Mayor Gavin Buckley
Public Information Office
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland “Stop Overdose Strategy” Town Hall Series’
Next Meeting: Pip Moyer Rec Center, Tuesday, Dec. 21
Annapolis, MD (December 17, 2021) – Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and Robin Rickard, executive director of Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC), will speak at a regional town hall meeting for the Maryland Stop Overdose Strategy to be held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis. The meeting will also feature a presentation by Dr. Jinlene Chan, deputy secretary for the Public Health Services Administration of the Maryland Department of Health. The meeting is open to the public.
At the town hall, participants will share their experiences of how the opioid crisis and overdose crisis has impacted lives and communities. Town hall attendees are encouraged to share their thoughts about approaches at the local level that can help combat the opioid crisis and save lives.
The town hall will also feature presentations from the Opioid Operational Command Center and representatives from the Maryland Department of Health. There will be a discussion for the possible uses for funds received from legal settlements with prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors. People who are interested can register to attend through the Maryland SOS event page.
“While each area of the state has its own specific needs, what we have heard the most through our town halls is that people still need help,” said OOCC Executive Director Robin Rickard. “No area of the state has been spared from the opioid crisis, and it is critically important that we consider the voices of all Maryland communities as we move forward.”
So far this year, the City of Annapolis has had 126 overdoses with 15 fatalities, a number that is down from the 198 overdoses and 27 fatal overdoses in calendar year 2020.
“It’s important for us to hear from Annapolis residents,” Mayor Buckley said. “Policymakers have a role to play in determining how these funds will be spent, but in order to get the formula right, we have to hear from the public. I encourage people to attend and participate in this forum.”
State officials intend to use public feedback from the Maryland SOS Town Hall Series to help guide how Maryland will use prescription opioid settlement funds awarded to the Opioid Restitution Fund (ORF). Established in 2019, the ORF requires that funding from ligation and legal settlements against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors be used to support innovative and proven strategies to reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths. It also requires the governor to create a strategic plan to guide settlement fund spending.
This is the last scheduled SOS regional town hall meeting for 2021. Previous forums have been held in Anne Arundel County, East Baltimore City, West Baltimore City, Lower Eastern Shore, and Western Maryland. For more on the OOCC, visit the website or Facebook page. The OOCC can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
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