McKee announces new leadership for Overdose Task Force

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Gov. Dan McKee announced new leadership roles in the Overdose Task Force for Prevention and Intervention on Wednesday.

The positions include the task force’s first full-time director and a new community co-chair. A director with first hand experience with this epidemic.

Catherine Schultz, on long-term drug recovery, was appointed as the director of the Governor’s Overdose Task Force.

Schultz has several years of experience as a certified peer recovery specialist and statewide Narcan trainer and distributor.

She’ll now work to ensure opioid settlement dollars are spent toward further treatment and support programs throughout the state.

Schultz also plans on having more one-on-one conversations with those recovering just like herself.

“It puts us at the forefront to make sure our voice is heard and it helps us to work with all the other stakeholders to make decisions,” Schultz said.

McKee said assigning people with first hand experience in this crisis is crucial to the task force.

“They’re part of the recovery community and that’s part of the advice I received in forming this task force from people who have a big interest,” McKee said.

“Accidental drug overdoses and ongoing addiction to substances continue to claim the lives of far too many Rhode Islanders,” said McKee. “To respond to this crisis, we’re coming together to enhance the Governor’s Overdose Task Force with the support of two strong leaders in this field.”

The task force was founded in 2015.

Earlier Wednesday morning, CVS Health announced that it has reached a proposed $5 billion deal that would make it the first major pharmacy chain to reach a nationwide settlement of lawsuits over how it handled prescriptions for powerful and addictive prescription opioid painkillers that are linked to an overdose epidemic.


Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island