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6 June 2019

Opioid Overdose Task Force to hold public meeting June 10

The Greene County Opioid Overdose Task Force will host a public meeting on Monday, June 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

The meeting will be held in the upstairs room of the 4-H Building at the fairgrounds, which is located at 107 Fairgrounds Road in Waynesburg. The public is encouraged to attend.

During the meeting, event leaders will provide further insight into the opioid crisis as well as provide an update on the Task Force’s progress in achieving the goals and objectives of its strategic plan targeting the crisis.

The Task Force is chaired by Greene County Commissioners Blair Zimmerman, Dave Coder and Archie Trader, who reorganized the Task Force in January 2018 in response to the growing concerns regarding increased opioid abuse and overdoses in the community.

The Program Evaluation and Research Unit of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy has been assisting with facilitating the Task Force since its inception.

In January 2018, Greene County Commissioners reached out to more than 40 people who had expressed an interest in joining the local Task Force. Commissioner Blair Zimmerman said he, Coder and Trader recognized the need to involve “a greater cross-section from the community” to be a part of the Task Force.

In August of 2018, with input from the community, the task force finalized a three-year strategic plan to guide their work.

The Task Force is comprised of representatives from various entities, including non-profit agencies, the county’s human services departments, law enforcement offices and police departments, medical facilities and doctors’ offices, churches, school districts and Waynesburg University, local and state officials, businesses, the county jail and the county coroner’s, sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices.

One of the key goals of this Task Force since day one has been to work with the county's human services program and various local entities and programs to take a comprehensive look at the opioid crisis and coordinate strategies to address the many issues impacted by opioid use.

Zimmerman and Coder said the Board of Commissioners is looking forward to sharing the Greene County Opioid Task Force’s progress as well as the steps that have been taken thus far in the strategic plan.

“Those who attend the June 10 public meeting will be able to see the progress of what the Task Force members and the community have brought – and are continuing to bring – to the table in strategizing how to combat the frightening opioid epidemic in Greene County,” Zimmerman said. 

“Progress has definitely been made in the ongoing battle against opioid abuse with this Task Force, and we want the public to see it for themselves,” Coder said. “The Task Force is comprised of an impressive group with a lot of immeasurable experience. But obviously, there is a great deal of work to do here. We must all work together to fight this epidemic.”

For more information about the June 10 meeting and/or the Greene County Opioid Overdose Task Force, contact Megan Neuf, Operations Analyst for the Program Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, by calling 412-383-4175 or by emailing mln51@pitt.edu.