DPH Announces New Substance Use Disorder Continuing Education Credits And Resources For Pharmacists

DOVER, DE (Oct. 6, 2022) ­– The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) has created new resources and a new webinar specifically for pharmacists as part of its ongoing work to reduce substance use disorder.  DPH has worked with partners in the medical community to develop Delaware-specific, evidence-based education materials, aiming to reduce the risk of unintentional opioid prescription overdose deaths in the state. These materials are available on the health care provider page at HelpIsHereDE.com, including the new content created specifically for pharmacists.

According to the 2019 Annual Surveillance Report on Drug-Related Outcomes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Delaware ranked first in the nation for both high-dose opioid prescribing and long-acting opioid prescribing. In 2020, Delaware ranked third-highest among all states in overdose death rates (CDC, 2021). Of those overdose deaths, 88% involved opioids.

DPH partnered with Alosa Health, Inc., to provide one-on-one education for pharmacists. DPH and Alosa created a webinar (available on HelpIsHere.com) to educate pharmacists on the effects of co-prescribing naloxone (Narcan) with certain opioid prescriptions. Pharmacists who complete the webinar curriculum will be eligible to apply for Continuing Education credits (CEs). Among other topics covered in the webinar, pharmacists are encouraged to co-dispense naloxone with any opioid prescription exceeding 50 Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MME) or upon discretion as outlined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prescription’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Pharmacies can participate in the Community-Based Naloxone Access Program (CBNAP) to deliver naloxone without a doctor’s prescription under a Standing Order. Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist used to reverse opioid overdose and opioid-induced respiratory depression, which can prevent death and brain damage from lack of oxygen. Naloxone is covered in full through Delaware Medicaid insurance.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call the DHSS 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment and recovery options.  In New Castle County, call 1-800-652-2929. Or in Kent and Sussex counties, call 1-800-345-6785.

For free 24/7 counseling, coaching, and support, as well as links to mental health, addiction, and crisis services call the Delaware Hope Line at 1-833-9-HOPEDE. To search for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit HelpIsHereDE.com.

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The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation. DPH is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. 

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind, or speech-disabled can contact DPH by first dialing 711 using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free; to learn more about how it works, visit delawarerelay.com.

US Wind and Ørsted Conducting Offshore Wind Research

Companies Updating Data for Maryland-Approved Projects

Visitors to Delaware Seashore State Park will see an increase in activity in the coming months as US Wind and Ørsted, two offshore wind energy development companies, conduct research and collect data to determine the best path forward for their wind projects.

Both companies plan to update and refresh information collected in the Indian River Bay in 2016 and 2017, and to conduct geotechnical work in the Atlantic and at some land-based locations.

In 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission awarded US Wind Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for the construction of a roughly 248 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project. A second 808.5 MW project received approval in December 2021.

Ørsted has also received approval from Maryland’s PSC for two projects: Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 MW project, and Skipjack 2, an 846 MW wind project. All four projects are proposed to be built in wind energy areas off the Delaware and Maryland coasts.

“Any project of this scope requires an extensive regulatory process, as well as considerable public input. Gathering the information is the first step,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

In 2019, Ørsted researched the possibility of using Fenwick Island State Park as a location for an interconnection facility. It was later determined that the location was not environmentally feasible.

“We’ve heard the feedback of Delawareans who told us they want to be updated on offshore wind activities, including research. We want to ensure the public is aware of these activities and what the research entails,” Garvin said.

The research will include geotechnical investigations in the Atlantic and Indian River Bay, land-based geotechnical sampling at Delaware Seashore State Park and other work including data collection on wetlands, rare species and cultural resources.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

Delaware State University Project Seeks Input on DNREC Outreach

Two-Year Project Aims to Improve Public Engagement

Delaware State University (DSU) will host virtual town hall meetings next month as part of a two-year research project to determine ways the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) can improve public outreach and community engagement.

DNREC awarded the University a $249,773 grant earlier this year to conduct the research, which will focus on traditionally underrepresented communities. The virtual town halls will be held throughout the winter, beginning in November. The first two town halls will be held Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. Times are yet to be determined, but will be published at de.gov/dnrecmeetings.

For this research, Delaware State defines traditionally underrepresented communities as “either a group of individuals living in geographic proximity to one another or a geographically dispersed set of individuals where either type of group experiences common conditions such as low income, high and/or persistent poverty, racial, ethnic and minority residential segregation, linguistic isolation, distressed neighborhoods and disproportionate environmental stressor burden.”

DSU will research the Department’s external communications, review feedback from stakeholders, and evaluate the needs and limitations of its current and past outreach programs to effectively reach and engage underserved communities and determine where improvements may be made.

“DNREC has a long tradition of transparency and public engagement to ensure the wise management, conservation and enhancement of the state’s natural resources,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “But we can always do better. This partnership with the University and the resulting research will help us take our outreach efforts to the next level.”

Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen believes that the university will also benefit from the work. “The project will provide research assistantship and internship opportunities to undergraduate students in the University’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice while enhancing the outreach component of the core values of the university,” Allen said.

The goals of the research are:

  • to improve DNREC’s ability to conduct effective outreach regarding regulatory actions and policy development;
  • to create awareness of DNREC’s processes and initiatives to underserved communities in Delaware;
  • to develop robust methods by which DNREC can provide efficient and informative community-oriented education and outreach.

The principal investigators of the grant are Dr. Raymond Tutu, professor and chairperson, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice; Dr. Anwar Ouassini, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice; and Dr. Laurin Parker, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov


DNREC announces the 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference

DOVER – The 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 29-30, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship announced today. For information, participants and presenters can visit de.gov/dewetlandsconference.

Dates and deadlines to remember for the 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference are:
• Registration for conference participants opens Wednesday, Nov. 13.
• The deadline to submit abstracts for oral presentations is Wednesday, Oct. 30.
• Poster presentations will be accepted through Monday, Dec. 20.
• The deadline for entries in a new photo and art contest is Friday, Nov. 1. Artists of all ages are encouraged to submit their best work highlighting a wetland plant, animal, or scene. The winning work will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference program.

DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment and Coastal Training programs have put together a full two-day event that focuses on the importance of wetlands across the Mid-Atlantic region. More than 350 wetland experts and enthusiasts from the area are expected to gather at the biennial conference to share the latest innovations in wetland research, outreach, and conservation programs.

The conference brings together scientists, planners, county and federal representatives, community leaders, educators, natural resource managers, and students to discuss current research on tidal and non-tidal wetlands, the value of the region’s wetlands, and the impact their management has on the community.

Wetlands play a vital role in our everyday lives, protecting our communities from flooding and erosion and boosting our economy through the tourism, outdoor recreation, and seafood industries. This conference fosters an atmosphere that supports the exploration and dissemination of wetlands science. Although wetlands are the primary focus of this learning and networking event, related topics also will include streams, habitat, and wildlife.

For more information on the 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference, including sponsorships, please visit the website, or contact Brittany Haywood at Brittany.Haywood@delaware.gov, or call 302-739-9939.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy seeks applicants for new NOAA estuary research fellowship

A researcher, research intern, and scholar conduct sediment core sampling in the salt marsh at the St. Jones Estuary in Dover. DNREC staff photo.

DOVER – The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, administered through DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy, is seeking applicants for a new two-year fellowship sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which shares oversight with DNREC for the state’s estuarine reserves on the St. Jones River near Dover and Blackbird Creek in Townsend.

“We are excited to be collaborating with NOAA in offering this new graduate fellowship opportunity,” said Kimberly Cole, Environmental Program administrator with DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy. “Fellows will select and work to address a key coastal management question in an effort to help DNREC scientists and coastal communities understand challenges that may influence policy and management strategies.”

NOAA’s Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship program provides students the opportunity to conduct collaborative research projects focused on the nation’s estuaries. Melissa Ladd, NOAA’s national coordinator of the program, said what makes the fellowship program exceptional is that focus. “We are dedicated to research that gives our communities the facts needed to make wise decisions when it comes to deciding how coastal resources are used and managed,” Ladd said. “This program also provides students with the experiences and professional growth skills that will serve them, and our environment, throughout their careers.”

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) is one of 29 reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, with the state’s two components, the St. Jones Reserve and the Blackbird Creek Reserve, focused on practicing and promoting coastal and estuarine stewardship through innovative research and education, using a system of protected areas.

Each of the national reserves in the system will host a fellowship program. These sites combine to protect 1.3 million estuarine acres, and are home to some of the nation’s most progressive science and educational programs. Each reserve designates its research priorities, from habitat changes to water quality and more.

Interested graduate students should work with their university or college faculty advisor to submit applications by Dec. 20, 2019. To apply, or for additional details and research priorities, visit NOAA’s fellowship website. For more information, please email OCM.DavidsonFellowship@noaa.gov.

For more DNREC information, visit Delaware Coastal Management Program or Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 216