St. Joseph's Announces Innovative ALTO Program

CCB Exterior 02St. Joseph’s Health has officially announced ALTOSM, Alternatives to Opiates Program, which opened the Legislative Summit hosted by St. Joseph’s University Medical Center.

The first program of its kind in the United States, ALTOSM is led by Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Medical Director for Population Health at St. Joseph’s Health and spearheaded by Dr. Alexis LaPietra, Medical Director of Pain Management in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center. The ingenuity of these thought-leaders to stem the use of opiates whenever possible in our Emergency Department, led National, State and Local Legislators and leaders in Behavioral Health, Law Enforcement and the healthcare industry to St. Joseph’s in praise of this program and our organization.

The ALTOSM Program was launched in the ED in early January 2016, with 300+ patients treated with alternative protocols since then, patients who did not receive opioids when they previously would have been treated with opioids. The ALTOSM Program uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible, for example, in cases of kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain. 

A model for other hospitals and healthcare providers nationwide, the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s - the busiest ED in New Jersey with more 158,000 patient visits in 2015 - is an innovator in Emergency Medicine, having established such programs as the first Geriatric Emergency Department in the US, the first ED-based Palliative Care Program (Life Sustaining Management and Alternatives) in the US, and now, the ALTOSM program.

The Summit was attended by nearly 200 people, including Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., Senator Ray Lesniak, NJ State Department of Health Acting Commissioner Cathleen Bennett, President of the American Osteopathic Association Dr. John Becher, President of the NJ Hospital Association Betsy Ryan, and other Federal, State and Local leaders.

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