Trillium Villa’s Kelly Batson receives Quality Improvement Award for involvement in opioid elimination program

The program saw 17 residents switched from fentanyl to cannabinoid medicine
7/10/2019  - Deron Hamel
Trillium Villa's Kelly Batson is pictured here after receiving Steeves & Rozema’s Quality Improvement Award.  

Trillium Villa manager of resident care Kelly Batson has received Steeves & Rozema’s Quality Improvement Award for her involvement with a cannabinoid medicine program that helped completely eliminate fentanyl prescriptions at the Sarnia long-term care community.

The program was launched in February 2018. In its first three months, the program saw 17 Trillium Villa residents prescribed cannabinoid medicine instead of fentanyl, an opioid analgesic.

Replacing opioids with cannabinoid medicine helps improve the quality of life for residents, since there are side effects associated with fentanyl and other opioids, Kelly told S&R Today.

“There is lots of research that indicates the negative clinical consequences with long-term opioid use,” she said. “The beautiful thing about cannabinoid medicine is that it’s what is considered to be a multi-model medication, meaning that it treats multiple symptoms and conditions concurrently.”

With the launch of the program, Trillium Villa began working with Dr. Blake Pearson and Dr. John O’Mahony, Trillium Villa’s attending physician. Dr. O’Mahony identified residents who would likely benefit from cannabinoid therapy. Once selected to try the therapy, and after residents and their family members consented, the nurse practitioner made referrals and Dr. Pearson wrote prescriptions.

The cannabinoid medicine residents receive is in an oil form. The medicine has a higher ratio of cannabidiol (CBD) content to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. CBD is the most abundant non-psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. Unlike THC, the most abundant chemical compound in cannabis, CBD does not get people “high.”

Trillium Villa administrator Kim Van Dam and resident care co-ordinator Sherrie Coolidge nominated Kelly for the award.

The Quality Improvement Award honours staff members – individually or as a group – who have made outstanding contributions to quality improvement of services provided to residents of Steeves & Rozema long-term care or senior living communities.

Steeves & Rozema’s 2019 awards celebration was held April 25 in Sarnia. Awards were given out in four categories: Above and Beyond, Community Service, Quality Improvement and Volunteer Recognition.

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