5th Home Run derby set for Saturday

Home Run Derby

The 5th Annual Home Run Derby benefiting addiction recovery happens Saturday. Here’s the story behind it, and how major players came together to wage a war on addiction in Franklin County.

John Lloyd’s recovery from drug addiction has blazed a path for others

Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal supports a law enforcement process where drug offenders can choose a program of treatment instead of prison.

WellSpan Health has been a partner for their efforts every step of the way.

Home run derby details

Players behind the fight against opioid addiction team up Saturdayfor the 5thannual Home Run Derby to Fight Drug Addiction.

The fundraiser starts at 9 a.m.atGreeneTownshipPark in Scotland.

This year, money raised through sponsorship and participation on the field benefitsGracie’s Place. Gracie’s Place, serving women with substance abuse issues, is an affiliate ofNoah’s House.

Registration for home run derby participants at the event opens at 8 a.m. and the cost is $20.

In addition to the competition, vendors are expected at the event.Masks will be available and social distancing will be strongly encouraged.

Fighting drug addiction

Not every baseball that flies off the bat is ahome run. WellSpan isunwavering in its commitment togoingthedistance In the fight against addiction, however.

As title sponsor for this year’s home run derby, WellSpanrepresentatives are active members of theFranklin County Overdose Task Force.They are also board members at Noah’s House and work closely with the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.

Fogal formed the county’s overdose task force in 2015.

“It’s no surprise to me that WellSpan is one of our biggest partners in this fight,” Fogal said. “They see everyday effects of what is happening in our community.”

He said WellSpan has been on the front lines of the opioid crisis over the years, just as they are on the front lines now of the COVID-19 crisis.

“The entire nation has woken up this year and recognized how important our health care providers are and how critical they are to our lives,” he said.


READ: Gift cards go to health care workers


Taking on a major role

Franklin County has been entrenched in a battle against opioid addiction for decades now. Over the years, WellSpan has taken on a major role in that battle. The health care provider‘s Opioid Stewardship committee has worked to reduce the prescription of opioids to patients as part of the fight.

The organization set goals for its providers and used metrics to monitor the effectiveness of the initiative.

Dr. Tom Anderson, Vice President of Medical Affairs for WellSpan‘s Chambersburg and Waynesboro Hospitals, says his teams use a variety of non-addictive measures to treat patients.

They use therapies such as massage, heat/cold applications and aromatherapy. When medication is necessary, they prescribe non-opioids when possible, reserving opioids for extreme cases. That reduces the risk of more people becoming dependent on addictive drugs.

The goal is to start at the lowest dose, then always have a plan to decrease and discontinue its use.

He calls the policy significant in reducing the addiction trend.

The county saw a 30% drop in opioid prescriptions between 2016 and 2018. Those numbers continued to drop this year, he said.

Prescribing responsibly, with a plan

As title sponsor for this year’s home run derby, WellSpanrepresentatives are active members of theFranklin County Overdose Task Force.They are also board members at Noah’s House and work closely with the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.

Franklin County has been entrenched in a battle against opioid addiction for decades now. Over the years, WellSpan has taken on a major role in that battle. The health care provider‘s Opioid Stewardship committee has worked to reduce the prescription of opioids to patients as part of the fight.

The organization set goals for its providers and used metrics to monitor the effectiveness of the initiative.

Dr. Tom Anderson, Vice President of Medical Affairs for WellSpan‘s Chambersburg and Waynesboro Hospitals, says his teams use a variety of non-addictive measures to treat patients.

They use therapies such as massage, heat/cold applications and aromatherapy. When medication is necessary, they prescribe non-opioids when possible, reserving opioids for extreme cases. That reduces the risk of more people becoming dependent on addictive drugs.

The goal is to start at the lowest dose, then always have a plan to decrease and discontinue its use.

Some opioid use is necessary for patients undergoing major surgeries or experiencing injuries or medical conditions with acute pain.

The goal is responsible prescribing,with supported plans to get patients off the medications at the appropriate time, he said.

There are big challenges to the work, Anderson said. WellSpaan teams are committed to it, however.

“We are doing our necessary part to prevent Opioid Use Disorder while supporting the needs of our patients,“ he said.

Building a team

Fogal co-founded the home run derby in 2016 while his relationship with Lloyd began to strengthen and yield positive results.

Lloyd, who grew up outside of Baltimore, founded Noah’s House, a men’s recovery facility in 2015, and later started Gracie’s Place. He is executive director of both recovery houses.

The two recovery houses carry the names of Lloyd’s son, who has been his “catalyst for sobriety” for eight years, and his daughter.

“It’s my life’s work,“ Lloyd said. “I feel like I am an example that we do recover and I want others to have that chance.”

Running two recovery facilities often leads to18-hour days, but Lloyd doesn’t stop there. He serves as a recovery liaison for the county’s Get Back Up initiative also.

Theinitiative helps drug addicts navigate through the recovery process and supports them through any pending litigation.That role often has Lloyd on call around the clock. He has even left home run derbies to assist a person who had just overdosed.

He humbly admits that none of the progress made in Franklin County would have been possible without Fogal’s influence and WellSpan’s guided support.

A passion for the work

Fogal was Noah’s House second board member. Lloyd calls his work “instrumental in this process.”

“Most of the time drug offenders are running from a district attorney or parole officers,“ he said. “But he has a passion for being an advocate first.”

Lloyd also said that Noah’s House and Gracie’s Place might not be standing today without the financial support and health care partnership from WellSpan Health.

“(WellSpan) has backed us through grant opportunities, and they are the biggest partner we have in the health field.They understand clinically what is going on and they have goneout of their way to help men and women get the services they need,” he said.

Through efforts on all fronts, Fogal says he has seen some positive headway since 46 fatal overdoses in 2016 dropped to 26 in 2019.

He credits WellSpan’s contributions to the overall effort with the the team’s success in lowering that death rate.

“This wouldn’t be possible without everyone coming to the table,” he said.

WellSpan has been at that table for many years, and are great teammates, he said.

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