City of Angels takes addiction cause to Washington
City of Angels is aptly named because when it comes to dealing with the heroin/opioid epidemic, these people led by founder Kevin Meara do the work of the angels. That work was taken up a notch when Meara was invited to participate at Thursday’s White House Opioid Summit which was moderated by fellow New Jerseyan, Kellyanne Conway. He also got a photo op with President Trump who stopped by his seat to shake hands!
The Summit, which was opened by the First Lady, included three panels. The first focused on prevention, treatment & recovery, and feature HHS Secretary Alex Azar, VA Secretary David Shulkin, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Acting ONDCP Director James W. Carroll, followed with a press notation and the third panel focused on law enforcement & interdiction with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“This was quite an opportunity for City of Angels to interact with top government officials and share information about what is happening with the heroin/opioid epidemic at the grass-roots level,” said Meara. “My question, which was answered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was about ODMAP. ODMAP, created by the Baltimore/DC HIDTA, is a cell phone app which tracks overdoses and can assist in identifying spikes. It should be a national model and implemented as such”, concluded Meara.
Kevin and Maryann Meara lost their eldest son KC to an overdose on June 30, 2008 and that’s when their journey, called City of Angels, began.
This is not the first time Kevin's been to the White House. He's attended such things as President Obama’s 21st Century Cures Act signing ceremony, a parent meeting with then Drug Czar Michael Botticelli and President Trump’s Public Health Emergency announcement. In May 2017, COA hosted then Acting Drug Czar Richard Baum for an opioid summit at their Hamilton NJ office. He has also contributed to former Gov. Chris Christie’s ReachNJ effort, as he and Maryann became the face of NJ parents with their interview segments on ReachNJ. See this link.
The impromptu photo-op occurred at the conclusion of the Summit, as President Trump was exiting, he stopped by Meara’s seat to shake hands. “It was quite an opportunity, as we had not been told beforehand that the President would be addressing the Summit, so I just asked.”
The full video of the WH Opioid Summit can be viewed on CSPAN here.
For more information contact Kevin Meara, City of Angels, 609-731-9166.
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