Quick Takes

Louisville mayor names board to oversee distribution of opioid settlement money

By: - September 21, 2023 2:53 pm

Connie Mendel, interim chief health strategist at the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, spoke at the July 13 announcement that Louisville would receive $57 million from opioid settlements with drug companies. (Kentucky Lantern Photo by Sarah Ladd).

LOUISVILLE—On schedule, Kentucky’s most populous city just finalized an advisory board to oversee its opioid settlement fund distribution. 

Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg appointed health experts and other local leaders to supervise the spending of more than $57 million from opioid settlements with CVS, Walgreens, Teva and Allergan. 

Release of the  $57 million will be spread over 18 years. 

The board is responsible for reviewing grant proposals from the community on ways to address the opioid crisis and recommending winners to Metro Council.  

The members of the new Opioid Settlement Distribution Advisory Board are, according to the public health department: 

  • Connie Mendel, the city’s interim chief health strategist, who will be the board chair.  
  • Dr. Inder Singal, the city’s interim medical director, who will be the board co-chair. 
  • Nicole George, the deputy mayor of public health and services. 
  • Councilman Philip Baker
  • Dr. Maryia Leyderman, licensed clinical forensic psychologist and executive administrator-chief psychologist at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, representing the behavioral health community.  
  • Lee Zimmerman, CEO of KidzClub, focused on the needs of children, youth, and families.  
  • Adria Johnson, president and CEO of Metro United Way, focused on building community resilience and addressing the root causes of substance use. 
  • Mariana Barzun, executive director, Mayor’s Office of Philanthropy.  
  • Barry Allen, president and treasurer of the Gheens Foundation, representing the philanthropy community.  

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged communities, families and individuals, causing widespread devastation and loss,” Greenberg said in a statement. “The settlement funds represent an opportunity to provide much-needed resources to immediately save lives, support prevention, treatment, recovery, and other critical initiatives aimed at alleviating the opioid crisis.” 

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.