Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) was honored with the 2020 Promising Practice Award by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The award celebrates local health departments for developing programs that demonstrate exciting approaches and strategies to local public health issues that are on track to becoming Model Practices, NACCHO’s highest recognition for replicable and exemplary programs. The agency’s Narcan® Distribution Collaborative (NDC) was one of 36 local health department programs to receive NACCHO’s Promising Practice Award.

The NDC was formed in 2017 with the goal of showing that expanding Narcan® Nasal Spray distribution to individuals at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose in the Greater Cincinnati area would significantly reduce the number of opioid related deaths.

Hamilton County Public Health built a network that distributed more than 60,000 doses of Narcan between October 1, 2017 and October 31, 2019. Preliminary results from a study comparing periods before and after distribution began show a 30 percent decrease in unintentional opioid overdose deaths; 47 percent decrease in emergency department visits for overdoses; and a 44 percent decrease in emergency medical dispatches for overdoses.

While the grant from the Adapt Pharma providing the doses of Narcan ended in October, 2019, the program is continuing to provide the lifesaving, overdose-reversing medication to high-risk populations through the HCPH syringe services program; at the Hamilton County Justice Center; through partnerships with quick-response teams and emergency service providers; and at community events.

“Receiving a NACCHO award is always a proud moment in public health,” says Hamilton County health commissioner Greg Kesterman. “This program helped us make a significant reduction in overdose deaths and visits to emergency departments. We are committed to continuing to distribute this lifesaving drug to those at risk.”

Promising Practices are exciting approaches and strategies to local public health issues that are on track to being designated as a NACCHO Model Practice. Model Practices are awarded to local health departments across the country for implementing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable outcomes in response to an identified public health need.

The Narcan Distribution Collaborative is now part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices in areas that range from immunization and maternal and child health, to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness. The NACCHO Model Practice database allows local health departments, public health partners, and other important stakeholders to learn about the good work being done by local health departments across the country. The database also provides users an opportunity to learn from best practices and what resources are needed to implement comparable programs in other jurisdictions that produce results.

Read more about these award-winning programs at:

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Hamilton County Public Health works to assure the 480,000 citizens living outside the cities of
Cincinnati, Norwood and Springdale are safe from disease, injury and contamination.