Chattanooga CARES Begins Syringe Exchange Program Addressing Opioid Crisis In TN

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Syringe Trade and Education Program of TN is being initiated and operated by Chattanooga CARES starting Monday to tackle the underlying community health concerns created by the opioid epidemic.

"The purpose behind Chattanooga CARES launching STEP TN is to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and other blood borne diseases, reduce needle stick injuries to law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel and encourage individuals who inject drugs to enroll in evidence-based treatment," officials said.  "Since 2011, opioid injection drug use in Tennessee has increased 38 percent. Tennessee’s drug-related deaths have increased 40 percent. There was 364 percent increase in the number of cases of acute hepatitis C infection from 2006 to 2012 among persons aged =30 years. Hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled from 2009-2014.

"A common myth is that syringe exchange programs encourage, enable or increase drug use, as well as crime. Research from the World Health Organization and American Medical Association, shows this is not true. In fact, many studies show that syringe exchange programs decrease drug use by connecting people to treatment. It is estimated that syringe exchange program participants are five times more likely to enter drug treatment than non-participants. Syringe service programs are proven to decrease the number of used syringes discarded in public places by almost 50 percent. Also, one-time use of syringes is the most effective way to limit the transmission of HIV among injection drug users (IDUs) by reducing HIV infection rates by 80 percent. In 2015, there were 3,600 HIV diagnoses among IDUs. About 30 percent IDUs under the age of 30 have Hepatitis C, while close to 90 percent of older IDUs have Hepatitis C. SSPs reduce new HIV and viral hepatitis infections by decreasing the sharing of syringes and other injection equipment."

Morning Pointe Residents Bond With Boyd Buchanan Students

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Mark Kimball Named CEO Of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center

Mark Kimball, FACHE, has been named chief executive officer of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, based in Murphy, N.C.  The announcement was made this week by Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, president & CEO of the Erlanger Health System.  The North Carolina-based healthcare facility became Erlanger’s sixth hospital on April 1 and its first in North Carolina.   When ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)