The U. S. Health and Human Resource Secretary, Alex Azar, along with Congressman Turner and other local officials made a visit last week to Brigid's Path in Kettering, Ohio. Brigid's Path provides treatment for babies born with an opioid addiction. The visit was made to highlight Washington's promise to provide aid to local states to battle the opioid crisis.
BMD's Daphne Kackloudis has been working with her client, Brigid's Path, to help them gain access to additional federal funds for their mission. She has drafted legislation which would do just that. The CRIB Act would amend the Social Security Act to allow Medicaid reimbursement for residential pediatric recovery centers such as Brigid's Path which would, in turn, provide additional resources and access as well as hope. Congressman Turner is going to ask Sen. Portman to amend his opioid bill (CARA 2.0) to include the CRIB Act.
For more about the U.S. Health and Human Resource Secretary's visit from ABC6:
"We're here because President Trump has made the opioid crisis a top priority." That's the message U-S Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar shared in Kettering.
The Secretary toured a first of its kind facility in Ohio. Brigid's Path helps treat babies who are born with heroin in their system.
There have been five babies who have gone through the treatment facility so far.
"We've had all of our babies stay out of foster care when they leave here," said Executive Director of Brigid's Path, Jill Kingston.
The stories Azar heard tugged at his heart. He met one young mother whose baby was just seven weeks old.
"Just to see the transformation in her life, her spirit, and her strength, I'm confident about her future and for her daughter. It just moved me to tears. It was unbelievable," he said.
Azar listened not only to mothers affected by opioid addiction but to local leaders.
He says billions of dollars have already been negotiated by the President and Congress to address not only the opioid crisis but the seriousness of mental illness.
"There will be 3 billion dollars in 2018 followed by another 3 billion dollars in 2019," Azar said.
"And then 7 billion over the following four years will be devoted around these critical issues."
Of course, Ohio wants to tap into that federal money.
Azar promising the state will not be left out.
"We've made it a particular priority to listen to those who are on the front lines here in the state, at the local level and to understand how we can help you," Azar remarked.