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Medication take back events highlight need for drop-off resources in the community

Drug take back event 2019Hundreds of pounds of unused or unwanted medication were collected during medication take back events at HSHS hospitals in Northeast Wisconsin.
Events such as these prevent these drugs from being abused or improperly disposed of.
HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan all held events on April 27. Colleagues, along with law enforcement in each community, helped with the collection.
Prescription Medication Collected by Community:
Green Bay: 435 lbs.
Oconto Falls: 46 lbs.
Sheboygan: 245 lbs.*
In Green Bay alone, more than 200 vehicles passed through the event at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center. Along with unused prescription medications, the Green Bay event also brought in two large barrels (144 lbs.) of unwanted over-the-counter drugs.
“It amazes me when we collect this much unused medication from our small communities,” said Dan Rocheleau, Campus and Sustainability Facilitator for HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division. “Imagine how much excess there is in the state, or the entire United States! This is a huge social and environmental problem, so I am glad we can do our part to help.”
The efforts by HSHS here in Northeast Wisconsin were highlighted when the Wisconsin Attorney General, Josh Kaul, held a news conference at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center. Kaul was joined by leaders from HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division, Prevea Health and the Green Bay Police Department.
During the news conference, Kaul talked about the dangers unused medications can pose to communities, saying he believes it is the biggest public safety challenge we face in Wisconsin. HSHS, along with Prevea Health, are working together to tackle this challenge.
“One advantage of the partnership between HSHS and Prevea Health is we can attack problems like the opioid epidemic in a coordinated fashion,” said Dr. Paul Pritchard, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Prevea Health. “We have a three pronged approach, which includes raising awareness, increasing treatment options and coaching patient expectations when it comes to medications.”
Drugs collected during the take back events are incinerated. More take back events are being planned for the fall.

*An additional 198 lbs. of medication was collected at four additional sites in the Sheboygan area. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital partners with HSC 2020 to offer the expanded community drop-off locations.

Media Contacts

Angela Deja
Public Relations Coordinator
(920) 272-3360

Dana Jermstad
Senior Communications and Public Relations Manager
(920) 429-1752
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