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August 18, 2021

Rep. David Trone and Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Visit Frederick and Washington Counties, Speak with Local Providers, Law Enforcement, and Individuals in Recovery

Congressman David Trone and Acting ONDCP Director Regina LaBelle, 2021.

HAGERSTOWN, MD — Today, U.S. Congressman David Trone (MD-06) and Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, visited Frederick and Washington Counties in Maryland, where they heard about the funding Trone is working to secure for Crisis Stabilization Centers, participated in three  roundtables with local health providers, law enforcement officials, and individuals in recovery, and discussed steps the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to address addiction and the overdose epidemic.

“It was an honor to be joined today by Acting Director Regina LaBelle to learn more about addiction and treatment services in Frederick and Washington Counties and to listen to the voices of those in recovery,” said Congressman David Trone. “Connecting the Biden-Harris agenda to combat addiction and mental illness with the resources and treatment services on the ground will be key to ending the epidemic that killed over 93,000 people last year and is only getting worse.

“Congressman Trone and I were able to see firsthand how local officials are working together to expand access to life-saving treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services in Western Maryland, which has been hit particularly hard by the overdose epidemic,” said Acting Director LaBelle. “The Biden-Harris Administration is focused on expanding evidence-based approaches to addiction across the country, and supporting communities on the frontlines of this epidemic, including the leaders we heard from today. We will continue listening to them to make sure the work we do on the federal level is responsive to the needs of local communities.”

Frederick County

The duo started the day in Frederick County, where they were briefed on the Frederick Crisis Stabilization Center for which Trone is working to secure $850,000 in federal funding with County Executive Jan Gardner. They then participated in a roundtable with local providers and individuals in recovery, where they discussed wraparound services for those seeking treatment and recovery. Participants of the roundtable included: 

  • Jan Gardner, Frederick County Executive 
  • Andrea Walker, Director of Behavioral Health Services, Frederick County
  • Howie Newton, Community Outreach Coordinator, Ideal Option
  • Gordon Levine, Center Director, Concerted Care Group
  • Kerry Lance, Program Director, Brook Lane
  • Suzi Borg, Director, Crisis Services Division, Mental Health Association of Frederick County (2-1-2 Call Center)
  • Scott Rose, Chief of Rehabilitation and Recovery Services, Sheppard Pratt (Mobile Crisis Services)
  • Jenny Crawford, Supervisor of Mobile Crisis 
  • Sha’rron Snowden, Program Director, Genesis Treatment Center
  • Kelsea Kephart, Executive Director/Co-Founder, Orenda Center of Wellness
  • Sean Nicholson, Director of Community and Business Relations, Orenda Center of Wellness

Washington County

The duo then took a tour of the Crisis Stabilization beds at Meritus Hospital in Washington County, for which Trone is working to secure $475,000 in federal funding. They then participated in a second roundtable of the day focused on harm reduction and the importance of coordinating efforts between federal, state, and local agencies in order to best serve our vulnerable Americans. Participants of the roundtable included: 

  • Vicki Sterling, Director of Behavioral Health, Washington County Health Department
  • David Washington, Harm Reduction Program Coordinator, Washington County Health Department
  • Chief Joey Kifer, Hagerstown Police Department
  • Michael Smith, Director of Meritus Behavioral Health, Meritus Health Medical Center,
  • Erin Russell, Harm Reduction Coordinator, Maryland Department of Health 
  • Dr. Douglas Spotts, Chief Health Officer, Meritus Health Medical Center
  • Allen L. Twigg, LCPC, FACHE, Executive Director Meritus Behavioral & Community Health
  • Robert Zellner, director of client services, Awakenings Recovery Center

Trone and LaBelle finished their tour with a briefing and roundtable with officials from the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and local law enforcement on efforts in the region to reduce illicit drug supply.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.