Ohio Mayors Seek Emergency Response Center for Opioid Crisis

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – An organization representing Ohio big-city mayors wants Republican Gov. John Kasich to establish an emergency operations center to coordinate the state’s response to the opioid crisis.

In a letter dated Monday, the Ohio Mayors Alliance cited the “unfolding catastrophe” of overdoses and deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers.

Mayors commended Ohio’s work so far, but suggested seven potential improvements based on local governments’ observations.

Those include establishing a joint operations center similar to what might appear during a disease outbreak; streamlining the “upward flow” of information from cities to the state; and coordinating the sharing of crisis resources among local jurisdictions.

The mayors also asked Kasich to review all available federal government and philanthropic funding sources and state Medicaid protocols and set up a charity for accepting private-sector donations.