Rounding on Addiction



Rounding on Addiction | Addiction, Substance Abuse, Substance Use Disorder, AMA Opioid Task Force, Spero Health, Spero Health, Dave Hoerman Patrice Harris

Dave Hoerman

Spero Health Continues Growth

New Clinics

In August, Brentwood-based Spero Health - a CARF-accredited organization specializing in local, outpatient care for individuals suffering from substance use disorder -announced the opening of a new clinic in Martinsville, Va. This new clinic joins a network of more than 40 Spero Health locations throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and Virginia providing care for more than 7,500 patients each month.

Martinsville is one of multiple clinics Spero Health has opened in the last several months and is in-line with organizational plans for regional coverage to address community needs for local access to addiction treatment services. Since May, the company has also announced new clinics in Elyria, Fairfield, Lima and Marion, Ohio; Savannah and Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; Murray, Ky.; and Petersburg, Va.

"Drug overdose deaths have risen steadily through the pandemic because more people are isolated and feeling vulnerable right now. It is critical our communities have immediate access to addiction treatment services now more than ever," said Steve Priest, CEO of Spero Health.

New Hire

The company is also growing its executive leadership team. Dave Hoerman has joined the company as vice president of Spero University with a focus on teammate development. Hoerman will look to create and implement a comprehensive, multidisciplinary training approach that will leverage a variety of learning systems to give Spero Health teammates the tools to be successful. Spero University will offer a combination of classroom, virtual classroom, mobile and an electronic learning management system to deliver extensive education and instruction fostering both personal and professional growth.

Hoerman has extensive experience, both domestically and internationally, in leading training in the technology, banking and healthcare industries. Most recently with DaVita Inc., he has also worked with large organizations including Citigroup, Salomon Smith Barney, Deutsche Bank and Gambro Healthcare.


Integrative Life Center Opens Men's Residential Program

Nashville-based Integrative Life Center (ILC) recently opened their residential program for men, complementing the women's residential program that opened earlier this year.

Part of the national recovery community for over a decade, ILC integrates evidence-based methods with non-traditional approaches in a holistic program for clients to achieve lasting recovery of body, mind, and spirit. The community reintegration model provides personalized treatment plans, so clients can progress at their own pace in a real-world environment.

"Now that ILC has residential programs for both women and men, we can serve all of our clients at every stage of their recovery, providing wraparound support when they transition from one stage to the next," said ILC CEO Ryan Chapman. "Transitions can increase vulnerability. Seeing familiar faces, continuing program participation, and keeping with same treatment philosophy offer a level of consistency that helps clients maintain their healing momentum as they move from residential to outpatient care, and beyond."

The men's residential program occupies a newly renovated 5,100-square-foot home in a peaceful, private location. It features eight beds, medical and therapists' offices, along with group spaces for dining and weekday and weekend programming.


AMA Report on Prescribing & Overdoses

In late July, the American Medical Association's Opioid Task Force released a report that showed a dramatic increase in fatalities involving illicit opioids, stimulants like methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine while simultaneously showing a similarly dramatic drop in prescription opioids.

The report called for a recognition and response to the changing landscape of the ongoing opioid epidemic and challenge of treating people in danger of overdose from all drugs. The AMA is calling on stakeholders - including health insurers and policymakers - to remove barriers to evidence-based care, saying red tape and misguided policies are grave dangers to pain patients and those with an opioid-use disorder.

The report said physicians have reduced opioid prescribing (with decreases for a sixth year in a row), increased use of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), increased the prescribing of naloxone and sought continued education on safe prescribing, pain management and signs of addiction. More than 50,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals have become certified to provide treatment for opioid use disorder in the past three years. Yet, illicit drugs are now the dominant reason why drug overdoses kill more than 70,000 people each year.

Citing statistics from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2019, deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs increased from 5,766 to 36,509. Similarly, deaths involving stimulants like methamphetamine rose from 4,402 to 16,279. Deaths from cocaine nearly tripled, and overdose deaths from heroin increased by just over 30 percent. At the same time, deaths involving prescription opioids decreased from 12,269 to 11,904.

"The nation needs to confront the fact that the nation's drug overdose epidemic is now being driven predominantly by highly potent illicit fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, although mortality involving prescription opioids remains a top concern," said AMA Opioid Task Force Chair Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, who also is the AMA's immediate past president. "If it weren't for naloxone, there likely would be tens of thousands additional deaths. It is past time for policymakers, health insurers, pharmacy chains and pharmacy benefit managers to remove barriers to evidence-based care for patients with pain and those with a substance use disorder."

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Spero Health

AMA Opioid Task Force Report