RHA is a Community Sponsor of the Blue Ridge Recovery Rally

RHA Health Services is proud to be a community sponsor of the second annual Blue Ridge Recovery Rally. The event is Saturday May 19th in Downtown Marion NC from 5 to 9pm.   All are welcome to this free family friendly atmosphere.  Activities include a walk and a 5K run, music and art, and guest speakers and recovery stories.

Communities across the country are struggling with addiction to substances such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and opioids.  The Blue Ridge Recovery Rally will celebrate, educate, and initiate positive change as we work together to build healthier communities.  Our goal at RHA Health Services is to help each person we support to understand their addictive disease and to establish a commitment to recovery.

Other community partners for the Blue Ridge Recovery Rally include, Vaya Health, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, the City of Marion PD, A Caring Alternatives, The McDowell County Sheriffs Department, Freedom Life, Celebrate Recovery, Mission Hospital, and US Cellular.

For more information about the rally call 828-559-2224 or email [email protected]

RHA‘s Julie Huneycutt appointed to Senate Opioid Council

Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) announced the N.C. Senate appointment of Julie Huneycutt, a Hendersonville resident, to the state’s Task Force on Sentencing Reforms for Opioid Drug Convictions.

Huneycutt will work with the attorney general, secretary of Health and Human Services, secretary of Public Safety, chief deputy secretary of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and executive director of the N.C. Sentencing and Advisory Commission to study the modification of current statute and how to recognize those convicted of opiate related crimes who would be able to successfully reintegrate into society.

“It is no surprise to those who know the work she has done in our community that Julie was selected to serve on this task force,” Edwards said. “The opioid drug epidemic effects everyone and every area of our state. Julie has been fighting for education and prevention for years. Her appointment to this task force strengthens the voice of our district in Raleigh and ensures that those best qualified are fighting to understand this epidemic.

“Julie will no doubt be very influential in this role, and each member of this task force will see her passion for this subject. I am grateful that Julie is willing to serve our area in such an important capacity to help make a difference and I was delighted to able to recommend her for this position.”

Huneycutt has been advocating against opioid and prescription drug abuse for many years. She attended N.C. State University, earning her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Reading Education. She also attended classes at Duke University, receiving her Prevention Coordinator Certification.

In 2014, Huneycutt became the director of HopeRx, Henderson County’s coalition to address prescription drug abuse and prevention. She also co-founded Anna’s Hope, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of prescription drug abuse.
She is an appointee to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and speaks regionally on issues surrounding prescription drug abuse. The Task Force on Sentencing Reform for Opioid Drug Convictions was created this year in House Bill 464. This task force will utilize those with extensive backgrounds and experience dealing with the opioid epidemic to better understand addicts and those convicted of related crimes.

Julie Huneycutt, who has been with RHA since 2015, says “We are confident that our footprint of prevention in Henderson County is contributing to awareness about this epidemic and is creating a platform to reduce the misuse of prescription, over the counter, and other illicit drugs through diversion and safe medication events, as well as public forums, and education in our schools. Our coalition continues to build a very strong partnership and is in full collaboration with local law enforcement, City and County Government, the Department of Public Health, City and County Schools, both area Hospitals, non-profit community clinics, EMS and Fire Departments as well as faith-based organizations, those with lived experience and community members.”

visit us online at www.hope-rx.org or on our Facebook page, HopeRx, Henderson County.

The Opioid Crisis: One community fights back.

The opioid epidemic facing our country, state, and local neighborhoods is proving to be an extraordinary opponent, but the community stakeholders in New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington are rising to the call and fighting back.

RHA has had the opportunity over the past several months to participate in a multitude of initiatives to combat this health crisis and we are honored to work alongside a host of others dedicated to serving. Projects such as the LEAD project, the Quick Response Team pilot, medication drop off sites, and community forums are designed to make a difference in the lives of those affected by opiate misuse.

Whether it is first responders, city or county officials, educators, or behavioral health providers, everyone comes to the table as an equal partner possessing knowledge, expertise, and compassion with a common goal of making a difference.

Leaders in this effort include professionals and citizens who have looked past artificial boundaries and are banding together around several strategies aimed at creating a healthier, more informed community. SEAHEC is leading the charge with increasing awareness and educating the public through pulling people from all layers of community groups.

This story is all about the team work we have experienced and the solutions we have produced as a group. I personally have been humbled by everyone’s willingness to come to the table asking the question “How can I help? How can I serve?”  -Kathy Smith, Ph.D. Chief Operating Officer, RHA Health Services, Behavioral Health

Opioid Task Force
L-R Front Travis Robinson, Molly Daughtry, Deb Vuocolo, Kathy Smith, Olivia Herdon, Tony McEwen; Back Kenny House, Antonio Roper, Mitch Cunningham (Robert Childs not pictured)

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