The On-Liner

August 2009 Edition


In this issue:

Read the latest President's Message

Welcome New NC EAPA Members

A warm welcome goes out to our newest NC EAPA members. They are: Sharlene Wingate from First Sun EAP in Columbia, SC and Barbara Hester from Choices SA/MH Inc in Greenville, NC. We're so glad to have you as part of our NC EAPA family!!

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Congrats to the New CEAP's and LEAP's!!

Way to go to Jessica Kasinoff, Liz Danielian and Rachel Kaufman of Value Options for recently passing their CEAP exam!! Cathy Savisky recently renewed her CEAP as well. I am also happy to report that we have four new LEAP's since the May edition of the On-Liner. They are: Andy Silberman and Julie Ingram of Personal Assistance Service at Duke University; Steve Terranova from the Family Service of the Piedmont, Inc. and Sharon Michaels from Randolph EAP. Congratulations!! If you are a new CEAP or LEAP please let me know so I can recognize you in the next On-Liner!

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And the winner is...

Congrats to the following NC EAPA members who won awards at the 2009 NC EAPA May Training:

Nancy Terry -- Paid registration to all NC EAPA workshops for one (1) year (three consecutive workshops only; does not include March Conference)

Casey Powers -- One year NC EAPA membership ($40 value)

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2010 March Conference Update

I am proud to be the Chairperson for the 2010 NC EAPA March Conference and am thrilled to have the team in place that has already started to work on developing the Conference. The conference dates are set for Wednesday, March 17- Friday March 19, 2010. More exciting news, we will be at a new and awesome location. We will return to a spot that most of you know well (Hyatt SouthPark), though now it has a different name: Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel.

This year's Conference Committee:

John Waller, Conference Chairperson
Renee' Evans, Conference Vice-Chair
Jay Hale, NC EAPA President
David Hamby, NC EAPA Vice President
Dawn Klug, Treasurer
Martha Ausman
Eileen Hodiak
Jessica Kasinoff
Margaret Larrea
Karen Molli
Terry Newsom
Andy Silberman

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September 2009 NC EAPA Chapter Training

NC EAPA is proud to provide another excellent training opportunity on September 17, 2009 at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Research Triangle Park, NC. This training will be about the response to the Virginia Tech shootings. It is titled Virginia Tech: Building Capacity to Support Faculty and Staff Resilience. Here is some information about the presenters:

Pat Burton, MSW — Virginia Tech
As the Employee Relations manager at Virginia Tech, Pat Burton is the liaison between Virginia Tech and ValueOptions. Prior to her employment at Virginia Tech in 2005, Ms. Burton was a licensed clinician in agency and private practice, an agency administrator and an adjunct faculty member at the community college level. Ms. Burton's clinical background proved invaluable as Virginia Tech worked with ValueOptions to respond to faculty and staff needs in the aftermath of the events of 4/16/07.

Jeff Gorter, MSW, CAC — Crisis Care Network
Jeff Gorter, MSW, is the EAP Account Executive for Crisis Care Network. Mr. Gorter brings over 20 years of clinical experience including consultation and extensive on-site critical incident response to businesses and communities. He has responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf region, and the Virginia Tech shootings, along with numerous local events. He has conducted trainings and presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference (2006), the World Conference on Disaster Management (2007), the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Meeting (2007) and at state and national levels on a variety of topics, including critical incident response nationwide. Mr. Gorter completed his Masters degree in social work at Western Michigan University where he currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the MSW program.

Rich Paul, MSW, CEAP — ValueOptions
Rich Paul serves as Vice President of Health and Performance Solutions within the commercial division of ValueOptions. Mr. Paul has oversight and development responsibilities over EAP and all employer services and is responsible for the implementation of company-wide EAP best practice initiatives. Mr. Paul is past-President and current Board member of the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) and has authored dozens of articles on a variety of issues that impact upon productivity and organizational performance. He is also co-editor of the book titled Workplace Disaster: Preparedness, Response and Management.

Be sure to go on-line and print and send in your registration or complete it on-line.

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Thanks to Ray Robbins who forwarded these three articles for our reading pleasure:

MedPage Today
Drink Held Responsible for 4% of World Deaths

By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
Published: June 26, 2009
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner

Action Points

~~Explain to interested patients that light to moderate alcohol drinking can reduce risks from some chronic diseases, but heavy drinking has a wide range of serious detrimental effects.

~~Explain that, according to this study, the harms associated with alcohol vastly outweigh the benefits both globally and in the U.S.

WHEELING, W.Va., June 26 -- Although moderate drinking may help protect against some chronic diseases, alcohol's net effect on health is profoundly negative around the world, researchers said.

Drawing on dozens of studies of alcohol's relationship to early death and disability -- negative and positive -- Juergen Rehm, PhD, of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and colleagues calculated that 3.8% of global mortality can be attributed to drinking.

In 2004, alcohol cost the world nearly 71 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) -- years of life lost to premature death or lived with disability, the researchers reported in the June 27 issue of The Lancet.

That was 4.6% of the global total of 1.53 billion DALYs lost to war, disease, malnutrition, accidents, and other causes of premature death and disability, Dr. Rehm and colleagues found.

"Overall, our analysis shows that alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for burden of disease," they wrote.

"Alcohol is linked to many disease categories, but alcohol-use disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis, and injury are the most important disease categories causally affected by alcohol."

Light to moderate drinking may have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease, they said, "but this benefit is restricted to older people only."

Moreover, such benefits are swamped by the negative effects of heavy drinking, which often affect younger people who have more DALYs to lose.

The researchers added that the worst effects seem to be in developing countries.

Dr. Rehm and colleagues combined several types of data for their analysis.

These included World Health Organization and national-level surveys on alcohol consumption patterns; WHO data on national prevalence of alcohol-related diseases and injury causes; more than three dozen studies of alcoholism prevalence in various regions; and modeling to estimate the degree of alcohol's contribution to morbidity and mortality from more than a hundred diseases.

The alcohol consumption data showed wide regional variation -- ranging from the equivalent of 11.9 L of pure ethanol annually per adult in Europe to 0.7 L in the eastern Mediterranean region.

However, the researchers pointed out, the majority of the world's population never touches the stuff -- 45% of men and 66% of women worldwide were reported as abstainers.

The analysis also showed that for much of the world, the beneficial effects of alcohol are essentially irrelevant because of drinking habits, demographics, and lower prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Thus, Dr. Rehm and colleagues calculated, such nations as Brazil, China, India, and Nigeria gained zero DALYs in 2004 because of light-to-moderate drinking.

The U.S. population gained 450,000 DALYs from alcohol's beneficial effects, the researchers found.

But that was against more than 3.5 million DALYs lost due to drinking's contributions to cancer, mental illness, liver cirrhosis, accidents, and assaults.

Dr. Rehm and colleagues also calculated that drinking has a detrimental economic effect.

In the U.S., they estimated a total impact of $234 billion, about 13% of which were direct healthcare costs.

Productivity losses were the largest cost category, totaling $170 billion.

The researchers said costs associated with drinking accounted for 2.7% of U.S. gross domestic product.

The effect on GDP varied widely elsewhere, even among developed countries. In Canada, for example the total impact was 1.4% of GDP, mainly because losses to productivity were proportionately much smaller than in the U.S.

"We face a large and increasing alcohol-attributable burden at a time when we know more than ever about which strategies can effectively and cost-effectively control alcohol-related harms," the researchers said.

In an accompanying, unsigned commentary, The Lancet's editors called drinking "one of the most pressing public health problems in the world."

They said such measures as high taxation, strict enforcement of drunk-driving laws, limiting alcohol availability, banning advertising, and providing help for hazardous drinking are known to reduce the harm associated with alcohol.

Even brief advice from physicians can have an impact on problem drinking, they said.

The research on which the analysis was based was supported by the WHO and the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. The actual analysis had no external funding.

Study authors and editorialists reported no potential conflicts of interest.

Primary source: The Lancet Source reference: Rehm J, et al "Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders" Lancet 2009; 373: 2223-33.

The Gazette -- Colorado Springs
Medical professionals not immune to addiction

July 6, 2009 - 7:04 PM


Kristen Diane Parker was apparently willing to do almost anything to get her hands on fentanyl, a potent painkiller used in surgery.

Addiction experts say her story, while extreme, is not the only one of addiction in the medical profession. Throughout the U.S., doctors, nurses and other health care workers have put patients at risk and ruined careers over addictions to fentanyl and other drugs.

Although there might be a presumption that health care professionals know more than to dabble with drugs, rates of addiction are roughly equal to the rest of the population, experts say. And in some ways, medical workers may find themselves in settings that make addictions easier to feed and harder to notice. Some drugs popular among doctors are seldom seen on the streets.

Fentanyl, in particular, is a drug of choice among anesthesiologists and others in the operating room. It is an especially potent opiate, and addiction comes swiftly. Doctors have been caught stealing the narcotic after observant staff members noticed that some patients were in a lot of pain even though they were supposed to be on strong medication, said Dr. Marvin Seppala, a psychiatrist and addiction specialist. He is the chief medical officer for the Minnesota-based Hazelden Foundation, one of the country's oldest treatment centers.

Some of the drugs have low thresholds for error, leading to overdoses and deaths.

"We find anesthesiologists dead in call rooms annually," he said. Call rooms are places for doctors to sleep while on call in hospitals.

Dr. Jason Giles, a California anesthesiologist, tried fentanyl as a resident, partly out of curiosity. He soon found it to be his escape from the pressures and insecurities he felt as a new physician. "If there's such a thing as the crack of opiates, that's it. There's nothing more intense or addicting than that," he said.

He considers himself one of the lucky ones. After he was questioned about some record-keeping irregularities in the pharmacy, he confessed his problem and was enrolled in a treatment program for physicians.

Today, he runs his own treatment center and lectures to doctors and residents about drug addiction.

Deadliest day for suicides: Wednesday
People are far more likely to kill themselves in the middle of the week than in the beginning, according to a new study that shows almost 25 percent of suicides occur on Wednesdays.

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Member Spotlight!

Welcome to the 4th edition of this new On-Liner feature. It is a chance for everyone to get to know another NC EAPA member a little better. Every edition will spotlight a different NC EAPA member who will answer various questions. I have chosen Dawn Klug for this edition, the wonderfully dedicated NC EAPA Treasurer and extremely valuable and intelligent Board member and March Conference Committee member:

  1. How long have you been involved with NC EAPA? It has been about 8 years now.
  2. What is your current position? I am serving my second term as NC EAPA Treasurer.
  3. What are your hobbies/interests? Gardening, and I am on a bowling league in the fall and winter. I also volunteer with my church and several local non profit organizations.
  4. What is your favorite spectator sport? Hmm...probably football — mostly college.
  5. What team(s) do you like in that sport? I am an FSU alumni so the Seminoles are without a doubt may favorite...even when they aren't doing well.
  6. What is your favorite movie(s)? When Harry Meet Sally is my all time favorite movie — but I also love the Harry Potter movies.
  7. Who is your favorite actor(s)? No clue.
  8. What is your favorite place to vacation? I can't say I have a favorite local — but I love to vacation and explore new places.


  1. Meat or Veggies (trick question)? Definitely veggie — I have been meat free for 6 years.
  2. Duke or North Carolina? FSU
  3. Clean house or yard work? Yard work
  4. Take lunch (work) or go out? I do both but I'd much rather eat out...
  5. TV or Book? Book!

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Listserve Reminder

If you are a member of NC EAPA and are not yet on the listserve, or you have changed your e-mail address recently, send your e-mail address to Andy Silberman at: .

If you are a chapter member and wish to send a message to the listserve, just address the message to: (that's a small "L" after the hyphen).

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You can be a part of the On-Liner!!

Just a friendly reminder that anyone can submit updates, articles, book reviews, pictures, etc. for the On-Liner. You can send information anytime and I'll make sure that it gets in the next edition!!

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The title of the AM presentation-great facility!

Sherrill Hayes, PhD was our Conflict Resolution presenter

Always nice to catch up at break time

Our fearless leader Jay Hale

Afternoon speaker Betsy Dawson, MA gave insight on Journaling

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