Reps. Durhal, Santana Welcome CARES Task Force to Detroit

Panel continues hearing testimony from experts, public
Monday, September 11, 2017

DETROIT — State Reps. Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit) and Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit), along with the other members of the House CARES Task Force, heard testimony from health care professionals, law enforcement, patient advocates and members of the public during their meeting today at the Team Wellness Center in Detroit. Today’s meeting was the fifth for the task force.

“I’m very glad the task force came here to Detroit. Urban communities like ours have been dealing with opioid and drug addiction for decades, and the state is just now beginning to recognize the situation,” Durhal said. “The Team Wellness Center and organizations like it have been doing great work, but there is more we can do to support them and help people in the community, and that’s what this task force is all about.”

The Team Wellness Center is an integrated care community health care organization, providing services ranging from mental health and substance abuse treatment to primary health care needs such as dentistry. Representatives from the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Detroit Police Department officers, DMC Sinai Grace Hospital, and advocates for patients and crime victims also offered testimony.

“These are complicated, multifaceted issues that affect the community in many ways, and I’m glad we’re hearing a wide variety of testimony from people on the front lines of these issues,” Santana said. “I’m looking forward to taking the stories, ideas and suggestions we have heard back to Lansing and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring solutions back to Detroit and the rest of Michigan.”

The bipartisan House CARES (Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety) Task Force was formed to develop policy solutions to the opioid crisis, mental health resources, jail diversion and more. The next task force meeting is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 29, at Mid-Michigan Community College in Harrison. Interested individuals can fill out a comment form at the meetings or submit a comment online at house.mi.gov/CARES.