October 30, 2017
Readout of Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz’s Opioids Listening Session in Nashua, New Hampshire
On Friday, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, and senior HHS officials visited Harbor Homes in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Along with New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, they toured the Harbor Homes facility and held a roundtable discussion with first responders, medical experts, local non-profit leaders, and people receiving treatment in all stages of the recovery process.
Mary-Sumpter Lapinski, Counselor to the Secretary of HHS for Public Health & Science, opened the meeting by welcoming participants and thanking them for their willingness to share their stories. She reiterated President Trump and the entire Administration’s commitment to confront the opioids epidemic and discussed the historic significance of yesterday’s actions.
During the session, recovering addicts shared their personal stories in vivid detail. They spoke of friends and relatives who lost their lives to the scourge of addiction. Community leaders and experts talked about the challenges and opportunities they experience providing services in New Hampshire. They also discussed Nashua’s Safe Spaces Program and its unique approach to providing assistance to those looking to start their path to recovery.
The federal government is marshaling all relevant agencies and personnel to address this crisis. Yesterday afternoon, following a Presidential Memorandum, HHS declared a Public Health Emergency. Today, Acting Secretary Eric D. Hargan, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz, and other top officials are fanning out across the country to hear from communities on the front lines.
The following individuals participated in the New Hampshire event:
- Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use
- Governor Chris Sununu, State of New Hampshire
- Mayor Jim Donchess, City of Nashua
- Peter Kelleher, President and CEO, Partnership for Successful Living
- Mary-Sumpter Lapinski, Counselor to the Secretary for Public Health & Science
- Jaime Gormley, LICSW, MLADC, Director of Residential Services, Keystone Hall
- Scott Slattery, Director of Housing, Harbor Homes
- Christopher Stawasz, Regional Director, American Medical Response
- Chief Steve Galipeau, Nashua Fire Rescue
- Assistant Chief Brian Rhodes, Nashua Fire Rescue
- Dr. Garciela Sironich-Kalkan, Medical Director, Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center
- Allen Irwin, Peer Recovery Support Manager, Revive Recovery Resource Center
- Harbor Homes patients (names withheld to respect their privacy)