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Rep. Antonio honored for efforts to improve public health, combat statewide opioid crisis

Cleveland lawmaker presented public service award by Center for Community Solutions
October 21, 2016
Democratic Newsroom

State Rep. Nickie Antonio(D-Lakewood) today received The Center for Community Solutions Award for Public Service in Honor of John A. Begala for her efforts to address Ohio’s opioid addiction crisis and her work on the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee to improve the rate of spending and quality of Medicaid care.

“I am extremely honored to accept this award from The Center for Community Solutions, an organization known for their dedicated efforts to improve the quality of life for all Ohioans,” said Antonio. “I will continue to work diligently to expand treatment opportunities for those struggling with addiction, ensure local law enforcement have adequate resources, and increase prevention programs to combat the ongoing opioid crisis in Ohio.”

Rep. Antonio was recognized at the ceremony for her work on the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee to improve quality of care and health outcomes for individuals enrolled in the state's Medicaid program. The Lakewood lawmaker also played a key role in gaining legislative approval of language expanding access to syringe exchange programs that will help reduce the spread of disease and encourage more addicts to get needed treatment.

“What is notable about Rep. Antonio is that she works in collaboration with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get results,” said John R. Corlett, president and executive director of The Center for Community Solutions. “This award was created to honor those who have shown a great commitment to public service, especially as it relates to improving health and human services in Ohio. Rep. Antonio has certainly done that, but she has also literally saved the lives of countless Ohioans through their legislative work.”

The public service award is named after John A. Begala, former executive director of Community Solutions and a three-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Begala dedicated his career to public service and the human service field, with leadership positions at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Greater Cincinnati Hospital Association, and the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

The Center for Community Solutions is a nonprofit, non-partisan think tank focusing on solutions to health, social and economic issues in Northeast Ohio. Established in 1913, the organization is a United Way agency.