Talk of the Bay from KSQD
New Program Distributes Narcan in Santa Cruz County
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In 2021 alone, 21000 people ended up in emergency rooms in California due to fentanyl overdoses. Lisa Cooper, CEO of Santa Cruz Surgery Center has created an outreach campaign to get the antedote to Fentanyl overdosing into the hands of the public to prevent deaths. On April 22, the public can receive free Narcan doses at a drive-through event from 12-4pm at Cabrillo College. This is aimed to prevent deaths from opioid overdose. For more information see the Naloxone Drive-Thru Flyer

ON NATIONAL DOCTOR’S DAY, LOCAL SURGERY CENTER PARTNERED WITH SANTA CRUZ COUNTY AND HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PARTNERSHIP OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY TO COMBAT OPIOID OVERDOSE-RELATED DEATHS

Center distributing Emergency First Aid Kits with Naloxone doses for National Doctor’s Day 

Santa Cruz, Ca, March 31 – Over the past several weeks, Santa Cruz Surgery Center (“SCSC”) received support from both the County Health Services Agency and the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County (“HIP”) to add two doses of Naloxone to the first aid kits for SCSC and Dignity Health Medical Group physicians. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that reverses an opioid overdose while having little to no effect if the individual does not have opioids present in their system.

This initiative – created in part to celebrate this year’s National Doctor’s Day – arrives as a new wave of Fentanyl-laced street drugs ravage the state. Just last week, the San Jose Police Officers Associated union executive was charged with a scheme to distribute drugs, including Fentanyl (ABC7 Bay Area headline).

“I personally have been touched by this crisis and know the fear of losing a loved one fighting an addiction. Knowing that there are doctors out there that would have the necessary medication to save lives, I can’t put in words what this project means to me,” said Lisa Cooper, CEO of Santa Cruz Surgery Center.

Ms. Cooper is not alone with living in fear of losing a loved one from addiction. According to California Department of Public Health, there were over 21,000 emergency visits in 2021 due to opioid overdose (CDPH). The goal of this partnership is to increase access, save lives and then given them resources to combat their addiction.

“Sixty six physicians will receive the first aid kit. It’s possible that they will never encounter someone in need of the medicine, but if just one doctor has the opportunity to save one life, then the project will meet its goal,” said Dr. Brian Waddle, Medical Director for the Santa Cruz Surgery Center.

“This is just the start of our partnership with the county to combat this crisis,” stated Ms. Cooper. “We are losing people every day whose lives could have been saved if someone near them had this life-saving medication.”

Ms. Cooper along with other employees from their center plan to volunteer at HIP’s massive Naloxone distribution project taking place on Saturday, April 22.

“Our center has the best physicians around, and it is no surprise to me that their care extends outside of these walls” said Dr. Waddle.

About Santa Cruz Surgery CenterSanta Cruz Surgery Center is a multi-specialty surgery center that was founded back in the 1980s as a partnership with Dominican Hospital and a group of local physicians. From its inception, it has been a community-based center, offering affordable healthcare and serving thousands of Medi-Cal and Medicare patients annually. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the center remained open for emergency surgeries and joined their hospital partner with developing emergency plans that were ever changing. Santa Cruz Surgery Center is proud to be a contributing member of the community.

For more information on the upcoming Naloxone distribution project and how you may help, please visit the HIP website at https://www.hipscc.org/saferx.