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Future Of Healthcare Conference: National Physicians Discuss Gun Violence, Opioids In Jacksonville

Duval County Medical Society

The president-elect of the American Medical Association and the president of the Florida Medical Association are opening the 2018 Future of Healthcare Conference Monday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Dr. Barbara McAneny is president-elect of the American Medical Association and will give a keynote address at the conference. She appeared on Monday’s First Coast Connect.

Santa Fe High recently became the site of yet another US school shooting recently.

The AMA’s position on gun safety is that it is a “public health issue,” said McAneny, adding, “We do not look at it as a second amendment issue.”

Related: Listen to the full interview with McAneny on First Coast Connect

But the National Institute of Health can’t fully study the issue of gun violence is due to the Dickey Amendment, which prevents funding research for gun-related violence studies. The AMA opposes that and would like to see it removed so the issue can be studied said McAneny.

Another topic that Dr McAneny talked about was the opioid epidemic. According to McAneny, more people have died from opioid overdoses then have died in the armed forces during war.

Originally, McAneny said, doctors were taught that they were supposed to relieve everyone's pain. “We were ‘bad doctors’ if we didn’t relieves everyone's pain 100%,” she added.

“We have some ownership in the opioid problem because we were told that the drugs were safe and not addictive,” said McAneny.

McAneny believes that Naloxone should be available to give to an overdose victim. She explains that this counter drug is as helpful as CPR is to a heart attack victim.

“We need to look at addiction as a disease and not a moral failing,’ said McAneny.

Dr McAneny’s First Coast Connect interview served as a preview of what she will be discussing during the conference.

The Conference will take place through May 22 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St, and will focus on gun violence, the opioid epidemic, mental health, and obesity/physical fitness.

Dr McAneny assumes her role as president on June 12.

More information about the conference is available on the Duval County Medical Society’s website.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the drug Naloxone. 

Mark Wray is a WJCT News intern for summer 2018.