Workplace Drug Discussion To Include Message From Former Surgeon General
By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is to be part of an event Tuesday to address what businesses can do about substance abuse in the workplace.
The Workforce Substance Misuse and Recovery Event is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at First Christian Church, 115 Park Ridge Drive. Lunch will be provided.
Adams will address the event by video.
The event is free, but people should register ahead of time via clicking here. Anyone, not just business leaders, may come.
Others addressing participants at the event include: the Bowen Center’s Dr. Carolyn Warner-Greer; Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory EMS Chief Chris Fancil; Executive Director for the Wellness Council of Indiana Jennifer Pferrer; Fellowship Missions of Warsaw’s Recovery Services Director Ann Hasse; Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rob Parker; Kosciusko County Community Corrections Executive Director Barry Andrew; Winona Lake Police Chief Joe Hawn; Live Well Kosciusko President and CEO Lisa Harman; Live Well Kosciusko Breathe Well Coordinator Kim Huntsman; the Bowen Center’s Betty O’Hara; Live Well Kosciusko Youth and Voice Coordinator Jessica Camarena; Kosciusko County Jail Chemical Addiction Program Coordinator Courtney Jenkins; Living in Transition Effectively Program Director Tammy Cotton; and Kosciusko County Work Release Director Heather Desenberg.
“This event is the initiative of the health committee of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce,” said Harman, with Live Well Kosciusko serving on that committee.
Other committee members include Parkview, Lutheran Kosciusko Hospital, Goshen Health, the K21 Health Foundation, Bowen Center, KYMCA, Purdue Extension and Fellowship Missions.
Harman noted that the event was supposed to happen a few years ago, but due to COVID-19, was postponed until Tuesday. She believes it’s the first of its kind in the area addressing addiction and recovery from a business and workforce standpoint.
Harman also explained why the event was being held.
“In 2019, a community health assessment was completed and submitted to the Indiana Wellness Council,” she said. “They provided feedback, which was used to set community well-being goals. One of the goals was to provide assistance to local employers to adopt policies to support substance misuse recovery.”
Harman said she hopes attendees recognize the importance of addressing addiction and helping with recovery in the area.
“We would like attendees to learn that substance misuse and recovery is an economic and workforce development issue that needs to be addressed in Kosciusko County,” she said. “We’d like to make sure everyone understands the facts and figures about substance misuse in our local community and how prevalent it really is. We’d like folks to learn about how they can implement recovery supportive policies in their businesses and where they can go to get the resources they need for their employees.”