Opioid Prescribing Group

About Us

The Opioid Prescribers Group (OPG), a diverse group of 70 health care professionals from Jackson and Josephine Counties, was formed in response to the growing number of prescription opioid overdose deaths in our community. The majority of those deaths were related to the misuse of medications written by local providers.  The participants in the OPG recognized the critical nature of the problems regarding opiate-related morbidity and mortality in the impact on our community, and wanted to be part of the solution.

The OPG has met monthly since 2011.  The group was formed in order to engage healthcare professionals and community partners in understanding the nature of the current opioid problem, learning about best practices around the management of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) and to help bring them into standardized, general use in Southern Oregon.

The OPG was envisioned by Dr. Jim Shames who, as Medical Director of Jackson County Health and Human Services, saw firsthand the devastating effects of opioid abuse in southern Oregon.  He recognized the need to get the community to embrace the issue, and develop their own set of strategies for coping with this public health emergency. He had the foresight, experience and persistence to form the Opioid Prescribers Group, which continues under his leadership today.

 In addition to the main OPG, an 8 member break-out work group “Steering Committee” was formed which manages program implementation.

The OPG has created a Guideline document with a new community standard for chronic pain management and opioid prescribing.  The Guidelines bring together best practices from the medical literature, recommendations from Washington State’s Agency Medical Directors’ Group and the combined expertise of the participants in the OPG.

Key Contributors

Many different organizations have been involved with the OPG.  These entities have generously provided staff time, “systems help”, CME credits and many years of collective practice experience.

  • Providence Hospital System and Primary Care Clinics
  • Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and Asante Physician Partners
  • Rogue Valley Physicians
  • Creekside Family Practice
  • Medford Medical Clinic
  • Jefferson Regional Health Alliance
  • Grants Pass Clinic
  • Asante Continuing Medical Education
  • Community members who have come to the OPG meetings with real stories (or those of loved ones) of living with pain and how it has impacted their lives.


The Opioids Prescribers Group of Southern Oregon mission is to improve the quality of life in our community through the understanding, evaluation and application of best practices for the treatment of complex chronic pain.

The goal of OPG is to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with the inappropriate use of opiates AND with the hope of shifting the focus to non-opiate treatments for complex chronic pain so that patients experience an overall improvement in well being.

Opioid Prescribers Meeting

The Opioid Prescribers Group meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 6pm-8 pm at the Smullin Center at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. Options exist for participating providers to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for participation in the OPG monthly meetings, based on a Performance Improvement (PI CME) format.

Smullin Health Education Center

2825 E. Barnett Rd.
Medford, OR 97504

(541) 789 4148


Participating providers can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for participation in the OPG monthly meetings, based on a Performance Improvement (PI CME) format. There are four sequential stages of this process:

  1. Explore the given clinical problem,
  2. choose interventions or changes to address the problem,
  3. put those into action, and
  4. come back and review what has been done and what work remains.

Participants can earn 20 credits, 5 for each of the stages.  Group interactions (and sometimes subcommittee work) are central.