DPAC Minutes - October 2018


Date: October 8, 2018                                                       

Location: Pape State office Building, 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa

Called to Order: October 8th at 1:00 p.m.

Adjourned: October 8th at 3:30 p.m.

Voting Members Present: Barb Anderson; Vern Armstrong; Katrina Carter, Marty Duffus (for Dave Lorenzen), Paul Feddersen; Thomas Ferguson (for Jennifer Miller), Kevin Gabbert (for DeAnn Decker); Jane Larkin; Dave Lorenzen; Steve Michael; Amanda Potterfield, Jason Sandholdt; and Dale Woolery.  Non-voting members: Stephan Arndt; Rob Burdess, Josh Happe, Jacob Johnson (for Chuck Connors), Brad Richardson, and Heather Schaffer. 

Voting Members Absent: Matthew Harkin; Warren Hunsberger; Chris Wilson (excused). 

Guest Presenters:  Sarah Derr, Lindsay Schrader, & Susie Sher

Other Guests: Dan Lewis

Staff: Dennis Wiggins & Russell Mansfield

Welcome and Introductions

Interim Director Woolery called the meeting to order and welcomed attendees.  Dale recognized Brad Richardson as the new Director of the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation and Rob Burdess as the new representative to the Council from the Iowa Police Chief’s Association. 

Approval of the May 3, 2018 minutes

Motion to approve minutes. Minutes approved.

Iowa Healthcare Collaboration Opioid Initiative

Sarah Derr from the Iowa Healthcare Collaboration briefed the council on their Opioid Guardian Program, which is a quality improvement project dealing with opioid prescribing.  The project is a hospital based initiative designed to:

  • Reframe pain to focus on comfort
  • Create a culture of judicious prescribing
  • Provide education/coaching on best practices and emerging resources
  • Share successes

The project has two cohorts with 23 Iowa hospitals in the first group and 43 hospitals in the second. 

Ms. Derr reported that the existing pain scale commonly used by health care has not been validated.  This project introduces a new “comfort scale” which has been validated and can be used instead of or in addition to the existing scale. 

Initial results has shown that participating facilities show the following improvements:

  • Increase in provider’s registered for and using the prescription monitoring program
  • Implementation of validated comfort tools
  • An increase in opioid therapy treatment planning
  • Reduction in the percent of patients released with opioid prescriptions

High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Eastern Iowa Opioid Initiative

Lindsay Schrader, a Cedar Rapids Police Officer and the Opioid Coordinator for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Eastern Iowa Opioid Initiative provided an update of the HIDTA program.  Ms. Schrader provided a brief statistical overview of opioid related issues in Eastern Iowa.  Ms. Schrader reported that heroin in Eastern Iowa is significantly cheaper than equivalent Rx drug which has resulted in a significant number of criminal justice contacts who have transitioned from prescription medication to heroin due to cost and ease of access. 

Ms Schrader reported that Eastern Iowa has experienced an increase in fentanyl and fentanyl mixtures. 

Ms. Schrader informed the council that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is planning to begin providing Vivitrol for inmates as they transition to the community.  The jail will provide the initial 30 day dose with transitional planning to connect the inmate with community resources once released. 

Ms. Schrader also reported that Cedar Rapids is in the process of implementing the Safe Passage Initiative.  It is an addiction recovery initiative that allows those seeking treatment to contact police without fear of prosecution.  Participants will be allowed to surrender narcotics to law enforcement and will receive referral to treatment and other support services.   

Drug Control Strategy

Susie Sher provided an update on the Drug Control Strategy which was submitted to the Governor and Legislature in November of 2018.  Susie explained that the strategy was an update from the previous year and included updated data analysis of drug trends and highlights key drug control challenges facing Iowa. 

Susie thanked the Council for their assistance in developing the strategy and invited their ongoing input and advice.  

Agency Update and Legislative Priorities/Needs

Dale invited council members to provide an update on their agency, organization, or field and to include any legislative priorities or needs for the upcoming session.    

Sheriff Sandholdt:  The Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies Association is working to make the mental health centers operation and to enhance statewide coordination.  He also indicated that ISSDA would support legislation to improve truth in sentencing and diversion from jail. 

Sheriff Sandholdt reported that the ISSDA is supportive of changes which would allow for short term suspension of public assistance benefits instead of full termination when a person is incarcerated in a county jail. 

Katrina Carter:  Department of Corrections pharmacists have trained all residential facility staff to administer naloxone. 

DOC has begun providing Saboxone in the institutions.  Medication sustainment is included in the transitional planning for inmates as they are released to the community. 

Steve Michael:  Implementing a pre charge diversion project for juveniles in three Iowa counties.  The prison population forecast will be released soon.  CJJP is working with the Department of Correction on a new grant to study the cause of increases in rural violent crime. 

Barb Anderson:  Received a grant with UNI and Public Health to work with 42 schools to address student mental health. 

Vern Armstrong:  Family First legislation (federal) to shift child welfare on foster care to provide more front end services.  Services have to focus on evidence base programming.  Guidelines are still being released. 

Jane Larkin:  School districts are hosting mental health nights.  Work is underway to also include a focus on substance abuse.  Schools are struggling with a variety of issues related to e-cigarettes - prevention specialists are assisting with policies and prevention strategies. 

Josh Happe:  Alcoholic Beverage Division has replaced the age to purchase calendars with an app for alcohol and tobacco purchases.  The app will be able to scan IDs.  The Division is setting up tobacco checks throughout the state.  They will add alcohol checks on a limited basis. 

Kevin Gabbert:  The Department of Public Health has developed Good Samaritan education materials.  Materials have been designed for the general population and also for law enforcement.  IDPH is hosting a symposium for pain management. 

350 naloxone admissions have been reported since July when the reporting was mandated. 

IDPH is providing Naloxone to hospitals to give to patience to take home with them. 


Next meeting will be announced at a later time. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Dennis Wiggins

Dale Woolery