Public Comments for 01/26/2021 Health, Welfare and Institutions - Health Subcommittee
HB2107 - Health, Board of; public health emergency, virtual visitation for certain facilities.
Last Name: Nadwodny Locality: Gainesville

Why would you force a vaccine when hyrdroechloraquin and other drugs heal people. CDC says 99.9% of people recover. Why are you using the tool of fear. What is in it for you. It’s being said that covid is just the first part of this bio weapon. The next part will kill those who were diagnosed with it. If you keep this up there won’t be any one to vote. Oh that’s right. Depopulation is part of the plan. You reap what you sow.

Last Name: McCullough Organization: Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (VAELA) Locality: Spotsylvania

The Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (VAELA) is comprised of approximately 200 attorneys throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia who practice in a variety of areas related to elder law, estate planning and administration, Medicaid and other benefits planning, disability planning, and adult guardianship/conservatorship. Many of our members also serve as guardians ad litem for incapacitated adults and/or routinely serve as counsel advising guardians and agents under powers of attorney as to their duties and powers. VAELA’s Public Policy Committee has reviewed HB 2107, relating to drafting regulations for virtual visits in nursing homes, and on behalf of VAELA, we want to register our support of this Bill. Access to loved ones in hospitals, nursing homes, and certified nursing facilities has been a matter of great concern to many of our clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Regulations that would guarantee patients and residents of these facilities timely access to their loved ones through virtual visits, especially when in-person visits are not advised, would be very beneficial to the physical and mental health of facility residents and patients, as well as their loved ones. Thank you in advance for your consideration. - Amy E. McCullough (amcculloughesq@gmail.com) Rhona Levine (rlevine@opnlaw.com) Stephen D. Burns (stephen.burns@parksensenig.com), Public Policy Committee Co-Chairs, 2021

HB2300 - Hospitals; emergency treatment for substance use-related emergencies.
Last Name: Nadwodny Locality: Gainesville

Why would you force a vaccine when hyrdroechloraquin and other drugs heal people. CDC says 99.9% of people recover. Why are you using the tool of fear. What is in it for you. It’s being said that covid is just the first part of this bio weapon. The next part will kill those who were diagnosed with it. If you keep this up there won’t be any one to vote. Oh that’s right. Depopulation is part of the plan. You reap what you sow.

Last Name: McDermott Organization: Faces and Voice of Recovery (FAVOR) of Virginia Locality: Maidens

Honorable Delegates – First I would like to share some factual historic background on “how we got here,” so-to-speak, and also my thoughts on strengthening the intended consequences for this life-saving legislation. In the mid ‘90s prescription opioid manufacturers marketing and lobbying efforts were widespread. “In 1995, Dr. James Campbell addressed the American Pain Society urging that health care providers treat pain as the “fifth vital sign.” “In 2001, as part of a national effort to address the widespread problem of underassessment and undertreatment of pain, The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JCAHO) introduced standards for organizations to improve their care for patients with pain. For over a decade, experts had called for better assessment and more aggressive treatment, including the use of opioids. Many doctors were afraid to prescribe opioids despite a widely cited article suggesting that addiction was rare when opioids were used for short-term pain...” ”Delegates at the 2016 American Medical Association (AMA) meeting voted to stop treating pain as the fifth vital sign because they believe it is likely that the initiative, along with other factors, have exacerbated the opioid crisis. Clearly many factors have contributed to the opioid crisis, including aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies, increased number of prescriptions written by providers…” My point being some opponents to HB2300 recently touted their professional credentials being challenged by HB2300’s initial language regarding naloxone (NARCAN®), such that it now reads ”may include, for patients who have been treated for substance use-related 201 emergencies, including opioid overdose, or other high-risk patients, (a) the dispensing of naloxone or other opioid antagonist used for overdose reversal.” This “may” needs to be a “shall!” An overdose victim is typically not a casual, recreational or social opioid user. They are more likely addicted, and releasing them to their soon to become “dope-sick” again selves without this potentially life-saving drug just doesn’t make sense…common sense! I use the “history lesson” above to demonstrate medical professionals have been wrong in this arena previously…dead wrong. It took 21 years for them to admit they were wrong about pain as the fifth vital sign. Many view the professional and institutional adoption of the fifth vital sign as an embryonic moment in the genesis of our current opioid epidemic. We don’t have to wait another 21 years to admit they are wrong about naloxone here. Secondly and lastly, I take issue with again, a “may” that needs to be a “shall” here – “Such protocols may also provide for referrals of individuals experiencing a substance use-related emergency to peer recovery specialists and community-based providers of behavioral health services, or referrals for to providers of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of drug or alcohol dependence or mental health diagnoses.” Releasing an overdose patient, as I mentioned above, back to the streets, is simply not a good idea. I say that as an individual accumulating over 29 years of sustained continuous recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Prior to that time, I was the hamster on the wheel. Since then, I’ve seen more than my fair share of deaths because addicts weren’t immediately engaged with recovery services when they most need it.

Last Name: Snodderly Locality: Henrico

I am writing in support of HB 2300 Naloxone dispersal to every Virginian that is seen in an ER during an opioid overdose. This bill saves lives, it prevents families from getting the dreaded phone call that a family member has passed away due to an avoidable overdose. This bill helps ensure that those suffering from substance use disorder are given the necessary, life-sustaining medication.

Last Name: McDermott Organization: FAVOR of Virginia Locality: Maidens

HB2300 - As an individual with over 29 years of sustained continuous recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD), I strongly support this life-saving legislation.

Last Name: Mitchell Organization: The Recovery Advocacy Project Locality: Richmond

Mister Chair, members of the subcommittee. My name is Nathan Mitchell and I am a person in recovery from a substance use disorder. I serve as a state organizer with the Virginia Recovery Advocacy Project representing recovery organizations and thousands of individuals throughout the Commonwealth. We support HB 2300 and ask the members of this subcommittee to report. As outreach coordinator with The McShin Foundation, I work daily with individuals in or seeking recovery from a substance use disorder to provide immediate access to vital recovery support services. Addiction is a brain disease. Not a moral failure. Individuals caught in the grips of addiction deserve our compassion not our scorn, and our help when they are not able to help themselves. There is no mincing words here, the number of overdose emergency department visits continues to grow each year with an alarming spike during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency departments are often only able to treat the immediate emergency without considering other short- and long-term addiction treatment options for the patient. HB 2300 seeks to solve some of this problem by screening or assessing individuals experiencing substance use related emergencies, providing information on appropriate community-based providers of behavioral health services upon discharge, and most importantly, providing take-home naloxone or other overdose reversal medication immediately upon discharge (NOT a prescription which may never be filled). Our people are dying, and emergency departments are on the frontline. We must give emergency departments the tools they need to save lives and introduce individuals to a lifetime of recovery. Please support HB 2300.

Last Name: Mitchell Organization: The Recovery Advocacy Project Locality: Richmond

Mister Chair, members of the subcommittee. My name is Nathan Mitchell and I am a person in recovery from a substance use disorder. I serve as a state organizer with the Virginia Recovery Advocacy Project representing recovery organizations and thousands of individuals throughout the Commonwealth. We support HB 2300 and ask the members of this subcommittee to report. As outreach coordinator with The McShin Foundation, I work daily with individuals in or seeking recovery from a substance use disorder to provide immediate access to vital recovery support services. Addiction is a brain disease. Not a moral failure. Individuals caught in the grips of addiction deserve our compassion not our scorn, and our help when they are not able to help themselves. There is no mincing words here, the number of overdose emergency department visits continues to grow each year with an alarming spike during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency departments are often only able to treat the immediate emergency without considering other short- and long-term addiction treatment options for the patient. HB 2300 seeks to solve some of this problem by screening or assessing individuals experiencing substance use related emergencies, providing information on appropriate community-based providers of behavioral health services upon discharge, and most importantly, providing take-home naloxone or other overdose reversal medication immediately upon discharge (NOT a prescription which may never be filled). Our people are dying, and emergency departments are on the frontline. We must give emergency departments the tools they need to save lives and introduce individuals to a lifetime of recovery. Please support HB 2300.

End of Comments