State Honors Doctor for Efforts to Fight Abuse

Stethoscope, pills, and money

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines doctor is being honored for his efforts to reduce the abuse of prescription medication.

Iowa Drug Policy Coordinator Steve Lukan will give Dr. Gary Hemann an award Monday for his work at Mercy Medical Center, where he started a program to review prescriptions for pain medications issued during emergencies.

The drug policy office says the program combined Iowa's prescription drug registry with suggested clinical practices to make sure patients received the medication they needed but with less risk of abuse. Hemann also helped make the clinical practices available to all Iowa hospitals.

The drug policy office says prescription drug abuse is Iowa's fastest growing form of substance abuse.

The award ceremony will take at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

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