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Sierra Health Foundation  tackles the opioid crisis


Opioid Crisis affecting adults, children

Last year was a record-breaking year for drug-related overdose fatalities in California. The opioid crisis has plagued the nation and ranks as one of the more vexing issues in the state. The Center at Sierra Health Foundation has a few solutions to help combat the ever-growing crisis affecting kids and adults alike. 

According to the CDC, in 2022, more than 109,000 California residents lost their lives to an overdose. Overdose is the leading cause of death for non-elderly people in California. Kaying Hang, senior vice president of programs and partnerships for The Center and Sierra Health Foundation points to the war on drugs initiative that happened in the 80s and 90s as the main reason the nation is in this predicament with the opioid crisis.

“Historically the Federal and State governments have responded to drug use with incarceration and extreme policing of Black communities,” Hang said as she spoke about the effects of the initiative on the nation. “For over 50 years. We have all suffered the consequences of mouse incarceration. People of color and those from low-income communities were disproportionately harmed by the war. People who use drugs have been deeply stigmatized and underserved through it all, and most of the time it’s our neighbors, our friends and family, which makes this crisis personal to us all at some level.” 

The Center and Sierra Health Foundation, for the last 10 years, have served more than 677 million people with a history of drugs with the proper care and programs to help them overcome their addiction. The facility has several programs that support the person, the family, and the community. 

The Legacy program supports nonprofit health and human service organizations through education and collaboration, strengthens the leadership abilities of nonprofit health and human service managers, responds to health needs and concerns, and supports nonprofit fundraising events. The program included health leadership workshops, Responsive Grants Programs, and the ability to acquire a sponsor. 

The Steering Committee is a group of community individuals that work to reduce deaths among African American children in California. The Committee was established by a resolution of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in June 2013. Its ultimate charge is to provide coordination and oversight of efforts, create a strategic plan, monitor implementation, and evaluate and report on progress toward reducing the disproportionate number of African-American child deaths. 

The End Poverty In California initiative aims to end poverty in California by elevating the voices of people experiencing it, creating and implementing bold policies rooted in their needs, and advancing a state agenda focused on equal opportunity for all. They provide platforms for people to tell their own stories to help heal feelings of shame and stigma, increase agency, enable political action, and ultimately, change the narrative.