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Campus News

Dr. McNichols to present at RX Summit

Kayla Ayers Mar 29, 2023

Waynesburg University’s Dr. Kelley McNichols, assistant professor of counseling, will co-present a live session at the 2023 RX and Illicit Drug Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, titled, “Intercept Initiatives in Pennsylvania Rural County Jails and Hospitals: Treatment, Recovery, and Warm Handoffs.” The session will take place Thursday, April 13, from 9:45 to 11 a.m.

“To be a part of the Rx Summit is a tremendous honor,” said McNichols. “The conference is by far the most innovative and well-attended conference I have ever had the privilege of being a part of in my career. I have attended the summit since 2019 and look forward to returning each year.”

To be a part of the Rx Summit is a tremendous honor. The conference is by far the most innovative and well-attended conference I have ever had the privilege of being a part of in my career."

Kelley McNichols

The RX Summit addresses topics and strategies related to the opioid crisis for professionals in areas of counseling, education, government, health care, law enforcement and more. Every year, sessions are presented by multi-disciplinary experts from across the nation. Attendees include an array of professionals and stakeholders, including federal, state and county officials.

“Each year I have attended, the president of the United States has either spoken at the event or offered a recorded address,” said McNichols. “In fact, in 2019 I had the privilege of sitting in the same room as former President Donald Trump as he addressed the opioid epidemic. Immediately following his address, former First Lady Melania Trump spoke about her efforts surrounding neonatal abstinence syndrome. This past year, President Joe Biden offered a recorded address.”

For their presentation, McNichols and her co-presenter, Mike Krafick of Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission, will address “intercept initiatives that target the unmet needs of individuals presenting with substance use disorders in rural Pennsylvania.”

“My portion of the presentation will focus specifically on the effective implementation and expansion of FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorders (MOUD) and other evidence-based practices among justice-involved individuals in Armstrong County jail,” explained McNichols. “Mike will be discussing the Addiction Recovery Mobile Outreach Team (ARMOT), which enhances the linkage between rural hospital emergency departments and hospital inpatient units by providing warm handoffs for individuals presenting with substance use disorders.”

By being able to provide evidence-based programming on the issues faced by the opioid crisis, presenters like McNichols can continue spreading awareness in a way that will truly make a difference.

“Change is possible. People can and do recover. We can confidently say that what we are doing is working. By sharing our findings with decision-makers and allied professionals, we can instill hope and combat stigma,” added McNichols.

Master of Arts in Counseling at Waynesburg U.

Waynesburg University offers a 60-credit Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Addictions Counseling. This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP), and was the first CACREP-accredited Addictions Counseling program in Pennsylvania. The Addictions Counseling concentration is also approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) for Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). Through this program, students gain the academic requirements needed for licensure as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).

Certificate in Addictions Counseling at Waynesburg U.

The University also offers a 12-credit Certificate in Addictions Counseling for professionals currently working in addictions counseling or a related field, and professionals with a master's degree in counseling who are seeking certification in addictions counseling. Upon completion, this Certificate counts towards the PCB’s Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or CAADC for individuals with a master’s degree.