Ingham County Commissioners to Consider Backing Needle Exchange Programming

BTL Staff
By | 2016-09-29T09:00:00-04:00 September 29th, 2016|Michigan, News|

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners’ Human Services Committee is preparing a resolution to back the findings of an independent investigation into the need for a needle exchange program to prevent HIV and hepatitis C transmission among IV drug users.
The report, the results of an ad hoc committee formed by the Ingham Community Health Center Board of Directors in December, found a need for such programming in Ingham County and recommended that such a program be mobile to provide services beyond Lansing. The report also found some local laws would need to be amended to reflect state law and allow for a needle exchange program.
The committee came to its recommendations after six months of public meetings that included input from communities of faith, public health, law enforcement and other operating needle exchange programs in Michigan. The committee included Ingham County Commissioner and liaison to the Ingham Community Health Centers Board Todd Tennis, as well as Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. The committee was headed up by Between The Lines reporter Todd Heywood, who also serves as the vice chair of the health center’s board.
“This is a great public health initiative that I look forward to continuing to support,” Byrum said.
Tennis said the program was needed to prevent the transmission of disease as well provide a new point of access for people with addictions to potentially access recovery and treatment options.
“I think the County Commission would see this as a supporting role,” he said of the proposed resolution in support of the report’s recommendations. “It is something we would want to provide technical and administration support for whatever private organizations provide this program.”

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.