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Governor DeWine Forms RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working Group
RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working Group news conference

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, following a new report by the Ohio Department of Health, today announced the formation of the RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working Group to make recommendations on reducing overdose deaths among minority populations. The Ohio Drug Overdose Data: Demographic Summary shows that in 2017, black non-Hispanic males had the highest overdose death rate in Ohio.

“One of the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council’s Initial Report recommendations was to convene a focus group to review the impact of Ohio’s mental illness and addiction services on every Ohio resident, and that’s exactly what we are doing,” said Governor DeWine. “This report reinforces the fact that we need to ensure that we are serving all Ohioans with mental illness and substance use disorder, regardless of their racial, ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic differences.”

“Ohio’s preliminary 2018 data continues to show that African American men have the highest overdose death rate in the state, ” said Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. “Analyzing these types of trends will help state and local initiatives in combatting mental health and substance use disorders and preventing overdoses and overdose deaths by suggesting where new resources could have a greater impact.”

In the coming months, the working group will hear from those impacted by mental health and substance use disorders from across the state, in order to learn about their concerns regarding disparities in prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery supports. The RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working group will then develop solutions to resolve these discrepancies and ensure the state has the tools needed to provide culturally appropriate services to meet the needs of all Ohioans.

The working group is comprised of state and community leaders. Initial members include:

  • Stephen Massey – Citi Lookout and RecoveryOhio Advisory Council, Co-Chair
  • Ronald C. Todd, II – Minority Affairs Liaison, Office of the Governor, Co-Chair
  • Johnnie (Chip) Allen – Ohio Department of Health
  • Director Lilleana Cavanaugh – Latino Affairs Commission
  • Pastor John Coates – Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
  • Richard Confer – Recovery Works
  • John Gregory – National Center for Urban Solutions
  • Ray Jones – The Jones Company of America
  • Dr. Navdeep Kang – Mercy Health Systems and RecoveryOhio Advisory Council
  • Pastor Cornell Lewis – Expanding Visions Ministries
  • Dr. Abdullahi Murbarak – Hartland Therapeutics
  • Director Alisha Nelson – RecoveryOhio Initiative
  • Director Michele Reynolds – Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
  • Shane Satterfield – City of Cincinnati
  • Mike Ward – Cornerstone Project

Members will continue to be added as the group begins their work.

The entire Ohio Department of Health Overdose Data: Demographic Summary report can be accessed on their website at http://odh.ohio.gov