VNA and SAFIR partner to promote proper disposal of 27,000 prescription pills

NEWS RELEASE

Candy Sherwood, VNA; Robin Dapp, Substance Abuse Free; Mary Spear VNA.

Thanks to a newly founded partnership with Substance Abuse Free Indian River (SAFIR), the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of the Treasure Coast has begun deploying Deterra pouches to provide patients and caregivers with a safe, convenient way to properly disposing of prescription pills.

“We are excited to partner with VNA, our mission is to keep our community healthy, safe and substance abuse free,” said Robin Dapp, Chair of Substance Abuse Free Indian River.

Because many people don’t realize flushing medications down the toilet or discarding them with their household trash is harmful to the environment, dangerous substances continue to make their way into the wrong hands, our waterways and landfills. Through an initiative called SAFIR Rx, SAFIR aims to work with community partners, such as the VNA to educate the community on safe storage of medications and proper disposal. Partnering with the VNA enables SAFIR to focus their efforts on Indian River County’s senior population who often have multiple bottles of expired and unused medications.

Part of SAFIR’s outreach efforts include the purchase and distribution of Deterra pouches. According to Deterra’s website, “Each patented Deterra pouch contains a water-soluble inner pod containing proprietary MAT12® activated carbon. Once the drugs are placed in the pouch, warm water is then added, which dissolves the inner pod releasing the activated carbon. Deterra works on pills, patches and liquids, allowing them to be adsorbed by the carbon, rendering them inert and non-retrievable.” Each of the 300 donated pouches can hold up 90 pills, making it possible to prevent 27,000 from ending up in harm’s way.

“As a new member of the SAFIR Coalition, we are proud to provide home healthcare and hospice patients and caregivers with a safe, convenient way to properly dispose of unused and expired medications. SAFIR’s donation of Deterra pouches is a most  appreciated resource for our patient population,” said Kathy Orton, VNA’s Vice President of Clinical Services/Chief Regulatory Officer.

Seniors are especially in need of a resource for proper medication disposal due to their sometimes-limited mobility and frequent changing of medications. Together, VNA and SAFIR are working towards keeping prescription pills out of our landfills and waterways and minimizing the negative effects of what is now considered to be a healthcare crisis of epidemic proportions.

The VNA is a home care agency that offers home health, hospice and private care services throughout Indian River County, making it the only local home care agency able to provide a continuum of care for its patients. For more information about the VNA, visit www.vnatc.com.

About the VNA
The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides home healthcare services—including Medicare-reimbursed and private-duty nursing; home health aides; physical, speech, and occupational therapy; in-home companions; and personal transportation—throughout Indian River County. The agency is also the only licensed hospice provider in Indian River County, offering end-of-life care in patients’ homes, local hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and the VNA Hospice House. The VNA also provides community wellness services such as flu vaccinations, no-cost blood pressure/blood sugar screenings, and speakers on health-related topics for local community groups.

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