IORAB Access & Equity Workgroup Minutes 4.11.23

Illinois Opioid Remediation Advisory Board

    • Access & Equity Working Group Meeting
    • April 11, 2023
    • Virtual Meeting Held Via Zoom
  • Meeting Minutes

    • Access and Equity Working Group Members

      • Joel K. Johnson, TASC, Inc. (Chair)
      • Ty Bechel, Bechel and Associates
      • David Gomel, PhD, Rosecrance
      • Mike Tyson, Take Action Today
      • Shane Pettigrew, Illinois State Police
      • Wyvetta Grainger, Community Member
      • Rebecca Estrada, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)
      • Stacey Stottler, Illinois Community College Board
      • Don Otis, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center of St. Clair County
      • Jonnell Benson-Cobbs, DPN, Serenity Treatment and Counseling Center
      • Tim Devitt, PsyD, Private Practice
      • Gail Richardson, West Side Opioid Task Force
      • Debbie Holsapple, Jefferson County Comprehensive Services
      • Michelle Saddler, Kittleman & Associates, LLC
      • Charles Stratton, Department of Human Resources, Sangamon County
      • James L. Grafton, Administrator, Rock Island County
      • Jennifer Lehman, Burlington Community School District
      • Diana Bottari, MD, Advocate Aurora Health
      • Karen Ayala, DuPage County Health Department
      • Michelle Kavouras, PCC Community Wellness Center/New Directions Addiction Services
      • Blanca Campos, Community Behavioral Healthcare Association
      • Allison Arwady, MD, Chicago Department of Public Health
      • John Werning, Chicago Recovery Alliance
      • Mark Mulroe, A Safe Haven Foundation
      • Melissa Hernandez, Puerto Rico Project

Welcome and Roll Call

  • Working group member Karen Ayala led the meeting in Joel Johnson's absence. Ms. Ayala welcomed the group and called the meeting to order. Sue Pickett, PhD of Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), facilitator, conducted roll call. All members were present except for Joel Johnson, Ty Bechel, Mike Tyson, Wyvetta Grainger, Rebecca Estrada, Stacey Stottler, Don Otis, James Grafton, Michelle Kavouras, Jennifer Lehman, John Werning, and Melissa Hernandez. Quorum was not established.
  • Sherrine Peyton, Statewide Opioid Settlement Administrator (SOSA), provided an update on voting. She reported that when quorum is not established, working group members may choose to vote on action items by consensus.

Review of February 14, 2023 and March 14, 2023 Meeting Minutes

  • The group agreed to vote by consensus to approve the revised February 14, 2023 meeting minutes. (Note: Minutes were revised to reflect Ms. Estrada's current place of employment). Mr. Pettigrew made a motion to approve the meeting minutes. Dr. Benson-Cobbs seconded the motion. All working group members in attendance voted in favor of the motion. The motion passed.
  • The March 14, 2023 meeting minutes were reviewed. The group agreed to vote by consensus. Mr. Pettigrew made a motion to approve the minutes. Ms. Saddler seconded the motion. All working group members in attendance voted in favor of the motion. The motion passed.

Priority Recommendations for the IORAB

  • Ms. Peyton provided an update on the Access & Equity Working Group recommendations. She is exploring existing resources related to services for pregnant and postpartum women (PPW) with opioid use disorder (OUD). She spoke with Lisa Cohen of the Illinois Department of Human Services/Department of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) to ensure that the recommendation addresses gaps in services. She is also looking for data to help support the recommendation to fund services for PPW with OUD. Ms. Peyton noted that language regarding pregnant and postpartum individuals should be changed from pregnant and postpartum women to pregnant and postpartum people (PPP), as pregnant and postpartum people may not identify as women.
    • Working group members discussed the following challenges:
  • The threat of children being taken away from PPP with OUD by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) needs to be addressed. This threat makes PPW reluctant to seek services.
  • We need to build providers' capacity to address the needs of PPP. Outreach to obstetricians at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) would be helpful.
  • It is difficult to care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS); resources are needed to support parents and help them care for infants with NAS.
    • The group stated that settlement funds should be used to 1) build the capacity of medical providers, 2) provide counseling and support to persons with NAS infants, and 3) provide enhanced payments to providers with pregnant and postpartum clients who are involved in multiple systems.
  • Ms. Peyton said the Workforce Development Working Group will begin meeting in July, after an IORAB member is identified and agrees to chair the working group. As with all IORAB working groups, member representation from all regions of Illinois will be required.
  • Ms. Peyton shared that the recommendation to fund infrastructure support has been raised by several groups. Equitable distribution of pilot or seed funding through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is being explored.
  • Ms. Peyton stated that a NOFO is being developed for the Community Outreach and Recovery Support (CORS) model pilot that was approved by the IORAB and the Steering Committee last fall. The CORS model promotes collaboration between SUPR licensed providers and local stakeholders to develop outreach initiatives that address the needs of communities and families affected by OUDs. Outreach teams will engage people living with an OUD. The pilot would also allow opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to develop unique community services for at-risk populations and children, as well as special populations and those facing barriers to obtaining services. Ms. Peyton noted that the working group'srecommendation for sustainable funding for services that increase access to OUD treatment and recovery is covered in the CORS model pilot. Ms. Peyton explained that organizations and communities will have flexibility in how they choose to implement the model and the disparities they plan to address.
  • It was noted that it will be important to ensure that the $5 million (M) allocated will cover all statewide services and supports required, including those recommended by the working group that address social determinants of care. If more than $5M is needed, the working group should make that recommendation.
  • A working group member stressed the importance of distributing funding equitably based on rates of opioid deaths per capita and understanding the population served.
  • A working group member said that sustainability was a key part of the Access & Equity Working Group's recommendation. It is important to ensure there is a plan to sustain CORS services after the pilot ends.
    • The working group drafted the following recommendation in reference to the CORS model pilot funding: Recommendation that the CORS model pilot funding take into consideration the impact of OUD (per capita rates of death); geographic distribution and leveraging existing infrastructure support with the expectation that sustainable funding will be available if outcomes have been met. The group decided to vote on the recommendation by consensus.
  • Ms. Ayala made a motion to approve the recommendation. Dr. Devitt seconded the motion. All working group members in attendance voted in favor of the motion. The motion passed.
    • Dr. Devitt stated that the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) legislation is moving forward. Dr. Pickett will share updates with the working group.

Public Participation

    • There were no members of the public in attendance.


  • Ms. Saddler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Stratton seconded the motion. All working group members present voted in favor of the motion. The motion passed.
  • The next Access & Equity Working Group meeting will be held via Zoom on May 9, 2023, from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM.