VIDEO: Opioid Crisis Top Issue: RNAO CEO

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The head of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is making her way through Essex County.

Association CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun spent Monday night at Bacchus Ristorante on Erie St. in Windsor. Consolidation of public health unit's and the elimination of Local Health Integration Networks are on the way, so Grinspun says she's taking "the pulse" of area nurses.

She says the lack of safe injection sites and addiction services continue to come up in a city that's had two overdose alerts in the past seven days.

Grinspun tells AM800 News addiction is an illness and, "consumption services simply save lives, that's what they do. We wouldn't let someone with a heart attack die in the streets ... you would run to take care of them."

The Windsor Police Service Board has stood fast with its decision not provide naloxone to officers, but that was under former Chief Al Fredrick.

New Windsor Police Chief Pam Mizuno has since said she is open to changing that policy, a move Grinspun says is exciting news.

"It deeply troubles me and that's why I am so hopeful that the new police chief will make a statement that Windsor will move forward with Naloxone," Grinspun added.

Grinspun says the province's restructuring plans are a step in the right direction when it comes to eliminating "hallway medicine" as long as resources are reallocated, not eliminated.

"The solution is not on hospitals, the solution is in the community. We need to beef up community services. Some of it is resources we already have like Care Coordinators that, instead of being in an office in the LHIN [Local Health Integration Network], they need to be in primary care where people need them," she says.

Grinspun will spend Tuesday talking to local nursing students on the job and in the classroom.