Jason McElyea -- 100 Alumni You Should Know

Jason McElyea

Jason McElyea -- 100 Alumni You Should Know


By Khassandra Hameg

With so much in the news about the opioid epidemic, one USAO graduate was working on solutions long before the headlines. Dr. Jason McElyea, a 2004 USAO graduate, has been leading the fight on opioid dependence in the United States and nationally.

McElyea is a national lecturer on opioid reduction. He is participating in international research on the impact of narcotics on morality in the United Kingdom and was recognized by the State Senate for his work in saving the lives of Oklahomans by reducing the use of opioids.

McElyea is the director of medical education at McAlester Regional Health Center. MRHC has developed a program that is garnishing national attention for reducing the use of addictive medications to treat patients. The hospital reduced the number of opioids by more than 30 percent during the first year of the HOMES (Hospital Opioids Maintenance of Efficacy and Safety) program. The program is being shared with hospitals across the state and nation.

“The hospital has moved away from using any opioids in its emergency department, and is limiting use to surgical and fracture cases only,” McElyea told a community forum in McAlester. “The practice has reduced the number of patients identified as chronic users who came to the emergency room for pain relief only.”

McElyea is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oklahoma State University. Every doctor in the OSU residency program at MRHC work under the direction of McElyea. After he received his degrees in physics, biology and natural science at USAO, McElyea went to medical school at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

McElyea also is on the faculty for the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, an emergency department physician, a hospitalist, the medical director for the McAlester Fire Department and is a guest lecturer at OSU-IMED in 3D printing and software in the medical fields. He was recognized as the youngest director of medical education and program director in family medicine by the American Osteopathic Association.

“At USAO, I was able to expand my knowledge base through the broad scope of interdisciplinary studies. I used that base as a spring board into narrower topics which I explored to the fullest extent via one-on-one classes at the senior levels.

“Sitting in a lab working with Dr. (Frank) Dorman face-to-face on quantum mechanics/optics/electromagnetism was an opportunity undreamed of at any other university. My strong understanding of the more complex components of physics and chemistry really opened the door to my medical career.”

McElyea’s hobbies include infrared interfacing, 3D printing, firearms and running. “I have run several marathons -- the most grueling be the "Dopey Challenge" at Disney World where you run a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon back to back over four days,” he said.

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