Governor Phil Scott Announces Membership of Opioid Coordination Council
Montpelier, Vt. – Earlier this month, Governor Phil Scott convened the inaugural meeting of his Opioid Coordination Council (OCC). The Council, which the Governor established by Executive Order 02-17 as one of his first actions upon taking office, is charged with leading and strengthening Vermont’s response to the opiate crisis by ensuring full inter- and intra-agency coordination between state and local governments in the areas of prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement activities.
The 21-member council, appointed by Governor Scott, is co-chaired by Agency of Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille, Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson, and former Chittenden County State Senator Jim Leddy, whose professional career was dedicated to addressing the challenges of substance use disorders. Jolinda LaClair, director of drug prevention policy, a position created by the Executive Order, will oversee the Council’s work.
“I want to thank each member of our OCC team for their commitment to working together to address Vermont’s opioid crisis,” said Gov. Scott. “Vermont has been a leader in addressing this epidemic, and we are making important gains, but the problem continues to grow at an alarming rate. This Council will play an important role in better coordinating the state’s overall efforts to identify and implement successful approaches.”
The Council’s May 8 meeting began with briefings about the multifaceted challenges that opioid misuse presents in Vermont, including the negative and often tragic impacts of opiate addiction and abuse, such as drug trafficking, fatalities, public health and safety concerns, and the cost of addressing these challenges in the face of scarce state resources.
The Council is made up of members representing state, federal and local officials, nonprofit organizations, and representatives from the state’s healthcare, education and business communities. Over the next five months, the Council will work to identify short and long-term goals for action. Pathways for change will include policy, program, infrastructure and investment. The Council’s initial recommendations will be presented to the Governor in October 2017.
Governor’s Opioid Coordination Council:
- Tom Anderson, Commissioner, Public Safety (Co-Chair)
- Al Gobeille, Secretary, Human Services (Co-Chair)
- Jim Leddy, Community Leader (Chittenden) (Co-Chair)
- Mark Levine, MD, Commissioner, Health
- TJ Donovan, Vermont Attorney General
- Eugenia A.P. Cowles, Acting U.S. Attorney
- David Allaire, Mayor (Rutland)
- Liz Genge, Director of Property and Asset Management, Downstreet Housing and Community Development (Washington County)
- Adam Bunting, Principal, Champlain Valley Union High School (Chittenden County)
- Stephanie Thompson, Vice Chair of Springfield Select Board, Londonderry Town Administrator, Springfield Prevention Coalition (Windsor County)
- Lori Augustyniak, Executive Director, Prevention Works (Washington County)
- Peter Mallary, VAMHAR Staff, former legislator (Orange County)
- Bob Bick, Executive Director, Howard Center (Chittenden County)
- Jill Berry Bowen, CEO, Northwestern Medical Center, St. Albans (Franklin County)
- Sheriff Roger Marcoux (Lamoille County)
- Chief Clement Houde, St. Johnsbury Police (Caledonia County)
- John Delena, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration
- Michael Bucossi, Chief, Brattleboro Fire Department (Windham County)
- Sara Byers, President, Leonardo’s Pizza, (Chittenden County)
- Debra Ricker, President, WorkSafe, (Washington County)
- Hon. Brian Grearson, Chief Superior Judge, Vermont Superior Courts
For more details on the makeup and charge of the council visit http://governor.vermont.gov/content/governors-opioid-coordination-council-executive-order-09-17