ICYMI: Michigan receives $16M in federal funding to battle opioid addiction
By Jordan Climie
Michigan has received more than $16 million in federal funds to help reduce opioid use and abuse across the state, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced today.
“The addiction epidemic continues to impact families in every community across our state and across this country,” Calley said. “Michigan is making strides in the fight against addiction and this grant will help us bring those efforts to the next level, helping more families find the support they need to prevent and treat addiction.”
The funding was awarded to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The grants were also helped through U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s, R-St. Joseph, 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2016.
“It seems like everyone I meet is in some way impacted by this tragic opioid epidemic,” Upton said. “These grants will directly help those in need here in Southwest Michigan and across the country. I applaud the administration for getting these grants out in an expedited manner. As part of our bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act we fought hard to include this funding to aid in this public health crisis. Now, we’re delivering. To those in the midst of this fight: Help is on the way.”
The STR grant will be used to promote prevention and increase access to treatment by funding State of Michigan initiatives, including:
“This is an excellent opportunity to address the rise of opioid use disorders in our state,” said Dr. Debra Pinals, MDHHS chief psychiatrist. “Through this grant, we will strengthen our networks for prevention and treatment to reduce opioid-related deaths and make treatment more available for those who need it.”
From 1999 to 2014, Michigan saw a four-fold increase in unintentional fatal drug poisonings, and the state was ranked 10th in the nation in per capita prescribing rates of opioid pain relievers in 2012.
Calley led the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force in 2015, which issued recommendations to address the addiction epidemic. In 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder created the Michigan Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to implement the task force’s recommendations to combat the opioid epidemic and ensure the health and safety of Michigan residents. Last month, Snyder and Calley joined with a bicameral and bipartisan group of legislators to announce next legislative steps in a primary prevention strategy to better monitor controlled substances and prevent addiction from occurring in the first place. This included legislation from state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, aimed at ending prescription drug abuse through physician diversion.
For more information about substance abuse and mental health in Michigan, including local resources for addiction treatment, visit michigan.gov/bhrecovery.Read More
Michigan's lawmakers are reacting to an unconfirmed report that the EPA is thinking of shutting down its Region 5 office in Chicago. Under the plan, the Chicago office would merge with the Region 7 office in Kansas.
Republican Congressman Fred Upton represents Michigan’s 6th District, located in the southwest corner of the state along the shore of Lake Michigan. He spoke with Stateside about the potential proposal, which he said was “not a wise move.”Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today applauded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement of the first round of grants to help states and territories combat the opioid epidemic. These grants were made available as part of Upton’s bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act. The $485 million in grants will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will be used towards the prevention and treatment of opioid abuse.
“It seems like everyone I meet is in some way impacted by this tragic opioid epidemic,” said Upton. “These grants will directly help those in need here in Southwest Michigan and across the country. I applaud the administration for getting these grants out in an expedited manner. As part of our bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act we fought hard to include this funding to aid in this public health crisis. Now, we’re delivering. To those in the midst of this fight: Help is on the way.”
According to HHS, the State of Michigan was awarded $16,372,680 in this first round of grants.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement on a report that the federal government is considering closing the Chicago-based Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 office:
“If true, this report is shocking and I would strongly oppose the closing of the Region 5 office. We must not turn our backs on the safety, health, and future of the Great Lakes. Whatever the deficiencies of the Region 5 office, the folks there do play a critical role in protecting human health and the environment. In fact, it was my bipartisan legislation that would help make important reforms. I will continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in opposition to any cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the closing of this office. We must work together to protect the natural resources we all know and love.”
Background: The EPA Region 5 office has spearheaded issues such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Flint drinking water response, and Superfund sites in Region 5. The office serves Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Upton has previously expressed full support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is critical to the health of the Great Lakes.Read More
By Rep. Fred Upton and Rep. Diana DeGette
The National Institutes of Health is in the business of curing diseases. For more than a century, NIH scientists have improved American lives by making important discoveries that benefit public health.
That is why we remain extremely wary of any budget proposals that impose dramatic cuts to NIH. The administration recently requested budget cuts to NIH in fiscal year 2017 and FY 2018. The proposed cuts would slash NIH research and Institutional Development Award grants by more than $1.2 billion for the remainder of this year. And for next year, the proposed cuts would amount to $5.8 billion – roughly 20 percent of NIH’s budget.
These cuts might make sense on a spreadsheet, but they don’t accurately reflect the critical and often unprecedented work this agency actually does.
Medical research is about finding treatments and cures, but the funding behind this research also creates high-wage American jobs. In the short term, cutting funding for this type of basic research sends a signal to young American researchers — the best and brightest we have to offer — that finding cures is not a priority. It also indicates to American companies that they should take their high-tech businesses overseas where funding is more robust.
There are longer-term negative effects as well. Take, for example, Alzheimer’s disease. Today, one out of five Medicare dollars is spent on care related to this irreversible, progressive brain disorder. Finding a cure for this tragic disease sooner rather than later won’t just save countless lives and prevent unspeakable heartbreak, it will also save American taxpayers dollars.
Last year, President Barack Obama signed into law our bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act. This landmark legislation safely makes the approval process more efficient for life-saving drugs and devices, helping countless patients in need. We also infused the NIH with $4.8 billion in fully offset funding. These dollars will directly help advance research into the genetic, lifestyle, and environmental variations of disease, bolster research to find a cure for cancer, and invest in initiatives to help improve our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts throw many of these initiatives into turmoil.
Health care should be first and foremost about providing the highest quality of care for patients. This requires an environment that fosters greater innovation and more medical breakthroughs.
For these sorts of innovations to bear fruit, the NIH must be properly funded and receive the support it both needs and deserves. The search for cures must be a non-partisan, all-hands-on-deck effort. Tragic diseases don’t just affect Republicans, nor do they just affect Democrats. They touch all of our lives.
We sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget urging the administration to rethink these proposed cuts. Congress voted last year to reinvest in NIH research because we recognize its remarkable return on investment for the American people. NIH research saves lives, creates jobs, controls long-term entitlement costs, protects our national security, and advances our global leadership, all while bringing renewed hope to patients and families across the country.
We will continue to advocate for NIH funding with our colleagues here in Congress and would respectfully urge the Trump administration to rethink what gets left on the cutting room floor.Read More
By Vahid Sadrzadeh
It was a day close to a quarter-century in the making.
A special ceremony was held Tuesday recognizing, retired St. Joe Gulf War Veteran, Lewis Bolman.
In 1991, many of us turned on the television to watch missiles in the Middle East light up the night sky.
This marked the beginning of Operation Desert Storm.
Then 22-year-old Chemicals Specialist, Corporal Lewis Bolman, wasn’t thinking about this day.
”It’s a little humbling to see all of this in front of me. I have to say thank you for that,” said Bolman.
26 years after serving in Operation Desert Storm, now retired Corporal Bolman, was honored with 11 medals and decorations at a special ceremony in his hometown.
After a brief attempt to retrieve the awards with the Division of National Records, Bolman recently went to his District Representative, Congressman Fred Upton.
Representative Upton has helped other Michiana Veterans, like Bolman, in the past.
“It’s his moment. You could see how proud he was. And he remembers it like yesterday. You look at some of the pictures he brought back and yeah, he looks a bit different, but he’s proud of those. Today he’s finally getting the medals that were due to him,” said Representative Upton.
The retired Army Veteran said while in the Middle East, it was all about doing his job and doing it well.
“It’s something that came with it. We just went after it. Whole heartedly to get the job done properly and to keep everyone alive well. This is just an afterthought. And a heck of an afterthought,” said Bolman.
A total of 11 medals more than 25 years later.
Numbers never lie and the numbers may not add up but for this hometown war hero, the memories will never fade because his service will always live on.
“Mr. Upton delivered for me. So I’m very thankful,” said Bolman.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement on the news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responding to a chemical spill at the U.S. Steel facility in Portage, Indiana.
“This must be an all-hands-on-deck effort. If there is one thing that unites us it’s the need to protect our Great Lakes. Any chemical spill so close to Lake Michigan is cause for great concern. As we’ve seen with BP and Flint before, we must ensure clean water for everyone. We have been in contact with the EPA and they’ve assured me they are working hard to contain this spill.”
You can find more information on this spill from the EPA on their dedicated website HERE.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today released the following statement after Western Michigan University named Dr. Edward Montgomery as the ninth president of the university.
“Today is a good day to be a Bronco. This is great fit for Western Michigan University and our entire Kalamazoo community. I congratulated Dr. Montgomery earlier on his new role and look forward to working closely with him, just as I did with Dr. Dunn, as we make Southwest Michigan an attractive home to the leaders of the future.”Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today announced he will continue his series of tele-town halls with the next one happening Tuesday, April 11. The tele-town hall will tentatively begin at 5 p.m. It will last approximately one hour.
“These innovative tele-town halls allow for thousands of Southwest Michigan residents to make their voices heard,” said Upton. “Anyone on the call can ask me a direct question on any issue, participate in interactive polls so I can see where they stand, and hear my stance on specific legislation. I look forward to engaging with folks who are taking an active role in our democratic process.”
Upton has held three tele-town halls this year with more than 4,000 participants total and nearly 30 questions being asked and answered. You can listen to recordings of these tele-town halls here.
Those interested in signing up for the tele-town hall or looking for additional information should contact any of Upton’s three offices, or by visiting Upton’s dedicated webpage on tele-town halls here.Read More
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, released the following statement after the United States launched missile strikes on a Syrian airfield in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons to kill his own people:
“After Assad delivered a heinous chemical attack on his own citizens, an unmistakable message had to be delivered. I believe these targeted, measured airstrikes were an appropriate response to the unfolding atrocities. As we move forward, the administration must work with Congress and the international community to support these efforts.”
Additional background: In April, Upton visited the Bethany Christian Services Refugee Center in Grand Rapids to better understand the challenges refugees, including those from Syria, are facing. He will continue to support the humane and just treatment of refugees from war-torn regions.Read More
2183 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) is proud to represent the commonsense values of southwest Michigan. In 2010, Fred was selected by his House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over matters concerning energy, healthcare, the environment, telecommunications, commerce, manufacturing, and trade, as well as oversight and investigations.
Prior to his election to Congress, Fred worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). While at OMB, he learned from President Reagan’s example that it does not matter who gets the credit, as long as the job gets done.
Fred has a well-earned reputation for getting things done in Washington and at home in southwest Michigan. The South Bend Tribune writes that Fred “attacks government spending and wants tax cuts retained and the budget balanced.” Fred’s hometown paper, The Herald Palladium, praises Fred as someone who has “consistently fought against out-of-control spending and bigger government” and has “always treated constituent services as a vital part of his job.”
Fred’s top priorities are job creation and economic growth in southwest Michigan.
Fred strongly supports an “all of the above” energy strategy that puts a greater emphasis on domestic energy production, the advancement of breakthrough technologies, and the development of safe nuclear power. Fred has also been a leading opponent of overreaching federal regulations that stifle economic growth, harm jobs, and raise energy costs for Michigan families and businesses.
Fred values our constitutional system of government checks and balances. Fred is focused on ensuring the federal government remains limited, transparent, and accountable, as our Founding Fathers intended. As Energy and Commerce Chairman, Fred has led the over-year-long investigation of Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar company that was the recipient of a half-billion dollar Department of Energy loan guarantee.
Fred has also worked to increase the deployment of telecommunications services as well as ensure that free speech and private innovation remain the hallmarks of this industry by opposing needless regulation. Fred helped oversee the successful transition from analog to digital broadcasting – one of the top priorities of the 9-11 Commission. Fred has also worked to guarantee that our children are protected from online predators and indecent material.
Fred has pushed for a greater emphasis on biomedical research to improve the public health. As Energy and Commerce Chairman, one of Fred’s top priorities is to repeal the President’s controversial healthcare law and replace it with commonsense, market-based reforms that benefit patients, doctors, and employers.
Fred was born on April 23, 1953 and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Amey have two children.