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WVU School of Public Health dean to participate in congressional briefing on opioid epidemic

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Dr. Jeffrey Coben, dean of the WVU School of Public Health, talks with a student.
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The West Virginia University School of Public Health will be among five schools in the Appalachian region to brief members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Monday (June 19) to share their findings and unique approaches to address the opioid epidemic.

Dean Jeffrey Coben, M.D., will participate in “The Opioid Epidemic: Findings from Public Health Research Experts” to represent the West Virginia University School of Public Health, along with leaders from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Kentucky, The Ohio State University and East Tennessee State University.

“While West Virginia has been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic, our neighboring states are also experiencing it,” Coben said. “WVU is already taking a collaborative approach to responding to the crisis through our cross-disciplinary task force and various initiatives, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to expand that conversation with our colleagues in other institutions and with Congress.”

During the briefing, the leaders will discuss how university-based public health experts are assisting affected communities by bringing traditional and novel epidemic control strategies to bear on the disease, including the development and evaluation of treatment options, law enforcement methods, prevention approaches, and state and local policies.

Coben will highlight WVU’s task-force approach including example prevention, intervention, recovery and research initiatives; the naloxone distribution efforts of the School of Public Health’s CDC-supported Injury Control Research Center; and stories of West Virginians who have been rescued from overdose with naloxone and who are now in recovery and making positive contributions to their families and communities.

The briefing will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. It is organized by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health the voice of accredited academic public health, representing schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. ASPPH’s mission is to transform public health by strengthening and promoting the education, research, service and practice activities of its 106 members, 11,000 faculty members, and 60,000 students.

-WVU- 

CONTACT: Kimberly Becker, Director of Marketing and Communications, 
WVU School of Public Health
304.293.1699 

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