Call to thanks for first responders

Staff Report

OHIO VALLEY — The Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services and Holzer Health System are partnering to organize recognition events and to express appreciation for individuals on the front line fighting Ohio’s and Gallia County’s opiate epidemic.

During the “Week of Appreciation” taking place the week of April 9-13, 2018 coordinated events will be held by the ADAMH Board, Holzer and local partners. At the state level, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities will work with statewide partners to do the same. The goal of the week-long series of activities is to shine a light on the tremendous work going on in the communities and throughout Ohio to address the opiate epidemic and to specifically show appreciation to front-line workers.

With the message of “Bringing Help. Bringing Hope. Thank You” these events will allow local leaders to demonstrate their appreciation to individuals on the front lines who are working to eradicate the scourge of opiates, and help individuals coping with addiction recover every day.

While the ADAMH Board and Holzer are partnering to lead this cause, they plan to also work with the local drug prevention coalition, Gallia CPR, and want to invite all other individuals, organizations, groups, faith based organizations and businesses to join in the effort. Gallia-Jackson-Meigs ADAMH Board Deputy Director Angela Stowers explains.

“We are inviting everyone who is interested in partnering directly with our initiative to do so. We have put out a call to action encouraging any business, organization, agency, individual, (etc.) to record their own personal message of thanks and send the video to me at,” she said. “These videos will be used in a montage DVD that will be provided to the first responders in our area. We must remember that ‘first responders’ in this fight extend beyond traditional first responders to include, in addition, those such as emergency department staff, private security and law enforcement, children’s services workers, counselors and others who work to save lives and guide people into recovery.”

Stowers adds that they are also working with the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce who will be collecting donations of items that will be provided to each first responder as an additional show of appreciation. Stowers can be reached at 740-446-3022.

“We partnered with the ADAMH Board in this effort because we see every day in our facilities, especially in our emergency departments, the difficulty and pain so many of our front-line fighters face as they work to help individuals in need. The positive impact that recovery from addiction can have on individuals, families, job growth, community safety, and overall economic development cannot be overstated,” said Rodney Stout, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Holzer Health System.

“Treatment Works and People Recover. Saving individuals and helping to open the door to recovery for those living in Gallia County who need treatment services and supports is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Our community will be stronger for it,” concluded ADAMH Board Executive Director Robin Harris.

Specific dates and times of the public recognition ceremony along with other events that will be held during the Week of Appreciation will be announced later in the month.

Staff Report