Dr. Andy Anderson
Chief medical officer
Aurora Health Care Inc.
The prescription opioid abuse problem in this country has reached epidemic proportions. Every age group, every demographic and every community is affected. Doctors at Aurora Health Care Inc. are actively working to educate patients about the risks of prescription drug abuse, offer alternatives for effective pain management and provide resources to help curb the growing problem.
Under the direction of Dr. Andy Anderson, chief medical officer, Aurora has expanded behavioral health services across its system, created clear prescribing guidelines for narcotic pain medicines, and instituted education programs for all providers on how to identify narcotic abuse in patients.
Aurora has developed an oxy-free emergency department program that discourages the prescribing of opioids, and established the Maternal Addiction Recovery Center for pregnant women who are addicted to opioids.
Anderson has also helped position Aurora Health Care as a partner in the state’s efforts to combat the problem from multiple fronts.
Aurora facilities regularly host prescription drug drop-off events and the company has partnered with Attorney General Brad Schimel on the Wisconsin Dose of Reality campaign, which builds public awareness of the issue.
Legislatively, Aurora is working with Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and other members of the Legislature on the HOPE Agenda, which seeks to register pain clinics, require prescribers to check a database prior to prescribing opioids, and allow the purchase of Narcan without a prescription.
Aurora leaders, physicians and staff have seen firsthand what the epidemic is doing to families throughout the state, and remain committed to putting an end to the issue.