SOURCE: Hazelden


April 13, 2009 08:53 ET

Hazelden, CDC Bring Together Twin Cities Health-Care Industry Leaders to Reduce Alcohol-Related Injuries

Community-Wide Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program Aims to Save Lives, Reduce Health-Care Costs

CENTER CITY, MN--(Marketwire - April 13, 2009) - Hazelden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are bringing together leaders from the area's top health-care systems, insurance companies and major employers in a community-wide effort to decrease the number of alcohol-related accidents and injuries. The one-day event, to take place at the Landmark Center on Tuesday, April 21 at 8:00 a.m., will train local health-care providers in CDC's Screening, Brief Intervention or Referral to Treatment Program (SBIRT) and develop support for implementation of the SBIRT protocol throughout all levels of the health-care system.

SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to identifying patients whose alcohol-related behaviors put them at risk for injury or illness and providing early intervention and, if appropriate, treatment. The program has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of alcohol use, reduce the risk of trauma, and related costs. And by preventing more severe alcohol-related health problems, the SBIRT program can significantly reduce medical and societal costs and improve patients' quality of life.

Although CDC has been training health-care providers in the SBIRT program for several years, this event marks the first time that industry leaders from an entire metro area are coming together to put their support behind such a program. Attendees will include leaders from the Mayo Clinic and Hennepin County Medical Center, HealthPartners, the Buyers Health Care Action Group, the Minnesota Brain Injury Association, the Veterans Administration Minneapolis Health Center, Regions Hospital, state legislators and state agency personnel.

"It's a phenomenal opportunity and an honor for Hazelden to collaborate with CDC and train health-care providers in the Twin Cities," says Valerie Slaymaker, Ph.D., chief academic officer and provost of the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies and executive director of the Butler Center for Research. "It's a testament to Hazelden's experience and expertise in treating alcoholism and other addictions that we are partnering with them for such an event."

The event will feature two speakers who have pioneered the use of the SBIRT program nationwide -- Dr. Larry Gentilello, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and Dr. Richard Brown, clinical director of the Wisconsin Initiative to Promote Healthy Lifestyles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Drs. Gentilello and Brown will lead the discussion among area health-care industry leaders on how to integrate SBI programs into their clinics and hospitals and provide support and additional training for health-care providers.

"Bringing SBIRT to a health-care system is not the same as teaching new diagnostic techniques to a team of doctors and nurses," says Dr. Larry Gentilello, a trauma surgeon, at University of Texas Southwestern. "We're introducing a new protocol into the system, and there needs to be buy-in from the executive level on down for the SBIRT program to be conducted effectively. We hope this event will create a community-wide network of stakeholders who will be committed to developing successful SBIRT programs throughout the Twin Cities."

There are still openings for interested persons wishing to participate -- please contact Kathy Graf at 651-213-4701.

The event is open to the media -- please contact Christine Anderson at 651-213-4231 to confirm attendance.

About Hazelden - Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, has helped tens of thousands of people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. With plans to celebrate its 60th Anniversary this year, Hazelden offers the nation's most comprehensive approach to addiction by addressing the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including treatment and continuing care for youth and adults, research, higher learning, public education and advocacy, and publishing. It has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, and New York. For more information, please visit

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