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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Lee Health is starting to reschedule appointments, surgeries, and procedures that were delayed during the pandemic. You can be confident that we will provide the most exceptional care in the safest environment. Learn More

Addressing Addiction - Emergency Medicine

“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection,” said Cathy Murtagh-Schaffer, a physician assistant with Lee Health. “I feel very dedicated to this population in trying to evolve the services that are needed.” A new and important service at Lee Health is helping patients addicted to opioids. “For the most part, our opioid use patients, they come in through the emergency room. If they get admitted we now have addiction medicine docs who are coming in and seeing these patients and initiating them on appropriate medical treatment,” she said. Using medication, behavioral-based therapies, and care, doctors are focused on treating the addiction like any other medical disease to get patients the care they need. “We have our peer specialist who now engages with folks about continuing their recovery while they are here in the hospital, and then once they get outside the hospital, offering them resources,” said Murtgahn-Schaffer. In addition to getting patients treatment, health experts are also focused on removing the stigma surrounding mental health. “As I get deeper and deeper into the addiction issue, I find that this is more about mental health and educating the community about mental health and trying to remove the stigma that comes with mental health,” she said. A program determined to get patients the care they need. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit