Coordinating a Community Response to the Opioid Epidemic - June 2019
“Coordinating a Community Response to the Opioid Epidemic” was presented on June 18, 2019; by Molly Welch Marahar, MPP; WHI Opioid Project Coordinator, Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation; and Carrie Rheingans, MSW, MPH; WHI Project Manager, Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, and a panel including Marci Scalera, ACSW, LMSW, CAADC, Director of Clinical & SUD Services, Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan; Matt Hill, Program Manager, Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project, Home of New Vision; and Dr. John Hopper, MD, Addiction Medicine Specialist, St. Joseph Mercy Medical Group.
Opioid overdose was described as an “epidemic” by CDC Director Thomas Frieden in 2011. Since then, this epidemic has had a catastrophic impact on families and placed tremendous strain on communities, and our Southeast Michigan community is no exception. What is being done to change this?
The WHI Opioid Project is a cross sector coalition that was formed to address the opioid crisis in Washtenaw County. The Opioid Project has members from the health systems, local substance use agencies, government, schools, law enforcement, academia and the recovering community who come together to collectively design and implement policy changes to stem the tide of opioid overdose. From Red Barrel Events, to Naloxone trainings, to prevention education in schools, the Opioid Project is the touchpoint for initiatives at all levels of public health intervention, from prevention to treatment to harm reduction to policy advocacy. This program will discuss coordinating a community-level response to the opioid epidemic from a public health perspective, and ways for all to get involved.
This program is part of the Dawn Farm Education Series, a FREE, annual education series developed to provide accurate, helpful, hopeful, practical, current information about substance use disorders, recovery, family and related issues. The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services. For information, please see dawnfarm.org/programs/education-series.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
Molly Welch-Marahar, BA, MPP
Molly Welch-Marahar is a Policy Fellowship Program Manager at CHRT. She manages CHRT’s Policy Fellowship and provides analysis of issues and trends in healthcare policy.
Before signing on with CHRT, Molly worked in substance use treatment for four years as both a counselor and a Recovery Support Specialist with Dawn Farm in Ann Arbor, MI. She was also an Omen-Darling Health Policy Fellow with Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco, CA where she supported their advocacy with her scholarship. Molly holds a Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a Bachelors of General Studies also from the University of Michigan.
Carrie Rheingans BS, MPH, MSW
Carrie Rheingans is a Project Manager at the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT, pronounced ‘chart’) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She manages the Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI) and other community implementation activities through the State Innovation Model and the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance. She also serves as a board member for Communities Joined in Action, which is a national membership organization of community coalitions working to improve health in communities across the country. Carrie holds master’s degrees in public health and community social work from the University of Michigan, and received her bachelor of science there as well. She was born and raised in Michigan, and has spent the last seventeen years based in Washtenaw County.