Local Pharmaceutical Expert to Address Worcester’s Opiate Crisis at Assumption’s Annual Business Ethics Lecture

Jan 09, 2019

According to the Massachusetts Chapter 55 report, the “opioid-related death rate in Massachusetts has surpassed the national average, with an especially sharp rise in the last two years.” This exponential increase in opioid-related deaths and issues has created alarm across the state and in Worcester CountyOn Wednesday, October 18, Assumption will welcome Joseph Sawicki, PharmD, RPh, lead clinical pharmacy coordinator at Worcester’s Saint Vincent Hospital, who will discuss, in detail, Worcester’s opiate crisis and the ethical difficulties faced by caregivers, managers and providers in a healthcare setting. Sawicki’s talk, titled “Making Sense of Complex Patient Care Issues,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. in La Maison Auditorium on the Assumption Campus, 500 Salisbury St. in Worcester.

During his presentation, Sawicki, who has been a member of the Worcester DA Opiate Task Force since 2015, will offer an ethical approach to the opioid crisis and patient care. According to Sawicki, caring for patients has become more complex and challenging in the last decade as the opioid crisis is ravaging the community. Healthcare providers must deliver high-quality care to patients, while balancing patient and staff safety, patient preference, as well as federal, state and municipal laws. 

Assumption now offers a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management, providing the essential business administration knowledge and skills required for today’s healthcare managers. Through this new program, which was developed with the help of health care experts, students acquire an in-depth understanding of healthcare systems and the people they serve, developing graduates who are well prepared to lead within the complex modern healthcare industry. The program was created out of the growing demand in the health care field for well-rounded, business-minded professionals. 

Sawicki has served as the Lead Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator at Saint Vincent’s Hospital since 2012. He has extensive knowledge of pharmacology and has given many medical presentations across the United States. He has also served as a preceptor for pharmacy students since 1994. Prior to his current position at Saint Vincent Hospital, Sawicki was a seasoned pharmacist. He began his career at Deaconess Home Healthcare as an infusion pharmacist and worked his way up to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester before ultimately joining Saint Vincent’s in 2008. In 2016, Sawicki won the Saint Vincent Hospital Pillar Award for Quality through his dedication to service. He was also inducted into the Rho Chi Society in 2009 due to his contributions made in the study of pharmacy.

Sawicki received his Bachelor of Pharmacy (1990) and Doctor of Pharmacy (2010) from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The annual Business Ethics lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Assumption’s MBA program.