SAC’s Romanoff Joins Innovative Statewide Program to Combat Abuse of Prescription Pain Medications
Mark Romanoff, MD, of Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants and Southeast Pain Care in Charlotte, has been appointed a regional coordinator and mentor for Project Lazarus, an innovative statewide initiative to help combat the misuse and abuse of prescription medications used for pain management.
As usage of highly addictive narcotics and other opioid medications for pain management has risen 160% over the past decade, unintentional deaths from the drugs in North Carolina has reached “epidemic proportions” according to the state’s Division of Public Health. In 2011, more than 1,100 residents died from misusing prescription pain medications – roughly the same number as those who died in motor vehicle accidents on North Carolina roadways.
Project Lazarus is a non-profit program that helps communities, led by their primary care physicians and pain specialists, to develop and implement strategic action plans and resources to address the problem. It is modeled on successful interventional and integrated care pilot in Wilkes County that began in 2008 and reduced the unintentional overdose deaths in the county by 69% from 2009-2011.
In his role with Project Lazarus, Romanoff will train and mentor medical professionals, consult on pain management cases and assist with public education and community outreach.
He is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management and has practiced at SAC for 20 years. Romanoff earned his medical degree at University of Connecticut School of Medicine and did his residency in anesthesiology and Fellowship training in cardiovascular anesthesiology and pain management at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University.
He also is a founding member of the Advisory Board for the North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting Service, which tracks the more than 19 million controlled substance prescriptions made annually to help prevent abuse.