'It impacts everybody': PHMC trains its employees how to administer Narcan

Justin Udo
December 04, 2018 - 4:41 pm
The Public Health Management Corporation held a workshop where they trained their employees how to administer Narcan nasal spray. All the participants took home a pack of Narcan to use in case they come across someone overdosing.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In 2017, more than 1,200 people in Philadelphia died as a result of an overdose, according to the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC).

To combat the staggering figures, the nonprofit trained hundreds of its employees to be first lines of defense in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

"It impacts everybody," said Laurie Corbin, director of PHMC's Clinical Evaluation Unit. "It doesn't matter what level of education you have. Your social economic status does not matter."

On Tuesday, PHMC held a workshop where nearly 500 of their employees were trained how to administer Narcan nasal spray, an opioid reversal medicine.

"We really just want to give more information about the opioid crisis, but also what role they could play, because I think many of us can feel helpless, but there are some real tangible things that people can do on a day-to-day basis," she added.

Sonja Jamison, a case management supervisor who works with people who have social issues, participated in the training, which she said was invaluable.

"The families that we encounter, unfortunately, some of them are drug users and abusers, so this would better help me to be able to be familiar if I see any signs and symptoms to be able to administer the medication properly," she said.

Jamison hopes this training will pay off tenfold.

"Just by me attending this training, I can go back and take it to my other staff and educate them so they can be on board as well and save more lives," she added.

Jorge Navarrette also attended the training, and he said he cannot wait to pass this information on to his co-workers.

"In Philly, anyone who works in any of the health professions at any level should automatically be trained and have this on them, because things really are that bad," he said.

To go along with their training, all the participants took home a pack of Narcan to use in case they come across someone experiencing an overdose.