Commissioner to serve on opioid crisis panel, April 12

On Thursday, April 12, the Greater Detroit Area Health Council and the Tri-Community Coalition will host an educational panel discussion about the current opioid crisis and how employers can help support impacted employees and their families. Oakland County Commissioner Helaine Zack, who has been a social worker and active in the employee assistance field for over 35 years, will serve as a panelist and share her insight and expertise at the event.

“Opioid abuse is a public health crisis that impacts all of us,” said Zack.

Zack is a committed and experienced advocate for vulnerable citizens, especially those dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence and trauma. Other panel speakers at the event will include Rony Foumia, pharmacy district leader appointed by Governor Snyder, and Trisha Zizumbo of the Oakland County Health Division. In addition to his role as pharmacy district leader, Foumia is a guest lecturer at Wayne State University School of Pharmacy, and teaches about community pharmacy practice and the opioid epidemic. Zizumbo is a health education supervisor and facilitates the Oakland County Prescription Drug Partnership. She has more than 13 years of public health experience and specializes in substance use disorder prevention and suicide prevention.

The panel will discuss a variety of topics, including how the opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions, new legislation related to opioids and how it will impact the public, and how to end stigma around addiction and mental illness. A key focus will be addressing how employers can help employees impacted by these issues, and how they can best utilize their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Attendees will also learn how to recognize when a person is suffering from an opioid use disorder, and how everyone can help fight this crisis through education and proper disposal of medications.

The event will be held at the Huntington Woods Public Library at 26415 Scotia Road in Huntington Woods from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch will be provided. Registration is free but required.
Those interested in attending are encouraged to reserve a seat online at

Zack was elected to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners (BOC) in 2002 and represents District 18, which includes the cities of Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods and Oak Park, and the Charter Township of Royal Oak.