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March 20, 2018
Contact: HHS Press Office
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Readout of Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz’s Visit to Prestera Center

HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz traveled on Monday to Charleston, West Virginia, to visit Prestera Center, a behavioral health and substance abuse service provider, to hear from individuals affected by the opioid crisis.

Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz toured Prestera Center with West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch before participating in a roundtable with individuals who have been affected by the crisis, including three Prestera clients.

The roundtable was led by Prestera Center CEO, Karen Yost, and included West Virginia Health Secretary Crouch; Dana Petroff, Prestera’s Director of Addiction Services; Chad Napier, a prevention specialist with the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA); Jennifer Ballard, Director of Programs at the WV Department of Corrections; Heather McDaniel, Program Director, Help 4 WV, and; Victor Nease, a psychiatrist with Prestera Center. Participants individually highlighted the need for a multitude of partnerships – including with law enforcement – to provide effective and timely services.

Dr. McCance-Katz visits Prestera Centar

Following the roundtable, Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz, Secretary Crouch, and Karen Yost held a press conference, where Dr. McCance-Katz emphasized President Trump’s personal commitment to the struggle, including today’s initiative to “stop opioid abuse and reduce drug supply demand.”

The visit was a part of an ongoing effort by HHS to visit with communities on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic, and followed the launch of the President’s initiative and trip to New Hampshire.

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Last revised: March 20, 2018

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