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GPF Foundation Fellows Providing Critical Perspectives on Peer-to-Peer Outreach While Gaining Real-Time Experience in Harm Reduction Practices

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- From educational program development to writing a peer-review article on the diagnosis and treatment of patients in medical emergencies due to the use of adulterated street drugs, GPF Foundation Fellows apply their academic knowledge and compassion to develop and deliver educational presentations for the GPF Foundation (GPFF).

Graduate level fellows are drawn from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, IL. Significantly, a number of Fellows are contributing original scholarly work for a 2022 issue of the medical journal "Disease-a-Month." Edited by Dr. Jerrold B. Leiken, GPF Foundation's 2021 Harm Reduction Award winner, "Disease-a-Month" provides current, practical information to clinicians, with an emphasis on patient evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Nancy and Ross Friedman, two of the Foundation's founders, will write the forward to the article to contextualize GPFF's work by sharing the story of their son, Greg, who passed away during a psychotic break brought on by a one-time use of MDMA (street name Molly or Ecstasy).

The current cohort of GPFF Fellows include:

* Lexie Kessler (fourth year medical student) helped to create a research-based educational presentation on MDMA, adulteration and harm reduction. Recently, she was appointed to the Foundation Board of Directors.

* Alex Woods (fourth year medical student) says "it gives me great pleasure to see how far the Foundation has come from reviewing the literature to forming and revising our educational program, and now validating our program's utility through an [Institutional Review Board] IRB-approved study."

* Hamad Hussein (third year medical student) is part of the cohort working on a comprehensive educational program for high school and college students regarding the associated risks and dangers involved with MDMA and other recreational drug use.

* Dagmara Zajac (a third-year pharmacy student) who "wants to ensure that people are aware of the mechanism of action of street drugs and their adverse side effects."

* Marianne Chirica (seeking a Master of Science in Psychology) was impressed by the Foundation's harm reduction approach because the "more knowledge students have, the better they can make safe and smart choices."

* Taylor Macaulay (doctoral student of Clinical Psychology) was attracted to the Foundation because of her love for working with adolescents and young adults.

* Sam Vincent (doctoral student of Clinical Psychology) joined the Foundation to help educate others about recreational use of MDMA and conduct research on the Foundation's educational effectiveness.

* Alaa Hajeissa (medical student studying psychiatry) is dedicated to helping young people who may feel like they have no one to turn to as they struggle with substance use and other psychological issues.

* Jeremy Foreman (third year medical student) conducted research on chronic pain and opioid use as an undergrad at UCLA. He was drawn to the Foundation's non-judgmental, comprehensive approach to drug education.

* Hamed Shafiuddin (fourth year medical student) has helped his community by providing health education concerning sex and common drugs that allows students to make thoughtful decisions.

* Aayush Boddu (third year medical student) is fascinated with understanding the mechanisms of how recreational drugs affect an individual's biological, social, and psychological functioning.

Above and beyond all their accomplishments and ongoing contributions, especially noteworthy is the fellow's genuine enthusiasm about working collaboratively with the Foundation to save lives. This is evident in their already-expressed interest to continue working with the Foundation beyond the original timeframe of their Fellowship.

Applications for the 2022/2023 cohort are now being accepted. Applicants should go to https://www.gpffoundation.org/contact to request an application.

About The GPF Foundation

The GPF Foundation was founded in 2018 to save lives by supporting education, appropriate treatment and overall awareness of the dangers related to recreational drug use. In pursuit of this mission, GPFF focuses its work in two interrelated areas: 1) Educational Initiatives to mitigate the dangers of playing a modern day version of "Russian Roulette" with street drugs, including peer-to-peer outreach on the risks of MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly), particularly adulteration with other substances, and effective harm reduction strategies; and 2) Medical Initiatives that include development and dissemination of innovative clinical training tools for front line medical providers that address a critical "blind spot" in the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of those experiencing adverse effects of psychostimulant use. Learn more at https://www.gpffoundation.org/.

Related link: https://www.gpffoundation.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

Awards and Honors, Business, Free News Articles

Dr. Jerrold B. Leikin Wins Harm Reduction Award Presented by the GPF Foundation

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- For his work in medical toxicology, public health and medical education, Dr. Jerrold B. Leikin is the most recent winner of the Harm Reduction Award presented by the GPF Foundation (GPFF), a not-for-profit based in Lake Forest, Illinois that is dedicated to saving lives through awareness about the dangers and risks of recreational drugs.

The award was presented by Michael G. Nerheim, former States Attorney for Lake County (IL) and the 2020 recipient of the GPFF Harm Reduction Award. This month the Illinois Supreme Court appointed him to be a judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit, Second Subcircuit.

In presenting the award, Nerheim said of Dr. Leikin: "Your passion for preventative medicine and education allows people who may find themselves endangered from recreational drugs to avoid harm and helps guide medical professionals in providing critical diagnoses and treatment."

"We know our efforts can only realize their full potential when people can put awareness into action," Nerheim said. "Jerry, you have accomplished this."

Currently, Dr. Leikin is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science in North Chicago, IL, and Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Service of UI Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Senior Clinical Educator at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

In 1980, he received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School followed by a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Evanston Hospital with Northwestern University and a three-year preceptorship/fellowship training in Medical Toxicology at Cook County Hospital and University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Leikin is currently Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology and Addiction Medicine.

He has presented more than 200 research abstracts at national meetings (primarily to the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology) and published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals along with 80+ book chapters. He has also been an editor in 10 book publications and served on the Illinois State Board of Health from 2016 through 2019.

In accepting his award, Dr. Leikin said that he looks forward to the day "when we and the Illinois Poison Center and medical toxicology are literally put out of business. I hope that day comes soon."

Dr. Leikin is the senior editor for the monthly primary care journal, "Disease-A-Month" published by Elsevier. Later this year a cohort of GPFF Fellows will contribute original scholarly work for publication by "Disease-A-Month." The article's forward will be written by Nancy and Ross Friedman (GPFF Treasurer and President, respectively) to contextualize the foundation's work for thousands of medical professionals who subscribe to the journal.

About The GPF Foundation

The GPF Foundation was founded in 2018 to save lives by supporting education, appropriate treatment and overall awareness of the dangers related to recreational drug use. In pursuit of this mission, GPFF focuses its work in two interrelated areas: 1) Educational Initiatives to mitigate the dangers of playing a modern day version of "Russian Roulette" with street drugs, including peer-to-peer outreach on the risks of MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly), particularly adulteration with other substances, and effective harm reduction strategies; and 2) Medical Initiatives that include development and dissemination of innovative clinical training tools for front line medical providers that address a critical "blind spot" in the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of those experiencing adverse effects of psychostimulant use.

Learn more at https://www.gpffoundation.org/.

Related link: https://www.gpffoundation.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.