MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Healthcare professionals joined Sen. Terrence Murphy today at the Valhalla Ambulance Corps to call for quick implementation of a budget item secured by Murphy that supplies school nurses with one such tool, Naloxone, or NARCAN, and trains them in administering the heroin antidote.
Murphy called for the state Department of Health to expedite creation of the rules and regulations necessary to implement this program.
"I'm very proud to have spearheaded this funding, but its one thing to get something into the budget, it's another thing entirely to get it implemented in the schools," Murphy said. "That's why I'm calling upon the state Department of Health to move on this process of creating the rules and regulations so that we can get this life-saving medication into the hands of school nurses as soon as possible. It's time for action, not endless red tape."
Murphy also touted the good-government nature of this program.
"Unlike so many other expenditures handed down by Albany, this is a funded mandate - it's paid for," he said. "And its only a mandate in that the school districts must be offered the program. They can opt-in if they want to participate. That's local control. This is a win-win."
"School nurses protect student health and safety each day but there are times we must intervene in actual or potential health emergencies," said Carol Bumbolow, president-elect of the state School Nurses Association. "As the legislation allowing school nurses to administer Narcan with non-student specific orders is enacted, we will have another powerful tool to ensure student safety and prevent tragedy."
Jeffrey Veatch, of Yorktown, was directly affected by heroin use in the community.
"Our son Justin died of a heroin overdose on a school day when he was 17," he said. "It could have happened at school, and if it did, naloxone could have saved his life. Senator Murphy's support of naloxone in schools will hopefully prevent other tragedies."