Health Care Reform Task Force Works to Combat Opioid Crisis

September 25, 2017

MARIETTA, GA Sept. 25, 2017 – Today, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with Sens. Renee Unterman, Dean Burke, Chuck Hufstetler, Ben Watson, Kay Kirkpatrick, Jack Hill and Doc Rhett, held the fourth meeting of Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force. Members discussed solutions to address the opioid crisis in our state while elevating Georgia as a leader in advancing patient-centered approaches to treating addiction. Hosted at WellStar Health System’s Development Center in Marietta, medical professionals and treatment experts presented findings on local, state and national responses to combat threats of opioid epidemic.

“We have made progress increasing access to lifesaving treatments for overdoses – and will continue working to make these essential medical supplies more affordable,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “But for every overdose, there are many more people struggling with addiction. We must address the underlying issues behind addiction, behavioral health problems, treatment, and recovery so that we can stop the exponentially increasing rate of overdoses - and defeat the opioid epidemic.”

“WellStar was proud to host and to present at today’s task force meeting,” said Candice Saunders, president & CEO of WellStar Health System.  “WellStar recognizes the importance of addressing the opioid crisis and the devastating impact on our communities.  Finding solutions to this epidemic will take everyone working together, and we are committed to working with our elected partners at the local, state and federal level.”

"I am very pleased to appear before Georgia's Health Care Reform Task Force on the topics of opioids and addiction,” said Dr. Sally Satel, Resident Scholar at American Enterprise Institute, practicing psychiatrist and lecturer at Yale University School of Medicine. “The enormous health and social costs of this crisis demand urgent attention and creative solutions and I commend Lt. Governor Cagle and Georgia’s Senate for their steadfast commitment.”

Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force will hold its next meeting October 30th in Rome.