by Caleb Graves, Advocacy Committee Chair and Board Member


The opioid crisis in our state continues to spiral into dangerous territory. Deaths from opioid related overdoses now outnumber those from vehicle accidents, homicide or suicide. In 2016, more than 1,600 Tennesseans died from opioids which averages to at least 4 deaths per day.


In January 2018, Governor Bill Haslam unveiled a $30M plan to help combat the issue by providing treatment and recovery programs for citizens across the state. Additionally, the Governor established an executive order establishing the Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education. The Commission has worked rapidly and collaboratively to identify 12 core competencies and design methods to properly educate and train future prescribers and dispensers.


As the Commission finalizes its guidelines on the core competencies, TN HIMSS was honored to have been asked by the Governor’s office to provide feedback and guidance in the process. TN HIMSS board members provided keen insights that included both Clinical and HealthIT perspectives.


We are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to continue dialogue to help end the opioid epidemic by achieving better health through information and technology.