Released: March 24, 2023
Delaware County held an Opioid Settlement Roundtable Discussion for leaders of local colleges and universities on March 23. The forum, hosted by Delaware County Council, was held to engage higher education stakeholders around the opioid settlement funds that the County will receive.
The County will receive the funds as part of the $26 billion multi-state opioid settlement with Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. Delaware County will receive $63 million in 18 annual payments. The funding will be used to tackle the devastating opioid epidemic affecting Delaware County residents, their loved ones, and the community.
It’s critical that Delaware County move quickly to put the new funding into use, because every day is another day that someone struggles with addiction and its devastating impact on their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and the community.
“Delaware County has taken enormous strides to reform how it thinks about and addresses public health and safety in recent years, and these funds will continue the progress we are making to treat addiction as a public health epidemic and deliver necessary care and services to treat it,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor.
To ensure that the funds are used to combat the opioid crisis to the best of their ability, Delaware County formed an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary Task Force last fall to provide recommendations to County Council for short-term and immediate uses, as well as long-term programming that can be supported by the new funding. As part of our planning- the County is also engaging with stakeholders in our community who share the County’s common goal of tacking the opioid abuse epidemic.
During the forum for members of higher education the County provided a status update on the settlement planning process and institutions were invited to share their existing programs, learn best practices from higher education colleagues, and discuss remaining opportunities to support Delaware County communities.
Representatives from Cabrini College, Delaware County Community College, Saint Joe’s University, Temple University, and Widener University attended and contributed to the discussion- sharing current programs, successes, ideas, and experiences.
This forum will result in a report by the Delaware County Health Department that will be shared with participants and it will also inform the County’s planning process to utilize the settlement funds.
“The County values and appreciates your expertise and passion surrounding opioid abuse prevention and treatment and we are grateful for your participation today, which provides insight as to how Delaware County can use the settlement funds to make a significant impact on the addiction epidemic in our county,” Dr. Taylor told the participates.
Future Opioid Settlement Roundtable Discussions for various groups including those in healthcare are being planned.