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/r/OpioidResponseSI
Members of the public are invited to submit comments.
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.
“Opioids have become one of the most deadly public health crises we have ever faced, especially here on Staten Island,” said Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health, the state’s largest health care provider and private employer. “Defeating it will require a holistic approach that addresses clinical and nonclinical needs. With Borough President Oddo’s leadership, this initiative creates an opportunity for strong collaborations with clinicians, community based organizations, government and criminal justice officials. The impact of our collective efforts will ultimately save lives.”
District Attorney Michael McMahon said, “As the drug epidemic continues to claim the lives of our loved ones across the borough, it is crucial that our efforts are coordinated and focused on where we can best make a difference. I would like to commend Borough President Oddo for sponsoring the Data Initiative, to help guide our partners in law enforcement, local government, health, and beyond to the most effective and efficient responses to this deadly scourge.”
“I commend the Borough President for his tireless work to engage the community on the opioid epidemic,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “This new initiative will complement and extend the City’s work around opioids, engage Staten Island residents in effective practices, and further our work throughout the city to turn the opioid overdose epidemic around.”
“Using data effectively is critical to preventing overdoses and saving lives,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “In Rhode Island, our work to strategically and comprehensively track measures around prevention, treatment, rescue, and recovery contributed to the modest success we saw in 2017, when overdoses were down by roughly 8% over the previous year. I commend the Borough President on his goal to use data to inform an overdose response plan that addresses the specific dynamics of this crisis in Staten Island.”
“As an anchor institution, the College of Staten Island is a critical partner in the borough-wide fight against the opioid epidemic. We are pleased to join the Borough President’s data initiative by contributing the College’s intellectual capital and expertise in the areas of health science, data analytics, and data mapping to this important effort,” said President William J. Fritz, College of Staten Island.
Following the panel and public comment period, a final report will be released in May.