Community Partnership is Key to Solving the Opioid Epidemic
CMS was recently highlighted in an article in the Wisconsin Examiner for its innovative approach to connecting with the Milwaukee community and expanding outreach beyond the doors of its treatment clinics.
The West Allis clinic also participates in the Milwaukee Overdose Response Initiative (MORI), where a peer support specialist from CMS accompanies a community fire fighter paramedic to assist overdose victims with medications, treatment options, and other resources to encourage them to get the help they need to overcome their addiction.
Building these kinds of networks helps in “breaking down the silos and barriers for our patients and gives them access to resources they need,” says Rodriguez. And it’s working.
Improvements are evident in the West Allis Fire Department’s own data collection. “In the past two years, CMS’s administration and staff have demonstrated themselves to be good stewards of the community’s trust, providing outstanding service to patients in a timely, compassionate, and comprehensive manner,” states Assistant Chief Joshua Parish in a letter to the City of Milwaukee.
“These services undoubtedly save lives and reduce the fatal impact of substance use.”
John Koch, Community Engagement Director for CMS, believes that the “Not In My Back Yard”, or NIMBY stigma, is hindering CMS from making additional headway in the fight against the opioid epidemic. “We need relief for our West Allis clinic,” says Koch. “So we’ll continue to work with the community to address these concerns by residents and point to the success we are seeing in helping the communities fight this real, and growing, problem.
Manager at CMS accepts an award from Michael Wright,
Deputy Fire Chief West Allis Fire Department