PITTSBURGH, PA (March 5, 2021)—The Office of Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh Public Safety and the Office of Community Health and Safety announce the creation of the Opioid Overdose Dashboard, a public tool that will help form and guide policies and programs to more effectively address unsafe opioid use in the City of Pittsburgh.
The dashboard compiles Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS data to map monthly opioid overdose calls and Public Safety’s response. Data will include the number of people who overdose, neighborhood-level mapping, demographic information, and other statistics regarding care provided by on-scene First Responders.
"While this is a data-driven initiative, it's really about using all the resources at the City's disposal into giving our residents a helping hand. That means cross-department coordination, best practices in care and support, and now a Dashboard to help guide our work as effectively as possible," Mayor William Peduto said.
First Responders, to include Pittsburgh EMS, Fire and Police, respond to drug overdoses and have saved many lives through their training and the use of Narcan and CPR, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.
“And they will continue to save lives,” Hissrich said. “But to more effectively address the root of the problem, everyone must join together. Having more data will lead to a better understanding of the issues and, hopefully, actionable solutions.”
In addition to the public dashboard, the Office of Community Health and Safety will issue weekly reports to City staff and partner organizations, including healthcare, public health, and harm reduction organizations, with the goal of coordinating an equitable public health-informed response to the overdose crisis. This data will also provide the Office of Community Health and Safety and its partners with a more complete picture of the impacted neighborhoods, allowing for direct engagement with community leaders who best understand the needs of their neighbors.
“In response to the worsening crisis, the Office of Community Health and Safety is committed to utilizing insights gained from improved data analysis to inform progressive opioid overdose prevention strategies that seek to reduce harm associated with drug use, employ a person-first approach, and address social determinants of health,” said Laura Drogowski, Office of Community Health and Safety Manager.
Within the Office of Community Health and Safety, this work will be led by the Overdose Prevention Program Coordinator in partnership with Pittsburgh EMS and the Allegheny County Health Department’s CDC-funded Overdose Data to Action program, which aims to strengthen local capacity to address overdoses across the county. The City of Pittsburgh is among stakeholders partnering with ACHD through this county-wide program to monitor emerging trends to inform prevention activities that reduce harms associated with substance use.
Mayor Peduto created The Office of Community Health and Safety in June with the goal of redirecting city resources to better meet community needs by housing social services, public health and social work experts who can assist first responders in situations that require longer-term assistance, harm reduction support and other services. For more information on the office, click here.