Efforts on Opioid Epidemic, Human Trafficking Propel Penn State Abington Professor to Health Hero of the Year

Glenn Sterner
Image via Alejandro A. Alvarez at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Penn State Abington Associate Professor Glenn Sterner.

Glenn Sterner, an associate professor of criminal justice at Penn State Abington, was named Rural Health Hero of the Year for 2022 by Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, writes Jason Nark for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sterner was recognized for his work on the opioid epidemic in rural areas, human trafficking, and other issues throughout the Commonwealth.

In recent years, some rural counties in the Keystone State have had higher overdose rates per capita than Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, which is considered to be an opioid epicenter.

“It’s a little bit more hidden,” said Sterner. “In rural places, your neighbor down the road, a mile away, might be dealing with this and you don’t know.”

Through the Criminal Justice Research Center, Sterner is helping local counties, law enforcement agencies, and school districts get the maximum out of their share of the $1 billion opioid settlement funding Pennsylvania is set to receive for drug treatment and prevention programs.

“Rural places continue to have issues associated with access to treatment, but I am happy that Pennsylvania is seeing that as something we need to take on,” said Sterner.

Read more about Glenn Sterner in The Philadelphia Inquirer.


This 2019 presentation by Dr. Glenn Sterner is an extremely comprehensive look at the current opioid healthcare crisis.

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