Larry Greenblatt, MD, professor of medicine (General Internal Medicine) and community and family medicine, Medical Director of Northern Piedmont Community Care, and part of the Population Health Management Office, is Duke Today's Blue Devil of the Week. Read an excerpt below. Click here for the full article on Duke Today.
Years at Duke: 23
What he does: Greenblatt treats patients in his role as a provider of general internal medicine at Duke Outpatient Clinic and teaches students and residents as a professor in the Department of Medicine. That allows Greenblatt to see the health care system from many sides.
It was through this lens that he was able to be among the first wave of voices at Duke to raise alarm about the growing problem of opioid overdoses.
He was already aware of the drugs’ dangers, but when he saw worrying opioid-related trends among the patients managed by Northern Piedmont Community Care he knew it was time to act.
So in 2013, Greenblatt helped create Duke’s Opioid Safety Task Force. The task force, which included doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals, worked on setting up policies and procedures that could help stem the tide of opioid addiction. Among its accomplishments: Writing an opioid policy for Duke Health System’s outpatient clinics, creating educational materials for patients and providers, and crafting a pain management agreement that providers and patients can use to ensure each side is aware of expectations as well as the risks opioids pose.
After the task force was sunset in 2016, Greenblatt helped create Duke’s Opioid Safety Committee. The committee, of which Greenblatt was a member, aims to implement many of the task force’s initiatives, tackle new problems and work with partners both at Duke and beyond to find new ways to try to stem the tide of opioid overdose deaths and addiction.
In addition to his work with Duke, Greenblatt is also a member of the Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee, which is part of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services. The group works on developing and implementing relevant health policy and collaborates with statewide stakeholders and local healthcare providers.
“The opioid problem is complicated, it’s sticky and it really requires a multi-faceted approach, there is no one fix, absolutely not,” Greenblatt said.
What he loves about Duke: “What I love about Duke is the people. There are so many talented, dedicated, energetic people and I feel like they’re a great resource for creativity and tackling difficult problems.”
Memorable day at work: Last year, the Duke Outpatient Clinic, where Greenblatt practices, won Duke University Hospital’s “It Takes a Team” award for their cohesiveness and ability to effectively collaborate.
It’s the second time in recent years the clinic has taken home the honor.
“It’s like the Stanley Cup, you get your name on there,” Greenblatt said. “I’m proud of that because we have a great team at our clinic.”