantic County Quick Response Team (ACQRT) that will interface with the HOPE-1 Mobile Recovery Unit operated by the Sheriff’s Office. The Quick Response Team will consist of police, EMTs, a social worker, a substance use counselor, and a Rowan SOM medical student. The team will visit overdose survivors and their families within 72 hours of an overdose providing them with compassionate outreach and recovery support and assist in engaging them in treatment. ACQRT will also provide training on how to carry and use naloxone.

The grant will also enable the development of a curriculum to train first responders and community members on fentanyl safety. “We are extremely excited to be able to provide Narcan on the frontlines and in the hands of those that need it the most,” Sheriff Scheffler stated. He continued by saying, “Narcan saves lives and we are determined to turn the tides of this epidemic!”

About Rowan University

Rowan University is a Carnegie-classified national doctoral research institution dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education. It offers bachelor’s through doctoral and professional programs to 19,500 students through its campuses in Glassboro, Camden and Stratford, New Jersey. Home to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and the School of Osteopathic Medicine, it also comprises the William G. Rohrer College of Business; the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; the colleges of Communication & Creative Arts, Education, Humanities & Social Sciences, Performing Arts, and Science & Mathematics; the schools of Health Professions and Earth & Environment; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; and a multidisciplinary honors college. Rowan is collaborating with regional leaders to create research and academic programs in health sciences. The University has earned national recognition for innovation; commitment to high-quality, affordable education; and developing public-private partnerships.

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