Utah continues to be among the top 20 states in the country that suffers from high levels of opioid overdose. While many are aware of this epidemic, there are few who act. But Katie Barber is not one to just stand by.
Barber, a health society and policy and communication student at the U, works with Utah Naloxone to put together thousands of kits to help battle drug overdose. She partnered with the Bennion Center to help train volunteers on spotting overdose and to open a dialogue about overdose, all while building these life-saving kits. She is especially passionate about connecting with community members one-on-one, especially those in athletics, as that demographic tends to be at higher risk than most.
“Giving volunteers the power to intervene to save lives — that’s invaluable,” Barber said.
Barber works with Jennifer Plum, MD, MPH, and Jake Zimmerli, who is graduating in August 2019 with his MBA, to make the “simple and huge impact in putting together a kit.” Barber used to work as a pharmacy technician, but left, partly because she didn’t like the growing opioid epidemic-related trends to which her work inevitably contributed. She began to surround herself with people who wanted to make a change and continues to stay motivated to improve because of these people — students and professionals alike.
Visit utahnaloxone.org to learn more.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2019 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.