Project HOPE’s first Legislative Panel was held on February 1, 2020. The attendees included 31 people who serve or work in 11 counties (Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Blount, and Knox). Various community members and stakeholders gathered to:
- more effectively collaborate with community stakeholders and legislators on identifying policy priorities to reduce opioid abuse and misuse and
- increase legislators understanding of community perspectives about opioid abuse and its effects.
Participant surveys revealed:
- All attendees ranked each presentation and discussion as very important or important.
- 95% of attendees would recommend the legislative panel to a colleague.
Opportunities to enhance the annual panel include:
- Increased awareness and attendance through utilizing social media, local newspapers, and engagement with community leaders, faith-based initiatives, local providers, and local law enforcement.
- Extending collaboration with community stakeholders to have more legislators and members present, including representation of more counties in East Tennessee.
- Allot additional time during the event for increased discussion and collaboration.