(LOUISVILLE, Ky - September 23, 2019) Teresa Koeller, M.D., has been named a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky for her work in building a comprehensive treatment and recovery model for persons with substance use disorder in Northern Kentucky.
Robert Pritchard, Jr., M.D., president and CEO of St. Elizabeth Physicians, who endorsed Dr. Koeller for the award, said: "Every day, under her guidance, patients...have access to a realm of recovery options and not just through medication assisted treatment, but through self-humanization skills re-establishment. Her programming combines the very best practices of medicine and therapy."
The community integration model that Dr. Koeller helped develop, and which brings together medicine, therapy and social agencies to support patients as community partners, has "spawned several treatment options ranging from care of pregnant mothers to inmates," said Dan Cole, Vice President of Medical Specialties at St. Elizabeth Physicians.
Dr. Koeller championed the development and implementation of an inpatient recovery treatment program for hospitalized patients suffering complications from injection drug use and was instrumental in the development of inpatient services for pregnant women with opioid use disorder seeking initiation onto medication assisted treatment. Dr. Koeller also helped develop a program at the St. Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Department to provide the earliest possible drug treatment and substance use referral.
"The emergency department is often the best and most effective point of referral, or else a lost opportunity for help," said Patrick Withrow, M.D., a member of the Foundation's Community Advisory Council, who nominated Dr. Koeller. "She deserves this recognition for her significant innovations and approach in treating the disease of substance use disorder."
Dr. Koeller is now eligible for the Gil Friedell Healthy Policy Champion award, which comes with a $5,000 grant from the Foundation to a Kentucky-based nonprofit of the winner's choice. That winner of that award will be announced today at the Foundation's Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum in Lexington. Nominations for the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion Award are accepted at any time. See details on the Foundation's website.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $27 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth