(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced his five appointments to the OneOhio Recovery Foundation board and his two appointments to the Foundation’s expert panel. The Foundation will soon be established to distribute a portion of the settlement funds from the drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids to communities in Ohio.
“Establishing the OneOhio Recovery Foundation is the next step in enhancing Ohio’s prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. The investments made by the Foundation will create an opportunity for local communities to plan for and sustain efforts that address the ever-evolving drug epidemic,” said Governor DeWine. “There is not one part of the state that hasn’t been impacted by the opioid crisis, and this is critical to beginning the healing process.”
The Governor’s Office worked with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Ohio’s local community leaders to create the OneOhio plan to jointly approach settlement negotiations with the drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids. OneOhio ensures a settlement recognizing that every corner of the state has been hit hard by the crisis and outlines how the funds can be used. To launch the work of the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, 55 percent of all Ohio settlement dollars will go directly to the Foundation for addiction abatement and to promote mental wellness.
The Foundation board, which will consist of 29 members when all appointments are made, will comprise of:
- Six members selected by the State, five selected by the Governor and one selected by the Attorney General.
- Four members from the Legislature.
- Eleven members, with one member selected from each non-metropolitan region.
- Eight members, with one member selected from each metropolitan region.
See the map for a breakdown of regions.
Governor DeWine’s board appointments are as follows:
- Tom Gregoire has served as the Dean of The Ohio State University College of Social Work since 2008. His research focuses upon access to treatment and recovery for persons with substance use disorders. As a person in long-term addiction recovery himself, Tom is a proponent of mindfulness as a tool for supporting recovery and enhancing both personal well-being and organizational effectiveness. Tom spent nine years as a clinician and then an administrator of non-profit adolescent and adult inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs.
- Lawrence “Larry” Kidd is the current Director on the U.S. Chamber Board,
a Director of Holzer Health Systems, Member of the U.S. Chamber Small Business Council, Director of Appalachia Partnership, Inc., Former Chair and Executive Board Member of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and a Member of the Ohio Commodores. He is a co-founder of the Jackson County Drug Task Force and 10-in-10, an initiative striving to create 10,000 new jobs in southeastern Ohio in a 10-year period.
- Jane Portman is a current board member and the immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 2013, she was named a Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year for her many contributions to the community, including her service as the Director of Communications at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. She has supported the work of anti-drug coalitions and programs as they build best practices and offer strategies for addiction prevention, recovery, and treatment.
- Christopher Smitherman is Vice Mayor of the City of Cincinnati and a small business owner. He is passionate about advocating for treatment of addiction and substance abuse and he continues to fight the spread of drug use within our communities. Christopher was also a member of the State’s Minority Health Strike Force that was formed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
- John Tharp is a Vietnam veteran who served 25 years with the Toledo Police Department. Then, he served 24 years with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, elected as Sheriff for eight of those years. As Sheriff, he founded the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Response Team (D.A.R.T.). John has served on the RecoveryOhio Advisory Board since its creation and also serves on the Ohio State University HEALing Communities Advisory Board to lend his expertise in addressing the state’s drug epidemic.
In addition to the governing board, the OneOhio Recovery Foundation will also include an expert panel. The panel will utilize experts in addiction, pain management, public health, and other opioid related fields to make recommendations that will ensure that all 19 regions can address the opioid epidemic both locally and statewide. The panel will consist of six members submitted by the Board Members. Two of the six members are submitted by the Governor. Governor DeWine’s appointments to the expert panel are as follows:
- Lovell Custard’s experience spans over twenty‐eight years in health and human services. He has dedicated over twenty years of service leading agencies providing community mental health and substance use disorder treatment. He currently manages and operates comprehensive community mental health, residential, and substance abuse disorder treatment services at ten locations in Cleveland neighborhoods. His work impacts thousands of Ohioans utilizing the public Medicaid system annually.
- Deb Flores started professional career as a frontline social worker working in an outpatient Community Mental Health Center. After working in the social work field, Deb became the Executive Director at the Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services and Child Support. Deb returned to the Behavioral Health industry at the Zepf Center and was named the Chief Executive Officer in 2018.
To learn more about the appointees, visit https://recoveryohio.gov/.