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Center for Population Health Research researchers produce scientific review of safe injection facilities at request of Philadelphia city officials

Lankenau Medical Center January 24, 2018 Research News

The Main Line Health Center for Population Health Research (CPHR) at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research produced a scientific review of safe injection sites as a means to help combat the opioid epidemic. The study, entitled “Supervised Consumption Facilities – Review of the Evidence,” was produced by CPHR at the request of The Office of the Health Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Supervised consumption facilities (SCFs)—also known as safe drug injection sites or comprehensive user engagement sites—are medical interventions in which essential services are provided to reduce substance use, the harms associated with substance abuse, and fatal overdoses.

Philadelphia officials announced on January 23 that the city will become the first in the United States to allow safe drug injection sites as a means to help combat the opioid epidemic. The city’s announcement, which includes a link to the full CPHR scientific review, is available on phila.gov.

In the report, the CPHR researchers:

  • Described scientific findings related to safe injection sites as harm-reduction strategies in addressing overdose deaths, infections and community harms from heroin and other opioid use
  • Applied estimates of outcomes from other communities to the City of Philadelphia’s data (where data were available) to approximate the possible impact of a safe injection site located where deaths from overdose have been most likely to occur

“Available evidence suggests an SCF may save lives, but thoughtful evaluation is necessary as these sites are developed in communities,” noted Sharon Larson, PhD, professor and executive director of CPHR and lead author of the study. “It’s important to remind ourselves that each community is unique. Caution must be expressed as we estimate the real vs. perceived impact of SCFs.”

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985,Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare,one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Main Line Health Center for Population Health Research (CPHR) at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Founded in 2016, the Center for Population Health Research (CPHR) is a joint collaboration between Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Population Health. CPHR’s mission is to advance the understanding of population health by being a research and educational partner to Main Line Health, informing and assessing initiatives to improve the health status and quality of life in the communities it serves. CPHR’s researchers identify effective models to improve population health, as well as build evidence on successful implementation strategies.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.