Moms on a mission file petition for federal ‘state of emergency’ status

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State of Emergency in NH

‘As three mothers who love our communities and our state, we are coming together to ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency. This important designation will allow our government to immediately begin deploying resources to New Hampshire and other states in the grips of this epidemic.’ 


From left, Kriss Blevens, Renee Plummer and Stefany Shaheen.
From left, Kriss Blevens, Renee Plummer and Stefany Shaheen.

At this time last year, the World Health Organization declared success in ending the transmission of the Ebola virus in parts of West Africa.  We all remember the fear that washed over our communities at the rapid spread of such a deadly illness. It is hard to forget. Thankfully, our nation’s public health response changed the course of the epidemic in the United States and in countries around the globe.

During the Ebola outbreak, our federal government declared a public health emergency and more than $175 million in funding started to flow. Every day news reports told stories of valiant efforts to contain the spread in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Our families watched video footage of hospital workers dressing in personal protective equipment and people getting their temperatures taken at the airport. The CDC issued travel warnings and worked round the clock to make sure that emergency responders and other health care personnel understood the safety protocol required to care for people with Ebola. One person, who contracted the virus outside of the United States, died in a Texas hospital and others were kept for monitoring. Ebola. Who can forget?

The devastating reality today is that our state is in the grips of a different deadly epidemic. One person A DAY is dying in New Hampshire. One person A DAY.  This year, heroin deaths topped highway fatalities. Our state has some of the highest rates of addiction per capita in the United States. Numerous factors have lead to this rapid rise – from the over-prescribing of opioids to inexpensive access. Heroin is a drug that is easier to get and take than ever before and it is ravaging families. This is a public health emergency and we need to mobilize resources to respond to this growing crisis.

We know too many families who are being pulled apart by this deadly addiction. The mother in tears as she described bringing her daughter to the emergency room with a suitcase and waiting there for 8 hours while pleading with the hospital to admit her for fear that if they didn’t, she would die. The health care worker who describes administering Narcan to a pregnant woman only to watch her return a few days later in search of more of this antidote. The first responder who describes what it is like to be the first on scene after a young man has died following an overdose. And the families who have been plummeted to the depths of grief at the loss of their loved ones. People across New Hampshire are desperate to find a way to help their family members, neighbors, colleagues, and friends. Desperate.

Combating this epidemic requires swift, aggressive and comprehensive action. We cannot do this alone. As a state, we need reinforcement if we are going to be able to provide treatment and recovery services for all those in need given that we only have 6,000 treatment beds and it is estimated that 100,000 New Hampshire citizens are currently dealing with addiction. Police, fire departments, and hospitals need additional support. Our schools must immediately implement prevention programs.

As three mothers who love our communities and our state, we are coming together to ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency. This important designation will allow our government to immediately begin deploying resources to New Hampshire and other states in the grips of this epidemic.  We now know that Substance Abuse Disorder is a disease with widespread suffering and fatalities and is progressing at a rapid and unanticipated rate.  This is a disease that can be treated through detoxification, abstinence and long-term recovery support. To stem this tide, we need the full breadth and depth of our government’s capacity to respond in times of crisis.

Let us come together – Republicans, Independents and Democrats – and respond decisively in the face of this epidemic. Together we can call on our government to issue a public health emergency and allocate resources to help us eradicate this deadly disorder. We can do this and we must do this for the loved ones we have lost, for the future of our children, and for the wellbeing and safety of our communities.

Renee Plummer, Republican, Small Business Owner, and Concerned Mom

Kriss Blevens, Independent, Small Business Owner, and Concerned Mom

Stefany Shaheen, Democrat, Small Business Owner, and Concerned Mom


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About Carol Robidoux 5476 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.
  • *applause*

    I love this initiative. State leaders, take a cue from Renee, Kriss, and Stefany.