Seeking Employers to Partner in Addressing Kentucky’s Opioid Crisis

Kentucky businesses are collaborating in a cohort to help combat the opioid epidemic. We invite HR managers, benefits managers, occupational health managers, multi-employer trust fund administrators, or other individuals responsible for their company’s health and/or healthcare to join the KHC in this six-month journey to become partners in fighting our state’s greatest healthcare crisis.


Together, employers will learn from experts and one another how to optimize their healthcare benefits, data analytics, and workplace policies to address the prevention, treatment, and recovery from opioid misuse and disorder, and the diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute and chronic pain.

  • Best Practices | Learn from national experts and peers on benefit design and workplace policies
  • Benchmark Data | Learn the impact of the opioid and pain crisis on your business with custom reports available from the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) and other benchmarks
  • Expert Speakers | Learn more about relevant laws and appropriate care for opioid misuse and pain
  • Expert Tools | Use tools designed specifically for you to fight the opioid epidemic
  • Cohort Portal | Access exclusively for cohort members
  • Member Networking | Collaborate closely with KHC and other employers



The KHC’s Opioids and the Workplace toolkit will serve as the guide. The cohort will dive deeper into how the toolkit’s recommendations can be implemented by national and local employers.

  • IN PERSON-MEETINGS | November 1, 2019, January 17, 2020, February 28, 2020, and April 2020
  • WEBINARS | To supplement the in-person cohort meetings, there will be a series of webinars. Participating employers will determine webinar topics and dates by interest and availability.


Participation in the cohort comes at no cost. Contact Natalie Middaugh, KHC Community Health Program Manager, at to join.

Tackling Opioids in the Workplace

(Note: This guest piece was written by Tiffany Cardwell, Human Resources Consulting Principal, Mountjoy Chilton Medley and Director of Wellness, Louisville Society of Human Resources Management)

Tiffany Cardwell is a member of the KHC’s Worksite Addiction Group.

Opioids in the workplace is a topic that often gives pause for human resource professionals. The pause occurs since there are so many taboos and unknowns surrounding this issue for employers—no matter the size and no matter the industry. For the past year, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with a talented team of experts through the KHC to create a toolkit for employers for supporting opioid prevention, treatment and recovery. Monthly meetings were held to focus on creating a tool for employers and their managers to assist with addressing opioids in the workplace. The toolkit was released last month at a half-day event where area employers explored the toolkit’s application and other relevant topics.

As an HR practitioner, I wasn’t quite sure what I would be able to add to the many experts who were involved with this initiative. What I quickly discovered is that everyone is in a continuous learning process with the subject matter of opioids. Although we had expert clinicians who have been practicing in the field for years, I was able to provide some insights from an HR professional consulting with managers daily who are doing their best to combat this issue. Although I do not have a clinical background, it was great to be able to share how we can create tools that employers will find easy to use and helpful as they address concerns with their direct reports.

Out of all of our discussions, I found it most helpful to become more educated about the definitions surrounding opioids. Using common language to speak with managers and employees provides clarity for this complicated workplace issue. Open communication is also key to successfully tackling opioids in the workplace. The more employees and employers are comfortable discussing this issue with each other, the quicker resolutions can be made to assist the employee to return back to work and effectively assist them through recovery.

If you have not downloaded your copy of the employer toolkit or reviewed it online, I encourage you to do so. Even if you’re not running into this issue now, it is helpful to proactively gain understanding about what you may run into in the future.