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Cuomo names task force to address ongoing heroin problem

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed a task force aimed at ending what he called a crisis of heroin and opioid addiction (MGN Online)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed a task force aimed at ending what he called a crisis of heroin and opioid addiction continuing to plague families and communities in New York.

The group is chaired by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

The other 21 members include representatives of health care, drug treatment, advocacy, law enforcement and education.

They're expected to hold public listening sessions and develop a statewide coordinated plan.

State efforts so far include expanding insurance coverage for treatment and a law requiring drug prescribers to consult a state database to check patient prescription histories. Officials credit that for a 90 percent decrease in "doctor shoppers" seeking multiple opioid prescriptions.

The task force was announced Tuesday. It includes:

Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, co-chair
Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, NYS OASAS Commissioner, co-chair
Maria Vullo, Acting NYS DFS Superintendent
Dr. Howard Zucker, NYS DOH Commissioner
Joshua Vinciguerra, NYS DOH, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Director
Michael Green, NYS DCJS Executive Commissioner
Lt. Colonel Frank Kohler, Lead on Heroin/Opioids, NYS State Police
Tino Hernandez, President, Samaritan Village
Daniel Raymond, Policy Director, Harm Reduction Coalition
Charles Brack, Peer/Family Support Specialist, United Healthcare
Patrice Wallace-Moore, CEO of Arms Acres
Michael McMahon, Richmond County District Attorney
Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director, SI partnership for Community Wellness
Kym Laube, Executive Director, Human Understanding & Growth Services
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President and CEO of Family and Children's Association
Anne Constantino, CEO of Horizon Health Services
Cortney Lovell, Director, Wrise Consulting
Susan Salomone, Executive Director of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard
Patrick Seche, Director of Services, Addiction Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
Jerald Woolfork, VP for Student Affairs at SUNY Oswego
Tom O'Brien, Roxbury Schools Superintendent
Terrence Murphy, NYS Senate
Linda Rosenthal, NYS Assembly

AP-WF-05-10-16 1652GMT

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