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Daily Court Reporter - News Governor DeWine forms RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working Group


Governor DeWine forms RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working Group

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, following a new report by the Ohio Department of Health, recently 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

About the Ohio Department of Health

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is a cabinet-level agency, meaning the director reports to the governor and serves as a member of the Executive Branch of Ohio’s government. The ODH executive team helps the Director of Health formulate the agency’s strategic policy goals and objectives. The team is composed of the Chief of Staff, the Medical Director and the General Counsel. These leaders, along with agency senior-level managers and supervisors, work in tandem to ensure the state health department is responsive to the needs of Ohio’s 11.5 million residents.

ODH’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality care.

We organize our agency (Organization Chart) according to our core public health responsibilities:

Prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases (Bureau of Infectious Diseases)

Provide direction, support and coordination in preventing, preparing for and responding to events that threaten the public’s health (Office of Health Preparedness)

Build strong communities to enable Ohioans of all ages and abilities live disease and injury-free (Bureau of Health Promotion and Office of Health Improvement and Wellness)

Address health inequities and disparities, and support access to comprehensive, integrated healthcare for all to achieve the best possible outcomes (Office of Health Policy and Performance Improvement)

Assess and monitor environmental factors that potentially impact public health including air, water, soil, food and physical and social features of our surroundings (Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection)

Assure quality in health care facilities, health care services, and environmental health through smart regulation to protect the health and safety of Ohioans (Office of Health Assurance and Licensing)

Date Published: April 23, 2019


Ohio Department of Health


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