JANUARY 22, 2018

The Opiate problem facing our city

Amy O'Grady
Senior Policy Analyst
City of Columbus
 
Amy O’Grady previously served as the director of Criminal Justice Initiatives for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office where she focused on policy issues including drug addiction, human trafficking, crime victim services and mental health. Amy O’Grady served as a judge in the Tenth District Court of Appeals. She has also worked as a deputy director for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and section chief for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Services Section, where she administered grant funding for victims and service providers.
 
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This spring, City of Columbus officials and Franklin County Commissioners charged David Royer, chief executive officer of the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board of Franklin County, with developing a plan to tackle the opiate crisis locally.

The result was the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy to combat the epidemic including a full-time position whose sole responsibility is to coordinate the administration of the plan. City Council is pleased to announce that Amy O’Grady has been hired as the senior policy analyst. She began work on August 7, 2017.

Amy O’Grady previously served as the director of Criminal Justice Initiatives for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office where she focused on policy issues including drug addiction, human trafficking, crime victim services and mental health. Amy O’Grady served as a judge in the Tenth District Court of Appeals. She has also worked as a deputy director for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and section chief for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Services Section, where she administered grant funding for victims and service providers.

"Amy O’Grady’s experience in the field of addiction and mental health is invaluable,” said City Council President Zach Klein, who has fought tirelessly for solutions to the epidemic crisis. “She's the right person to coordinate public and private resources and tackle a crisis affecting our residents at an alarming rate.”

The hiring of Amy O’Grady is the latest step forward in the implementation of the plan. This year, ADAMH committed over $3 million to the effort. Last week, Mount Carmel Health System announced plans to build an 80-bed mental health facility, quadrupling its capacity for in-patient mental health care. More announcements are expected next month.

“The City is pleased to partner with the County in hiring a coordinator for the implementation of the Opioid Action Plan,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We look forward to working with Amy O’Grady as she steers the multipronged efforts of our public and private partners in the battle against opioid addiction.”

The City of Columbus and Franklin County will jointly fund the position.

“The opiate epidemic is one of the biggest challenges facing our community today, and I’m excited to have Amy O’Grady coordinating the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan to help stem the tide of overdose deaths throughout the county,” said Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady (no relation to Amy O’Grady).

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Mayor Ginther and agencies throughout the City and County developed the aggressive plan to save as many lives as possible.

 The plan focuses on four overarching goals:

  1. Prevent opiate abuse and addiction
  2. Reduce the number of opiate-related deaths
  3. Expand access and decrease wait for treatment
  4. Improve the safety of our community