Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Overdose Response Training
Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Overdose Response Training by Pikesville Owings Mills Rotary Club
Opening Remarks by Nina Mezu Nwaba, PharmD, MPH, MSc
President of Pikesville-Owings Mills, Maryland Rotary Club
Good Evening Congressman Ruppersberger, Rear Admiral Schweitzer, Mr. Bart Kennedy (representing Senator Van Hollen), Ms. Heather Campbell (representing Senator Ben Cardin) my fellow Rotarians, representatives from the Baltimore county health department, fellow Commissioned Corps Officers and colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great honor to welcome all of you to our very first Rotary event, on opioids Prevention and Overdose Response training. On behalf of the Pikesville Rotary club and the entire Rotary family, I say welcome!
Rotary has six areas of focus: Peace and Conflict Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, and Economic & Community Development.
Pikesville Rotary Club has ongoing activities in all focus areas both locally and internationally; such as cleaning the local stream and feeding the homeless or needy, sponsoring an Interact Club and providing student scholarships at Pikesville High School, and collaborating with NGOs such as MIFoundation and international Rotary Clubs. 
We are thankful to our distinguished guests who have taken time out of their busy schedule to support this worthy event today. 
By the end of today’s training, we would have equipped nearly 100 people with the tools needed to reduce mortality associated with opioid use. 
The NIH reports, that across the nation, more than 115 people die everyday from opioids overdose. A report from the MD Department of Health states that from 2015 – 2017, the number of Maryland citizens who have died from opioid related deaths has more than doubled. In 2017, from January to September, that number peaked at about 1500 opioid related deaths. What we’re doing here today, is vital, to curbing this epidemic.    
My vision as the President of Pikesville Rotary is to promote Rotary’s 6 focus areas and add a public health flavor to it, by tilting the balance towards prevention and not solely on treatment, and by investing more in health education and training.
Public health initiatives, such as this one, have always been close to my heart, and are the reason I’ve lived my life giving back to the community in any way possible. As stated in my Hopkins MPH capstone, drops of water fill a bucket. That’s the path I’ve chosen to make a difference in public health, and I thank you for helping me fill that bucket today. 
For anyone, who’s interested in working with us and becoming part of our Rotary Club, please speak to any of our members about our experiences with the club and what we do, and leave your information at the registration desk. 
Thank you again for attending!
Dr. Nina Mezu-Nwaba
President Pikesville Rotary Club
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