OIT Swap and Share Spotlights Promising Practices from Across the State

Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) hosted an Opioid Intervention Team (OIT) Promising Practices Swap & Share providing an important platform for OIT teams from counties across the state to share best practices and lessons learned in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford delivering welcoming remarks at the OIT Promising Practices Swap & Share.
Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford delivering welcoming remarks at the OIT Promising Practices Swap & Share.

OIT teams are multi-agency bodies established in each county and led by the county’s emergency manager and health officer to coordinate local opioid response efforts and integrate with statewide efforts.

Welcoming remarks were provided by Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford.

“It’s at the local level – in neighborhoods, in schools, in places of worship – where we all are making the biggest impact in fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic,” he said. “Individually, you are changing your communities, but by working together even more and by replicating what you learn today in your own neighborhoods, just think about how we can change our state and its future.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s remarks were followed by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader, Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Russell J. Strickland, and Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Associate Director Natasha Mehu.

Clay Stamp, Executive Director of the OOCC, and Birch Barron, Deputy Director of the OOCC, served as M.C.’s for the day.

“Every day, we are making progress by eliminating stigma in our communities. We’re talking more so that those who need help can come forward and ask for it. We’re encouraging safe disposal of unused medications through drug takeback programs, and we’re seeing treatment expand,” said Clay Stamp, executive director, Opioid Operational Command Center. “While we have to acknowledge the devastating effects of this crisis, we cannot forget that we are seeing momentum build all across the state.”

Before delving into a jammed pack agenda of promising practices, attendees heard from Jillian Beach who shared her story as a family member impacted by the opioid crisis.

The presentations covered a broad range of practices from a diverse set of jurisdictions. Some highlighted programs that were spearheaded by public safety agencies and others by public health. But all harped on the importance of collaboration, information sharing, and bringing key partners together to achieve success and overcome challenges. Audience members left with much information they could take back to their jurisdictions.

The event was held Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center in Howard County. MACo was a sponsors of the event.

For more information:

Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center Hosts Opioid Intervention Team Swap & Share (OOCC press release)

Before It’s Too Late  – Maryland’s statewide effort to bring awareness to the heroin and opioid crisis and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery.