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Toolkit Aims To Help Hospitals Raise Opioid Awareness

A newly released toolkit aims to help essential hospitals partner with community leaders to launch opioid awareness campaigns.

The toolkit — released by an opioid awareness task force that includes The MetroHealth System, in Cleveland, and other partners — outlines five steps to help communities raise awareness of the opioid epidemic:

  • form a small task force of marketing and communications professionals;
  • secure a URL for a campaign;
  • build a media consortium;
  • build and activate community partnerships; and
  • connect with the public on social media.

The toolkit mirrors MetroHealth’s own “Know the Rx” campaign, launched in April in response to high rates of opioid misuse and overdoses in Cuyahoga County. After record overdoses in 2016, communication professionals from MetroHealth, a member of America’s Essential Hospitals, teamed up with officials from the Cuyahoga County government, county prosecutor’s office, attorney general’s office, and medical examiner’s office to form a task force aimed at the public health crisis. The task force designed the campaign to educate the public about the dangers of prescription opioids.

The campaign has a noticeable presence in Cuyahoga County through billboards, social media content, TV broadcasts, print news and radio advertisements, community installations, and a live phone bank event. Several of the platforms were provided at no cost by local organizations eager to see progress against the opioid epidemic.

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About the Author

Katherine Susman-Yi is a research analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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