Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo announced that his office is taking steps to develop a borough-wide data strategy to combat the opioid epidemic on Staten Island. The 90-day initiative, which will include public engagement and the convening of an expert panel, will yield a data roadmap that can be used to monitor progress and shape further efforts.
The goal of the effort is to take a comprehensive look at the opioid crisis on Staten Island and develop a focused data strategy that will enable an accurate assessment of the progress made to date and help identify priority issues where more work is needed. The Office worked closely with Northwell Health on ensuring that both the clinical and non-clinical needs of the Staten Island community impacted by the opioid crisis would be addressed.
The process is expected to yield a total of 10 to 15 high priority measures. This campaign is designed to build on the momentum forged by the hard work being done every single day by treatment providers, law enforcement, government entities, and by many others engaged in this desperate battle to save lives.
To get the best ideas from across the Borough, the Office of the Borough President is seeking public input on key measures in six areas: Surveillance, Prevention, Reversal, Treatment, Diversion, and Recovery. The public comment period will be open for 30 days, beginning on Friday, February 9, through the following website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/
The Office has also assembled an Opioid Data Working Group of nationally renowned experts from CUNY College of Staten Island, New York University, Northwell Health, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The panel will review public input, available data, and best practices across the country and propose a set of critical data points on the opioid epidemic and its response. The Opioid Data Working Group consists of:
● Chinazo O. Cunningham, M.D., M.S.: Professor and Associate Chief of General Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
● Anthony C. Ferreri, DBA: CEO of Staten Island University Hospital from 2003 to 2014 and Senior Advisor to the Borough President.
● Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH: Professor and Chair of the Department of Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine.
● Jonathan Morgenstern, PhD: Assistant Vice President for Addiction Services at Northwell Health and Professor of Psychiatry at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine.
● Nora Santiago, Urban Policy Analyst/GIS Specialist at CUNY College of Staten Island.
The Opioid Data Working Group will consult with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of the District Attorney, Staten Island Performing Provider System (PPS), Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness, and the New York City Police Department in conducting their work. The group will also receive support and technical assistance from the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They will produce a draft report, which will then be made available to the public for a 30-day comment period. Comments on the draft report may be submitted anonymously if commenters choose.
“It is important to acknowledge the impact of the great work being done on the ground to change the trajectory of this crisis,” said Borough President Oddo, “But we won’t declare victory until there is not a single overdose death in our borough. That’s why we are accelerating our efforts to make headway in this fight. We are launching a concerted effort—modeled after a successful initiative pioneered by Rhode Island—to identify key measures of progress in our battle against the opioid crisis. Put simply, we want to rally all of the important efforts on Staten Island around a set of clear, quantifiable priorities.”
Earlier this year, BP Oddo joined with District Attorney McMahon and the NYPD to announce that they have projected 30 fewer deaths from drug overdoses on Staten Island than there were in 2016—a 26% decrease. The report also noted that there were 286 Naloxone saves in 2017—200% more than in the previous year.
Following the panel and public comment period, a final report will be released in May.