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Hope for Tomorrow, Overcoming Substance Abuse - Emergency Medicine

“Reduce hospital admissions, reduce the burden on the community, both economically and socially, and reduce the crime rate,” said Dr. Brian Hummel, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Lee Health. These are just a few of the goals he hopes to accomplish by addressing the opioid crisis. “We’re developing a coalition throughout the state to actually change policy to improve the state’s care of these patients as a whole,” explained Dr. Aaron Wohl, an emergency medicine physician with Lee Health. Health experts like cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brian Hummel and emergency medicine physician Dr. Aaron Wohl created a program to recognize and treat patients with opioid addiction. “We started it in the emergency department, initiating folks on a specific drug to treat opioid use disorder,” said Dr. Wohl. Cardiothoracic surgeons also started using the treatment to help patients suffering from endocarditis— a heart infection that patients get from using IV drugs, particularly heroin. “It’s recognizing them when they come in that they do have an opioid use problem, and so we’ve created a rapid response team,” said Dr. Hummel. The program uses medication- based and behavioral therapies to optimize treatment. “It’s part of prime importance that we keep these patients safe, we get them on a stabilizing medication, and we get them in a holistic type of therapy,” said Dr. Wohl. A system-wide focus to help patients get the treatment they need-- By addressing addiction and educating the community on how to treat substance abuse. 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