Effort by St. Joseph’s Health to Cut Opioid Proposed as National Model


WASHINGTON, D.C.- Touting the success of the Alternatives to Opiates (ALTO) program, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) announced the introduction of legislation to provide hospitals across the country additional resources to fight opioid addiction. 

Under the legislation, St. Joseph Medical Center’s ALTO program, which has led to a 60 percent decrease in emergency department opioid prescriptions in the first year, would become a national model.

According to a joint statement released by a bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives and the US Senate, over 100 people die each day from opioid overdose. 40 percent of these deaths, the reports reads, involved a prescribed opioid. 

Sign Up for E-News

“I believe this will be a critical step in fighting the opioid scourge that is devastating communities across my district and the nation,” said Pascrell. “Pioneered at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in my hometown, their approach has shown dramatic results in keeping unnecessary opioids out of patients’ hands. Our legislation would take the St. Joe’s ALTO model nationwide, providing emergency rooms across the country with a blueprint for preventing countless overdoses from happening in the first place.”

Saying that the short-term nature of the care they provide makes them “susceptible to doctor-shopping,” a term used to describe the practice of obtaining multiple prescriptions from various providers, the statement reads that emergency rooms are “well positioned to be laboratories of new innovations and procedures to combat the crisis.”

“Our nation’s opioid epidemic continues to cause extraordinary pain and suffering, and is tearing families and communities apart,” said Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). “To combat this public health crisis we need to invest in promising, innovative models. Our bipartisan bill, built on the success of a program in New Jersey, would not only help prevent addiction by reducing the number of opioid prescriptions written in emergency rooms, but it would also help us better understand safe and effective alternatives to prescribing opioids.”   

In addition to establishing the ALTO model as a national framework for cutting the use of opioids, the legislation would also provide grant funding to hospitals to build the program and require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report to Congress on the results of the program and issue recommendations for broader implementation.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, June 18, 6:30 PM

First Bethel AME Church, Paterson

Marijuana Legalization: The Just Side of the ...

Law & Justice


Tue, June 19, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza


Tue, June 26, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Your Mental Health Deserves a Tune Up

June 8, 2018

Dear Editor:

For a long time mental illness has been "masked" with drug, alcohol, sex, and others.

The climbing rate of the act of suicide, including one in our very own backyard earlier this week, shows that we have to fight harder and collectively in reducing the stigma.


Sharrieff Bugg

Stigma Free Paterson

Growing in Grace Counseling Group

Pascrell, Nadler, Congressional Colleagues Make Surprise Visit to ICE Detention Center to See Separated Families, Jail Conditions

June 18, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – This morning, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) arrived at the ICE Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Father’s Day morning and demanded to see the parents of families ...

New Jersey Blood Services Declares Blood Emergency

New Jersey Blood Services/New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply for hospitals throughout the area.


In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 15, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Bloomfield Parents Protest Board of Education Decision to add Armed Guards to All Public Schools

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Emotions ran high prior to and during tonight’s Board of Education meeting at Bloomfield High School.

Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, about 25 parents protested outside of the main entrance with signs expressing their disapproval of the placing of armed guards in all district schools.  Several parents had megaphones, while many drivers passing by on ...

Senator Pou’s Statement on Hurricane Maria Evacuee Session

June 9, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Senator Nellie Pou (D-Paterson) released the following statement regarding the Hurricane Maria Evacuee session to be held on Monday, June 11, in Paterson:


I am happy that we are able to bring these types of informational sessions to the residents of Paterson and surrounding areas to ensure that Hurricane Maria evacuees are made aware of the programs available to them ...