Top 25 Innovators
Executive vice president, community and behavioral health,
Velez co-chairs an opioid task force that’s working to both improve care for the patient population and destigmatize drug addiction. She’s put together a multidisciplinary team and uses real-time data to take action. In its first seven months, the task force helped reduce emergency department opioid prescriptions by 42%; 25,380 ED patients and 21,116 inpatient discharges who could have received an opioid prescription did not. Across the system, 46,496 patients were provided alternative treatments in lieu of opioids. More than 6,000 patients with substance use disorder were connected with a peer recovery specialist and 80% of them used those services.