OneOhio Region 15 holds first meeting of 2024


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

SIDNEY — The OneOhio Recovery Region 15 held its first board meeting on Monday morning on, Jan. 8, at the Shelby County Agricultural Center, 810 Fair Road in Sidney.

As a statewide initiative, OneOhio was organized over 19 distinct areas of the state to implement strategies for disbursing opioid settlement funds on a regional basis.

The Region 15 OneOhio Recovery Foundation was officially organized on March 30, 2022, to make decisions over annual opioid settlements. Ohio started receiving money in 2022 and will continue for an anticipated 18-year period.

Region 15 covers the following Ohio counties: Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby, Logan, Champaign, Miami, Preble, and Darke, and each county designates three delegates to serve on the board.

Miami County Commissioner Greg Simmons, Troy Fire Chief Matt Simmons, and Tri-County Board’s Terri Becker serve as the representatives for Miami County.

Board President Joe Antram, of Logan County, addressed the representatives of the nine different counties.

“What are we going to be able to help people and so I think we’re closer, and I do believe that your patience has made a big difference in our ability to stay focused on what you’re here for,” Antram said.

On Sep. 16, 2021, Ohio settled on a $808 million agreement with Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, the three largest distributors of opioids, that puts the state at the front of the line to receive monetary relief for communities ravaged by the addiction crisis. Additionally, the state of Ohio received a $185 million settlement with Johnson and Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann, vice chair from Shelby County, expressed the importance of recognizing the state’s and region’s role during her OneOhio State Foundation Board comments.

“We’re making sure that we stay in track with the OneOhio. Very clearly, there are differences of opinion sometimes on the role of the state versus the regions out there. The regions need to be strong, and we need to not water down their authority,” Ehemann said.

In late March 2023, the OneOhio Recovery Foundation received its first opioid settlement payments, totaling more than $58 million. At its April meeting, the Board of Directors approved allocations for the first round of settlement payments received, which set aside more than $51 million for regional project grants.

Region 15 received 3.76% of the state funding, with $1.2 million coming from the distributor settlement allocation and $706,036.41 from the Johnson and Johnson settlement.

Tammy Allison, of Logan County, gave a presentation on a survey conducted by OneOhio Recovery to try to figure out where the needs are for different groups dealing with recovery during the opioid crisis.

“Each county was represented, the first question that we had was, according to the people or entity that each one of us represents what two vulnerable populations could benefit the most from these efforts,” Allison said.

According to a November 2020 report from the Ohio Department of Health, opioid overdoses killed more than 23,700 Ohioans between 2010 and 2019, with 4,028 in 2019 alone.

The OneOhio Recovery Foundation is a private, non-profit organization created at the direction of Ohio’s state and local leaders to distribute 55% of the funds our state will receive from the pharmaceutical industry because of its role in the national opioid epidemic.

Antram was enthusiastic about the expectations for the board for 2024.

“We’re challenged with a new system that has never been used or created before. I think we have accomplished quite a bit in the last month and coming up to our third year,” Antram said.

The next OneOhio Recovery Region 15 board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 4, at 10 a.m.

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