Harm reduction saves lives now and in the future | Opinion

By Priya E. Mammen, for the Inquirer | September 11, 2019

Stoneleigh Fellow Ted Corbin and his Healing Hurt People Program are featured in an Inquirer op-ed on the value of harm reduction services for people in need.

I am an emergency physician. I work daily to address emergencies and acute care needs for patients — some life-threatening, all deeply concerning.

The fundamental purpose of my job is to do everything I can to save a life in the immediate, while also trying to limit risks and increase access to ongoing services for patients once they leave my care. I do this knowing that my control and impact may not extend beyond the time and space of the Emergency Department.[…]

Emergency physicians understand better than most that a step toward reducing negative outcomes is as important as taking a step toward a definitive cure. With heightened awareness of the consequences, we have engaged in more public health initiatives, such as the Emergency Opt-Out Program, an ED-based HIV screening program I developed at Jefferson, and Healing Hurt People, a program developed by Drs. Ted Corbin and John Rich at Drexel for victims coping with the ongoing trauma of intentional physical (such as from an assault).

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