First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Huntington, West Virginia this morning to visit Cabell-Huntington Health Department. This is the First Lady’s second visit to West Virginia. This visit highlighted the local community’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Mrs. Trump spoke with key leaders from the federal, state, and local level, including Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia, Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Representative Carol Miller, Mayor Steve Williams, the Director of the Cabell-Huntington County Health Department, the President of Marshall University, the Commissioner of Public Health for West Virginia, and Huntington’s Police and Fire Chiefs. A full list of participants is below.
Following the roundtable discussion, Mrs. Trump met with a small group of women who shared personal stories about how the opioid epidemic has affected them and the positive impact their local community had on their lives. Participants included Huntington’s Fire Chief, leadership from Lily’s Place, a mother in recovery and her five-month-old child, a representative from a first responder wellness program, and a recovery coach.
The First Lady has been an active proponent of promoting available resources meant to help families affected by the opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, Mrs. Trump convened the Inter-Agency Working Group in part to learn more about the government programs available in state and local communities across the country. She has spoken at several events, including town halls to address the stigma of shame that often comes with addiction. Using BE BEST, the First Lady will continue to encourage people to work together to change the public perception surrounding addiction so that victims will be more willing to seek out help.
“Through BE BEST, I continue to learn about the many issues and challenges surrounding opioid addiction,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “We have an opportunity to move the needle to help families and children who have been impacted by opioid abuse. Meeting with federal, state, and local leaders in Huntington, West Virginia, today proved the power of partnerships and community efforts. Through BE BEST, we can continue to promote programs and highlight resources available to all those who are seeking help with this national epidemic.”
Prior to departing West Virginia, the First Lady made an off-the-record stop at Ritter Park. Mrs. Trump visited a portion of the park to pay respect and view the hundreds of flags lining the field, which are symbolic of children who are currently in the foster care system as a direct result of the opioid epidemic.
FULL LIST OF ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS
- Jim Justice, Governor, West Virginia
- Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
- Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator, West Virginia
- Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Senator, West Virginia
- Carol Miller, U.S. Representative, West Virginia 3rd District
- Steve Williams, Mayor, Huntington, West Virginia
- Hank Dial, Huntington Chief of Police
- Jan Rader, Huntington Fire Chief
- Jeff Sandy, Secretary, West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety
- Steven Patterson, Deputy Director, West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center
- Catherine Slemp, Commissioner of Public Health, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services
- Elizabeth Adkins, Public Information Officer, Cabell-Huntington County Health Department
- Donnie Haynes, Lead, West Virginia Center for Threat Prevention
- Chad Napier, Prevention and Education Coordinator, Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas
- Jerome Gilbert, President, Marshall University
- Gordon Merry, EMS Director, Cabell County EMS
- Connie Priddy, Quick Response Team Coordinator, Cabell County EMS