County health department creates new job for opioid response

CINCINNATI (AP) — A health department in southwest Ohio says it has created a new job to work on response to opioids in an area hit by an overdose spike in recent weeks.

Hamilton County says Laura Laake will work on countywide mobilization of programs related to prescription drug overuse and abuse. Her first project focuses on putting together a system to capture drug use data for a community action plan.

She’s also tasked with developing and expanding naloxone education and distribution programs. The drug, commonly known as Narcan, can reverse an opioid overdose. The county Health Department says she’s also going to be working to adopt pain management prescribing guidelines with medical professionals.

Laake has spent the last 16 years at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in emergency, hospice and administration roles.