Project Lifeline – a community partnership and research program initiated by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation to address substance use disorder (SUD) – will take center stage at the upcoming NACDS Foundation Dinner.

Two individuals who have led to the program’s effectiveness in preventing and treating opioid abuse in Blair County, Pennsylvania, will receive the NACDS Foundation’s Excellence in Patient Care Award. At the same time, the NACDS Foundation is announcing that the program is expanding to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County.

The NACDS Foundation will present the award to Janice L. Pringle, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU), and to Judy Rosser, executive director of Blair Drug and Alcohol Partnerships. The 21st Annual NACDS Foundation Dinner will be held December 4, 2019, at the Sheraton New York Times Square in New York City.

NACDS President Kathleen Jaeger said, “We look forward to honoring the community partnership and research of Dr. Janice Pringle and Judy Rosser. Their incredible work has helped to make a difference in Blair County and in the lives of those who have benefited from more than 4,000 screenings over the past year – in a way that seeks to remove the stigma of SUD while providing much-needed care. There is no greater tribute to their work than to announce that the NACDS Foundation is expanding Project Lifeline to Allegheny County to help even more Pennsylvanians now, and to provide the framework model that can make a positive impact across the nation.”

The awardees and their organizations, in partnership with local community pharmacies, set out in October 2018 to evaluate the sustainability and feasibility of the evidence-based practice known as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment). SBIRT is a process designed to provide comprehensive care for a patient with, or at risk of developing, SUD.

In Project Lifeline, individuals with a schedule II opioid prescription are screened for opioid use disorder and SUD at the pharmacy. The results are used to provide the appropriate intervention or linkage to care. Patients are provided education and counseling, naloxone, immunizations, and HIV/Hepatitis C screenings and linkage to care, as appropriate. Project Lifeline has conducted over 4,200 SUD screenings over the past year and has distributed naloxone to over 300 patients.

Project Lifeline reflects the public-health and patient-outcomes focus of the NACDS Foundation, which funds evidence-based research, educational programs and philanthropic initiatives.