House Committee Passes Legislation Creating Opioid Task Force Focused on Children > Hospital Association of Pennsylvania

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House Committee Passes Legislation Creating Opioid Task Force Focused on Children

April 09, 2019

Recognizing that the opioid crisis remains a major concern in the commonwealth, state Representative Clint Owlett (R–Tioga) has introduced legislation to establish the Opioid Abuse Child Impact Task Force. House Bill 316 directs the task force to make recommendations ensuring the safety and health of substance exposed infants, children who have been exposed to abuse or neglect as a result of drug abuse and the improving the health of pregnant or parenting parents recovering from addiction. The state House Children and Youth Committee unanimously passed House Bill 316, and it now awaits consideration of the full House chamber.

HAP and the hospital community are continually working to improve the safety and health of Pennsylvanians, particularly with regards to the appropriate use of opioids.

HAP participates on Pennsylvania’s Multidisciplinary Workgroup on Infant Substance Exposure (MDWISE). MDWISE convenes a wide range of community stakeholders, health care and substance use treatment providers, state and county courts, law enforcement, and child protective and social service agencies, which are working collaboratively to minimize prenatal exposure to substances and to improve infant, child and family outcomes.

The workgroup recognizes that treating these families in a holistic manner through a team-based approach is critical to meet the complex needs of families affected by substance use and substance use disorder. MDWISE aims to develop a coordinated policy agenda and service infrastructure necessary to address the prevention, substance use screening and treatment, and care coordination needs for impacted infants and families.

For more information on legislation please contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy, or Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy for more information about MDWISE.

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