Originally Published: May 23, 2013 9:44 p.m.
In 2010, Dr. Leon Cattolico joined MATForce, an organization that exists to build healthier communities by striving to eliminate substance abuse and its effects. Cattolico has focused on reducing the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Yavapai County and, as a volunteer, a physician and former pharmacist, he has brought a unique perspective to the problem.
During his career, he witnessed the devastation from misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications and knows the challenges prescribers face. Now retired, Cattolico has devoted himself to this effort full-time and has spent hundreds of hours creating and implementing solutions.
He used a one-on-one approach, tirelessly talking with physicians, corporate pharmacies, local pharmacists, the business community, the Veterans Administration, administrators at area hospitals, media and state leaders, seeking methods to limit diversion of prescription pills or abuse. He assisted in developing new protocols that are being implemented both locally and statewide. Cattolico's passionate leadership has led to real solutions and has reduced youth prescription drug abuse.
He was recognized by Governor Jan Brewer at the 12th annual Governor's Volunteer Service Awards recently at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa.