North Dakota’s First Syringe Exchange Coming to Custer Health

SyringeCuster Health will be conducting a syringe exchange program at its Mandan location in early 2018. The Mandan Good Neighbor Project is the first syringe exchange program in North Dakota. A meeting introducing the project will be held from 2-3 p.m. on December 12 at 403 Burlington Street SE in Mandan, followed by a presentation from Jeremy Kelly, founder of the program in Moorhead, Minn., from 3-4 p.m.

The Good Neighbor Project is a syringe exchange program that prevents the spread of Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) by providing safe disposal of dirty syringes to prevent needle stick injuries and clean syringes to IV drug users. Injectable Naloxone will also be available, along with administration education to prevent overdose death.

“I am excited to announce that Custer Health will be initiating a syringe exchange and supply program early next year,” said Custer Health Director of Nursing Jodie Fetsch. “We hope to decrease the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV.”

Once approved by the Department of Health, the Good Neighbor Project will be available to the public in Morton County on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. These hours will allow nurses to be available for HIV and Hepatitis C testing, potential referrals to substance abuse programs, and would care instruction, among other care instructions. This free program will expand to Mercer County next, followed by Grant and Sioux Counties.