Spanish Language Forum Takes Center Stage in Battle Against Opioid Epidemic
PHOENIX, AZ – Equality Health Foundation in collaboration with The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) will host a community forum conducted entirely in Spanish to raise awareness of the fentanyl and opioid crisis in South Phoenix. The forum will be held on February 6 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
The event will open with remarks from County Attorney Rachel Mitchell followed by an expert panel to include MCAO Prosecutor, Hermelinda Garcia, Terros Health Center Director, Ray Young, and community members Ronnie Morales and Martha Ayala. The panel will be moderated by Heidi Renpenning, News Anchor for Univision Arizona. Garcia will provide a criminal justice perspective, current fentanyl drug trends and insight into how the MCAO prosecutes drug related cases. Ronnie Morales, with his mother, Martha, will share their story about battling opioid addiction and a parent’s perspective. Young will provide insight into understanding substance abuse, the importance of mental health and why fentanyl is so addictive.
“My office has seen the devastating effects the fentanyl crisis has had on our community. Our teens, who are most affected by this crisis, don’t know what fentanyl is or how deadly it can be,” shared County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “We owe it to them to be informed. While one pill can kill, one conversation can save a life.”
The opioid crisis in Arizona is a significant public health concern. Fentanyl is associated with a high risk of overdose due to its potency. Efforts have been made to address the crisis through public health initiatives, law enforcement actions and community outreach.
“It is our priority to ensure that every community has equitable access to well-being programs and initiatives focused on prevention, education and treatment of opioid addiction,” said Tomas Leon, president of Equality Health Foundation. “Everyone in our multicultural community deserves the opportunity to lead long and healthy lives.”
Equality Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to level the healthcare playing field in culturally diverse and underserved communities. The organization works to expand access to whole person care, accelerate health education and eliminate health disparities.
A variety of community organizations will also be present to share education, resources and provide free Narcan for participants to take home with them.
For more information on Equality Health Foundation and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Community Fentanyl Forum, please visit https://www.maricopacountyattorney.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=225
About Equality Health Foundation
Established in 2019, Equality Health Foundation envisions a world of vibrant and inclusive communities where all individuals have the opportunity to live healthy lives. A bold vision like this cannot be accomplished alone and requires extensive collaboration across local communities around the country to make a sustainable and transformative change—a movement for advancing equal health for all.
About Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is one of the largest public prosecutorial agencies in the nation, serving nearly four million residents in the fourth largest county in the U.S. In addition to handling all felony prosecutions in Maricopa County and misdemeanor filings in the county’s justice court system, the office also provides civil legal services to all county agencies. The agency is comprised of more than 1000 full-time employees, including attorneys, investigators, paralegals, victim advocates and support staff.