Rowan University to provide online opioid education program for NJ health care professionals

Rowan University to provide online opioid education program for NJ health care professionals


Advancing New Jersey’s fight to end the opioid crisis, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (“NJ CARES”) announced a new partnership with Rowan University to provide a subsidized continuing education program for New Jersey health care professionals designed to help them spot signs of opioid addiction and prevent addiction among their patients.

The “New Jersey Opioid Medical Education Program” (“NJ-OMEP”), a new low-cost continuing education program on opioids for health care professionals, will help doctors, nurses, mental health care professionals, and other licensed practitioners become better educated in spotting signs of prescription drug abuse and helping address and prevent addiction among their patients.

The program, expected to go live this summer, is the result of a new partnership between NJ CARES and the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM), which will develop and run the online program.

Funding for the project comes from the $100 million that the Murphy Administration committed to combatting the opioid epidemic in FY2019.

“The funding made available by Governor Murphy has allowed us to offer an educational curriculum to health care providers across the state that will strengthen them as allies in the fight to end the deadly scourge of addiction,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Through our partnership with Rowan University, thousands of professionals serving on the front line of the opioid epidemic will have access to information on how to spot, prevent, and address addiction in the patients they treat.”

Offered at a subsidized price, the NJ-OMEP will help health care professionals in New Jersey – from physicians, nurses and veterinarians to psychologists, social workers, and athletic trainers – satisfy the State’s requirement that they receive one hour of continuing education on prescription opioid drugs every two years. Under the program, health care professionals will have the opportunity to participate in a live webinar or view online videos. Questions from those taking the courses will be answered by program staff.

“The impact of the opioid crisis extends to every corner of our State, affecting the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens,” said Dr. Ali A. Houshmand, President of Rowan University. “Rowan is committed to work with NJ CARES and the Attorney General to take the proactive steps that can end this crisis in New Jersey and serve as a model for others to follow.”

“We are pleased to provide our expertise in helping health care professionals throughout the State to understand and employ best practices in prescribing opioids and caring for patients who take those medications,” added Dr. Thomas A. Cavalieri, Dean of RowanSOM. “Health care providers are – and should be – at the forefront in the fight to end the opioid crisis.”

The first video, expected to be available in June, will be designed to offer prescribers – physicians, dentists, advanced practice nurses, optometrists and veterinarians – an overview of best practices for prescribing opioids and complying with relevant laws.

Three additional videos will focus on the important roles that nurses, pharmacists, and mental health professionals play in caring for patients suffering from pain and substance use disorders.

The two remaining videos will offer all licensed professionals subject to the continuing education requirements a more in-depth understanding of medication assisted treatment as well as screening techniques and harm reduction strategies.

“The New Jersey Opioid Medical Education Program will provide our licensees with education that will keep them at the forefront of best practices in treating pain and preventing addiction,” said Paul Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “This is critical information for providers authorized to prescribe opioids and for health care professionals treating patients who are taking them.” 

“This is more than an educational program for health care providers. It’s an opportunity to save lives,” said Dr. Richard Jermyn, Director of the NJ-OMEP and Chair of the NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute at RowanSOM. “The educational content provided through this program will, ultimately, help to save lives through better awareness of screening methods, best practices in prescribing opioid medications and effective treatment protocols for helping individuals who are struggling with substance abuse disorder. We are happy to partner with the State to provide one of the most comprehensive training programs in the nation.”