Special Submissions Call

CARERC launched a special submissions call to address concerns about exposure and health effects of first responders, emergency, and law enforcement personnel to opioid drugs. Awards were made to Departments of Health in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi & Virginia.

Pilot funds from the 2017-2018 funding cycle were earmarked to support a multi-state/multi- agency data collection effort focusing on the critical emerging health and safety issue of opioid and fentanyl exposure in first responders. The call resulted in $65,000 in funding to the Departments of Health in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi & Virginia. Focus groups with first responders and other experts were used to create an online survey designed to collect opioid exposure, exposure health effects, concern about exposure and standard training. Survey collection across the sites and Kentucky resulted in 3936 responses. The summarized data is being distributed to the first responding agencies and being used to inform training interventions. CARERC DrPH student Robin Thompson is basing her dissertation off this project extending it across Kentucky with focus groups and targeted training interventions.


Dr. Antoinette Lavender Georgia Department of Public Health Surveillance Activity to Evaluate Opioid Exposures Among Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel in Georgia
Dr. Lei Zhang Mississippi Department for Public Health Mississippi First Responders Work-Related Opioid Exposure
Dr. Daniel Harrington Louisiana State University Assessment of Exposure and Health Effects of First Responders to Opioid Drugs
Dr. Michelle Lackovic Louisiana Department for Public Health Evaluation and Analysis of Data Sources Related to Occupational Opioid Use and Exposures in Louisiana
Dr. Caroline Holsinger Virginia Department of Public Health Work-Related Opioid Exposure Among Virginia's First Responders


In addition to this special call, 1 pilot project received CARERC funding through the general call for proposals. This project continued the ongoing collaboration between CARERC and the Department of Dairy Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).