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New Jersey
St. Joseph’s Wins 2017 INNOVATION AWARD – Again!
Story Number is : 070217119
St. Joseph’s Healthcare System

For the second consecutive year, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System has been named a winner of the 2017 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Award for Innovation. The annual awards program honors both individuals and organizations who are finding new ways to make a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey.

“Clinical innovation has been a driving force behind St. Joseph’s throughout our 150-year history,” said Kevin J. Slavin, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. “We are proud to be recognized for our innovative treatment model that takes action against the growing opioid epidemic. As the first program of its kind in the United States, St. Joseph’s has developed a truly unique approach to effectively alleviating pain without resorting to highly addictive medication.”

The ALTOSM Program was launched in early January 2016, and uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible, for example, in cases of kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain. Since ALTOSM began, the number of opioid prescriptions in the St. Joseph’s Emergency Department has decreased by 58 percent.

The architect of the ALTOSMProgram is Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Population Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. Along with Dr. Alexis LaPietra, Medical Director of Emergency Department Pain Management at St. Joseph’s, the two clinicians have presented across the country on the impact of their program to turn the tide against opioid addiction and overdose.

"Rather than covering up pain with opioids, we treat where the pain is coming from," Dr. Rosenberg said. "All addiction starts with the first dose. If we can stop acute pain from becoming chronic pain, and if we never gave an opioid, no one would become addicted."In addition to being adopted by other areas in the St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, the ALTOSM program has gained interest from other hospitals and health systems across the United States and internationally, including Turkey, Israel, and Switzerland, who are interested in replicating the program.

“The opioid epidemic is a subject filled with griping statistics and stories of people from all walks of life who have been impacted by this devastating condition,” adds Dr. Rosenberg. “We are grateful to NJBIZ for this recognition and proud to lead the way by pioneering new and effective treatment options for our patients and the community.”

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