OKLAHOMA CITY (June 11, 2024) – Attorney General Gentner Drummond and 42 other attorneys general have reached a $700 million nationwide settlement to resolve allegations related to the marketing of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and body powder products that contained talc.

The consent judgment filed in the lawsuit addresses allegations that the company deceptively promoted and misled consumers in advertisements related to the safety and purity of some of its talc powder products. As part of the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to stop the U.S. manufacture and sale of its baby powder and body powder products containing talc.

Johnson & Johnson sold such products for more than a hundred years. After the coalition of states began investigating, the company stopped distributing and selling these products in the United States and more recently ended global sales. While this lawsuit targeted the deceptive marketing of these products, numerous other lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs in class actions raised allegations that talc causes serious health issues including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

Under the consent judgment, Johnson & Johnson:

  • Has ceased and not resumed the manufacturing, marketing, promotion, sale and distribution of all baby and body powder products and cosmetic powder products that contain talcum powder, including, but not limited to, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower (“Covered Products”) in the U.S.
  • Shall permanently stop the manufacture of any Covered Products in the U.S. either directly or indirectly through any third party.
  • Shall permanently stop the marketing and promotion of any Covered Products in the U.S. either directly or indirectly through any third party.
  • Shall permanently stop the sale or distribution any Covered Products in the U.S. either directly or indirectly through any third party.

“This landmark settlement signifies a tremendous step forward in consumer protection for Oklahomans and all Americans,” Drummond said. “With research underscoring the connection between these products and ovarian cancer, this settlement is a responsible course of action.”

As part of the settlement, which is pending judicial approval, Oklahoma will receive $9.8 million.

Texas, Florida and North Carolina led the multistate settlement. In addition to Oklahoma, the agreement was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

To read the settlement, click here and here..

OKLAHOMA CITY – Each year, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) works with lawmakers to pursue policies which will benefit youth. Following every session, we select “Children’s Legislators of the Year” who did tremendous work for youth, along with retiring lawmakers who have had a distinguished career in working on youth issues. I will recognize those retirees in my column next week to honor space allowed for my weekly column.

In the Senate, our board chose Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa; Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-Midwest City; and Sen. JoAnna Dossett, D-Tulsa as the Children’s Senators of the Year.

OICA’s honorees as Children’s Representatives of the Year are Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater; Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-OKC; and Rep. Jeff Boatman, R-Tulsa, for their work on legislative issues.

Senator Rader and Representative Talley worked to advance legislation which would have prevented school employees from the deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline for certain categories of special needs students, a practice still allowed in dozens of school districts around the state. The legislation in no way impacts parental actions, but simply prevents a government employee from striking children who often are not capable of understanding why they are being hit.

Representative Bennett and Senator Stanley authored The Hope Shaffer Act, a new law which will require parents of students in commercial driver’s education vehicles to sign a waiver of understanding that a student driver will be operating a vehicle with their child in the backseat while in operation. Hope was a young Oklahoman who died in a car crash while in the back seat of such a vehicle. We appreciate these two lawmakers for their work, as do the parents of Hope who worked tirelessly at the State Capitol to see this pass.

Senator Dossett has been working to improve access to maternity and parental leave for Oklahoma parents of newborns, along with championing many public education efforts. Senator Dossett also worked with Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay, to pass a law which adjusts the membership of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee and directs birthing centers report certain information related to maternal deaths, critical information needed when conducting investigations.

Representative Boatman has been the most solid leader working on mental health issues in the state Legislature. He is a true “compassionate conservative” in balancing budgets while providing much needed resources for Oklahomans struggling with mental health issues which lead often to homelessness, suicide, and incarceration. By addressing this epidemic through his legislative work, Representative Boatman has helped improve conditions which will soon see better results thanks to his work.

In a few days, we should have our annual legislative report card finalized for review on our website. You can go to https://www.oica.org to see how your senator and representatives rated in the bills which OICA graded. While OICA cannot endorse candidates in elections due to our nonprofit status, this scorecard is not for election purposes, but simply informative so you will know which positive and negative actions were taken in the 2024 legislative session by policymakers as determined by our Advocacy Committee.

In closing, I want to remind Oklahomans that the Primary Election Day is on Tuesday, June 18th and it is important to exercise this most important of rights given to Americans. You can vote at your county election board this weekend or at your polling place on Tuesday.

Please vote in an informed manner and elect leaders who will serve in the best interest of Oklahoma’s children.

 

About OICA: The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk. Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”

The Week

Gasoline prices took another trip south this week, falling eight cents since last Thursday to $3.48. It marks the largest weekly drop of the year.

In Oklahoma, the gas average is $2.99 today, down 8 cents in the last week and 20 cents less expensive than one year ago. Today’s national average is $3.47, 17 cents less than a month ago and 8 cents less than a year ago.

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.97), Arkansas ($2,99), Oklahoma ($2.99), Texas ($3.00), Kansas ($3.05), Louisiana ($3.05), Tennessee ($3.05), Missouri ($3.10), South Carolina ($3.12), and Alabama ($3.13).

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

6/7/24

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$3.47

$3.55

$3.55

Oklahoma

$2.99

$3.07

$3.19

Oklahoma City

$2.98

$3.09

$3.23

Tulsa

$2.92

$3.01

$3.03

Lawton

$2.83

$2.93

$3.03

Crude Oil

$75.24 per barrel (6/7/24)

$76.99 per barrel (5/31/24)

$70.17 per barrel (6/9/23)

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI declined by $1.75 to settle at $75.24 a barrel. The EIA reports that crude oil inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels from the previous week. At 455.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 4% below the five-year average for this time of year.  

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand dipped from 9.14 b/d to 8.94 last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks jumped from 228.8 to 230.9 million bbl. Tepid gasoline demand, increasing supply, and falling oil costs will likely lead to falling pump prices.

The Weekend

“This drop in pump prices appears to have some sticking power for now,” said Rylie Fletcher, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson. “More states should see their averages dip below $3 a gallon in the coming weeks.”

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

 

About AAA:
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 64 million members nationwide and more than 400,000 members in Oklahoma.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit www.AAA.com.

POTEAU, OK:  – Local restaurant Warehouse Willy’s will be hosting a visit from America’s Best Restaurants (ABR) in mid-June 2024. 

America’s Best Restaurants, a national media and marketing company focusing on bringing attention to local, independently-owned restaurants, will bring its ABR Roadshow to the restaurant on June 21st.  Popular dishes will be highlighted, along with an extensive on-camera interview with owner Terry Williamson and manager Jesse Fout about the restaurants’ special place in the community. The episodes will be aired extensively on social media channels at a later date.

Open since 1996, Warehouse Willy’s is a renowned steakhouse in the state and won the 2000 Golden Fork Award from the Gourmet Diners Society of North America for the best steaks in the country.

The restaurant was nominated to be on the Roadshow by Debbie Curran, who noted the great food, great staff and the atmosphere. 

The restaurant’s dimly lit interior sports vintage and historical ephemera as decor, filling the walls with photographs, dollar bills, and signage of all kinds. The menu offers a solid array of dinners, burgers, salads, starters and stuffed potatoes, as well as an extensive beer, wine and cocktail selection.

The top seller which is likely to be featured on the episode is the ribeye steak, followed by the bacon-wrapped filet mignon.

“Absolutely the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth,” Terry says of the filet.

Terry also says that consistency and an excellent staff are what put Warehouse Willy’s on the map.

“I’ve always been able to find good people,” he says. “And there’s hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t stop me and say: ‘We’ve been eating here twenty years. It’s the same as it was the first day we walked in the door.’ Consistent.” 

America’s Best Restaurants will be filming on location on Friday June 21st from 2 pm to 5 pm CST. The press is invited to attend. The restaurant’s finished episode premiere date will be announced on their Facebook page and will be featured on America’s Best Restaurants’ website.

Restaurants featured on the ABR Roadshow are selected based on their customer reviews, menu items, social media presence, and level of involvement with their community. They are found through customer nominations, internal vetting or by a restaurant applying to be featured at www.americasbestrestaurants.com

About Warehouse Willy’s: Open Tuesday through Saturday, Warehouse Willy’s is located at 300 Dewey Ave, Poteau OK 74953. Telephone is (918) 649-3400.  For more information visit ‘Warehouse Willy’s’ on Facebook. 

About ABR: With offices in Florence, KY and Las Vegas, America’s Best Restaurants is a national media and restaurant marketing company that travels the country telling the stories and highlighting the unique food of locally owned independent restaurants as part of their ABR Roadshow. Restaurants are featured not only on ABR’s Restaurant Network of social media channels and website, but also each individual establishment’s Facebook page. With over 1300 episodes filmed, America’s Best Restaurants is the premier marketing agency for restaurant owners and operators to have their story broadcast coast-to-coast. Visit AmericasBestRestaurants.com to learn more and to view the episodes and profiles of hundreds of America’s Best Restaurants! 

Newswise — June 6, 2024, Cleveland:Cleveland Clinic researchers found higher amounts of the sugar alcohol xylitol are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. 

The team, led by Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., confirmed the association in a large-scale patient analysis, preclinical research models and a clinical intervention study. Findings were published today in the European Heart Journal

Xylitol is a common sugar substitute used in sugar-free candy, gums, baked goods and oral products like toothpaste. Over the past decade, the use of sugar substitutes, including sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, has increased significantly in processed foods that are promoted as healthy alternatives.  

The same research team found a similar link between erythritol and cardiovascular risk last year. Xylitol is not as prevalent as erythritol in keto or sugar-free food products in the U.S. but is common in other countries. 

“This study again shows the immediate need for investigating sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, especially as they continue to be recommended in combatting conditions like obesity or diabetes,” said Dr. Hazen, Chair of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and Co-Section Head of Preventive Cardiology in the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. “It does not mean throw out your toothpaste if it has xylitol in it, but we should be aware that consumption of a product containing high levels could increase the risk of blood clot related events.”

In this new study, researchers identified that high levels of circulating xylitol were associated with an elevated three-year risk of cardiovascular events in an analysis of more than 3,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe. A third of patients with the highest amount of xylitol in their plasma were more likely to experience a cardiovascular event. To confirm the findings, the research team conducted pre-clinical testing and found that xylitol caused platelets to clot and heightened the risk of thrombosis. Researchers also tracked platelet activity from people who ingested a xylitol-sweetened drink versus a glucose-sweetened drink and found that every measure of clotting ability significantly increased immediately following ingestion of xylitol but not glucose. 

The authors note that further studies assessing the long-term cardiovascular safety of xylitol are warranted. The research had several limitations, including that clinical observation studies demonstrate association and not causation. They recommend talking to your doctor or a certified dietitian to learn more about healthy food choices and for personalized recommendations. 

The research is part of Dr. Hazen’s ongoing investigation into factors that contribute to residual cardiovascular risk. His team follows patients over time and finds chemical signatures in blood that can predict the future development of heart and metabolic disease. He has made pioneering discoveries in atherosclerosis and inflammatory disease research, including the seminal discovery linking gut microbial pathways to cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases. 

Dr. Hazen also directs Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Microbiome and Human Health and holds the Jan Bleeksma Chair in Vascular Cell Biology and Atherosclerosis. 

The study was supported in part by National Institutes of Health and the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Disclosures: Dr. Hazen is named as co-inventor on pending and issued patents held by Cleveland Clinic in relation to cardiovascular diagnostics and therapeutics.   

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Newswise — Increasing the levels of a key protein in the cells at the back of the eye could help protect against the leading cause of vision loss among older adults, finds a new discovery made by researchers from the UK, US, Germany and Australia. The University of Bristol-led findings are published today [5 June] in Science Translational Medicine and featured on the front cover. 

Progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — a common condition impacting central vision, for which there are currently no effective treatments, affects around 200-million people worldwide. This number is expected to rise to 288-million by 2040 as the population ages.  This new breakthrough could lead to new and more effective AMD treatments. 

AMD can severely impact a person’s vision. Patients suffering from AMD often start with blurred vision or seeing a black dot in their central vision, which can ultimately expand to the point where there is no useful central vision. The exact cause of AMD is complex and thought to involve a combination of aging, genetics, environment and lifestyle factors. 

Primarily affecting people over the age of 50, the risk of developing AMD significantly increases with age​ and makes tasks like reading and driving​ difficult. 

Scientists believe that chronic inflammation, which is typical with aging, is associated with the reduction of a key immune regulatory protein called IRAK-M. This protein is crucial for protecting the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a layer of cells essential for maintaining a healthy retina. When RPE cells are damaged, it can result in serious eye conditions and vision loss. 

In this study, researchers investigated the role of IRAK-M in AMD by examining genetic variations and their link to AMD risk. By studying IRAK-M levels in patient samples and mouse models of retinal degeneration, the team observed changes in retinal function in mice lacking the IRAK3 gene, which expresses the IRAK-M protein. They found that IRAK-M decreases with age, especially in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and this decline is more pronounced in those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

The team then sought to explore whether increasing IRAK-M could protect retinal cells from degeneration in mouse models and whether it is a potential therapeutic target for macular degeneration. They show that increasing IRAK-M levels through RPE-specific gene delivery helps protect against the effects of aging and oxidative stress and reduces retinal degeneration. 

Andrew Dick, Professor of Ophthalmology from Bristol Medical School at the University of Bristol, Director of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and one of the study’s lead authors, said: “Our findings suggest that boosting a protein called IRAK-M could be a potential treatment strategy for AMD and could offer an exciting new therapeutic target for this common condition for which effective therapies remain elusive.” 

Dr Jian Liu, the lead author and senior research scientist at the Academic Unit of Ophthalmology at the University of Bristol, added: “Since age stands as the primary risk factor for AMD, the gradual decrease of IRAK-M levels with age and a further decline in AMD signifies intricate biological mechanisms underlying the disease’s development and suggests a potential marker of early AMD progression.” 

The authors aim to help develop the therapies further through a new University of Bristol spin-out company called Cirrus Therapeutics. 

Dr Ying Kai Chan, Cirrus Therapeutics co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, and one of the study’s co-lead authors, said: “This discovery will build and improve upon current treatments for AMD, which are targeting single pathophysiology pathways. Our novel approach not only addresses the multiple pathways involved in treating AMD but also offers the most compelling and evidence-based strategy available today.” 

The research was funded by the Rosetrees Trust; Stoneygate Trust; Underwood Trust; Macular Society; Sight Research UK; Moran Eye Center and Sharon Eccles Steele Center for Translational Medicine (SCTM) at the University of Utah, USA, and supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) BRC Moorfields and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. 

Paper 

‘Replenishing IRAK-M expression in retinal pigment epithelium attenuates outer retinal degeneration’ by Jian Liu et al. in Science Translational Medicine

 

Journal Link

Thursday, 06 June 2024 08:59

Is the Electric Vehicle Hype Over?

AAA finds interest in EVs declining as Americans turn their attention to hybrids

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – June 6, 2024 – The most recent annual consumer survey by AAA on Electric Vehicles (EVs) indicates a decline in consumer interest in purchasing EVs. Only 18% of U.S. adults say they would be "very likely" or "likely" to buy a new or used EV (not a hybrid) - down from 23% last year. Even more revealing, 63% cited “unlikely or very unlikely” to purchase an EV for their next car purchase.

"Early adopters who wanted an EV already have one," said Greg Brannon, director of automotive research at AAA. "The remaining group of people who have yet to adopt EVs consider the practicality, cost, convenience, and ownership experience, and for some, those are big enough hurdles to keep them from making the jump to fully electric."

AAA found the main hesitations in purchasing an EV continue to be cost, lack of convenient charging options, and range anxiety. Three in ten also cited the inability to install a charging station where they live.
 

AAA_EV Survey Graph_Barriers_24' (1).pngAccessible, reliable, affordable, and convenient charging is key to growing EV interest and adoption. For people who live in an apartment or condo, at-home charging options are likely not possible. An EV might be a great choice for households with 2+ cars, but it might not fit the consumer who has to rely on their car for everyday use and travel.

AAA believes there may be a near-term ceiling related to consumer adoption of battery electric vehicles due to their costs, charging accessibility, and range anxiety. However, hybrid options could bridge these gaps, broadening consumer interest in owning an EV. AAA’s survey also found that one in three U.S. adults (31%) say they would be “very likely” or “likely” to buy a hybrid. Access to a hybrid vehicle lessens the anxiety for consumers because it allows people to enjoy the benefits of electrification without feeling like they are disrupting their current lifestyle or travel plans (longer distance driving, less charging options, etc.).

“Deciding to make the leap to full electric may feel overwhelming for many consumers, and a hybrid option may be the way to bridge this gap,” continued Brannon. “Consumer demand will ultimately dictate the future, and my prediction is that we will have a mix of EVs, hybrids, and internal combustion vehicles in dealerships and on the roads in the US for many decades ahead.”

To help educate the public, AAA conducts ongoing research on EVs, including consumer sentiment surveys, testing to determine factors impacting electric vehicle range, the true cost of electric vehicle ownership, and a survey on consumers’ experience with going electric.

AAA has a range of resources and services for EV owners, those interested in making the switch, or those who want to try a rental.  

  • EV 101: Online resource for anyone interested in going electric, whether shopping for new OR used.
  • The “CARBs” of Driving an EV: An acronym for 1st time EV Drivers that surveys Point of View (POV) survey from 1st time drivers on how to remember EV based driving tips.
  • Your Driving Cost Calculator: An online resource available to consumers that gives a yearly breakdown of EV ownership costs
  • #AdultingwithAAA: Car Care Electric Vehicles – Low Maintenance – No Problem: AAA series for young adults providing helpful tips, advice, and life hacks on all things “Adulting.”
  • Mobile EV Charging Pilot & AAA EV Member Benefits: Available in select cities, this service is now part of our roadside assistance and will get EV owners back on the go if they run out of charge. That's just one of the many benefits and services we offer our EV members.
  • EV Research: AAA in-house experts research consumer sentiment around EVs and their functionality.
  • AAA Car Guide: For those in the market for newer used EVs, the online resources also contain links to the two prior editions in 2022 and 2023.

Methodology

The survey was conducted April 4-8, 2024, using a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population overall. The panel provides sample coverage of approximately 97% of the U.S. household population. Most surveys were completed online; consumers without Internet access were surveyed over the phone.

A total of 1,152 interviews were completed among U.S. adults, 18 years of age or older. The margin of error for the study overall is +/- 4% at the 95% confidence level. Smaller subgroups have larger error margins.

About AAA:
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 64 million members nationwide and more than 400,000 members in Oklahoma.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit www.AAA.com.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) data show from 2013 to 2022, there were 141 heat-related deaths in Oklahoma, with more than 85% occurring from June to August.

However, heat can be impactful any time of year, especially if the temperature outside is nearing 90°F.

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, so it is important to keep safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Stay Cool:

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to allow your body to breathe and regulate its temperature.
  • Plan outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as morning or evening.
  • Pace yourself outdoors, especially if you're not used to working or exercising in the heat.
  • Listen to your body; if you start feeling lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint, take a break in a cool or shaded area, resting until you feel better.

Stay Hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks, as these can contribute to dehydration.
  • Drink cool or room temperature beverages; very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.
  • Replenish salt and minerals lost from your body after prolonged or heavy sweating.

Stay Informed:

The impact of heat can vary depending on the person and other personal health factors. For example, individuals with a heart condition are more susceptible to heat illness than individuals who don’t have a heart condition.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health.

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 4, 2024) – The Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board today awarded $11 million in grant awards to 71 cities, counties, schools districts and public trusts to help address Oklahoma’s opioid crisis.

Attorney General Gentner Drummond said the grants represent the first distribution for the board. Another 31 applicants were invited to resubmit applications that were incomplete or did not cover an approved purpose.

Grants will fund treatment and recovery programs, assistance with co-occurring disorders and mental health issues, opioid abuse education and prevention, proper prescription efforts, and strategies to decrease the supply of narcotics across the state.

“Today the board took an important step in providing resources to tackle the terrible crisis we are seeing across our state when it comes to fentanyl and other deadly opioids,” Drummond said. “I am also pleased we will have the opportunity to offer additional grants once applications that did not meet the grant criteria are resubmitted.”

The largest grant awarded was $700,000 to the City of Tulsa and Tulsa Public Schools, which jointly applied to fund coordinated opioid abatement services between the Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Police Department and Healthy Minds Policy Initiative nonprofit. The Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity will oversee the funds.

Other grants include $300,000 to the Comanche County Hospital Authority to establish a women’s and children’s program for opioid-affected families, $150,000 to MetroTech to expand existing opioid abatement initiatives, and $75,000 to Woodward County for opioid abuse education and prevention programs targeting middle school and high school students.

Grants will be distributed as soon as recipients return their award agreements.

In 2022, there were nearly 800 opioid-related deaths in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Of those, fentanyl was responsible for 619 fatal overdoses.

The following applicants were approved for grant awards:

Counties:

  • Adair County
  • Cherokee County
  • Cleveland County
  • Creek County
  • Kingfisher County
  • Leflore County
  • Lincoln County
  • Mayes County
  • Muskogee County
  • Oklahoma County
  • Okmulgee County
  • Payne County
  • Pontotoc County
  • Seminole County
  • Tulsa County
  • Wagoner County
  • Woodward County

Cities:

  • Bartlesville
  • Bixby
  • Edmond
  • Lawton
  • Lone Grove
  • Muskogee
  • Norman
  • Okmulgee
  • Pryor Creek
  • Shawnee
  • Stilwell
  • Tahlequah

School Districts:

  • Bartlesville
  • Bethany
  • Checotah
  • Comanche
  • Dickson
  • Edmond
  • Guthrie
  • Guymon
  • Hillsdale
  • Jenks
  • Keys
  • Lindsay
  • Marietta
  • Maysville
  • Metro Technology Centers
  • Moore
  • Mosely
  • Norman
  • Pawhuska
  • Perkins-Tryon
  • Purcell
  • Sand Springs
  • Shawnee
  • South Coffeyville
  • Stigler
  • Stillwater
  • Stillwell
  • Tishomingo
  • Union
  • Warner
  • Western Heights
  • Westville

Trusts:

  • Cardinal Point Public Trust
  • Comanche County Memorial Hospital Authority
  • Grady Memorial Hospital Authority
  • McAlester Regional Health Center Authority
  • Norman Regional Hospital Authority
  • Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority
  • Tahlequah Hospital Authority

Joint Applications:

  • Jackson County and City of Altus
  • Rogers County and City of Claremore
  • City of Tulsa and Tulsa Public Schools

The following applicants were invited to resubmit applications in accordance with grant criteria:

Counties:

  • Hughes County
  • Haskell County
  • Larimer County
  • McCurtain County
  • Osage County
  • Pittsburg County
  • Multi-County coalition of:
    • Beckham County
    • Caddo County
    • Comanche County
    • Cotton County
    • Custer County
    • Grady County
    • Greer County
    • Harmon County
    • Jefferson County
    • Kiowa County
    • Stephens County
    • Tilman County

Cities:

  • Gore
  • Guymon
  • Haileyville
  • Hartshorne
  • Hugo
  • Ponca City
  • Savanna
  • Slaughterville
  • Warr Acres

School Districts:

  • Lawton
  • Northwest Technology Center
  • Owasso

Joint Application:

Broken Arrow Public Schools and City of Broken Arrow

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