PA Attorney General Michelle Henry to speak at DelVal

Li Williams / Full 360 Staff Writer

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Michelle Henry will return to Bucks County and speak at DelVal on April 17. It will be her first major speaking event in Bucks County since taking on the role of the state’s top law enforcer earlier this year. 

The aim of this event is to shed light on addiction and emerging drug trends, bring attention to addiction’s deadly aftermath, while discussing community solutions in enforcement, prevention, treatment and education. 

Michelle Henry, PA Acting Attorney General

In emergency rooms, nurses and health care workers are increasingly the target of violent outbursts and assaults. Victims’ advocates report an uptick in the drug epidemic’s role in human trafficking and domestic violence.

Those who suffer from Substance Use Disorder may not be violent, yet some drugs, including methamphetamine, can trigger violent reactions, “further stigmatizing those who are in need of help, compassion and treatment,” according the panel’s news announcement.

In recent years, collaborative efforts among law enforcement and first responders, health care workers, and those working in the field have worked to reduce stigma, improve care, and strengthen resources, but there is still more to be done. In the last few years, suicides, sexual assaults, home invasions, shootings and other violent acts have been tied to drug use, particularly with the rise in methamphetamine. 

At the event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 17, Delaware Valley University will unite leaders from across several disciplines, including experts in emergency medicine, law enforcement, victims’ advocacy and drug prevention. Panelists will share their expertise and experiences in confronting the continued drug epidemic.

Henry said substance use disorder affects every community across the state.

“It is a public health crisis, a public safety crisis, and a top priority for the Office of Attorney General. We are committed to working with our partners to fight this malady through programs like our Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative, which connects individuals suffering from substance use disorder to the treatment they need,” Henry said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to join this esteemed panel to discuss collaborative solutions to the drug epidemic plaguing our communities. No one agency can do this work alone, and I’m confident that by joining together we can build stronger, healthier communities across Pennsylvania.”

The panel, titled “The Violent Toll of Addiction, Why the Community Should Care & How We Can Be Part of the Solution,” will feature:

• Michelle Henry, Pennsylvania’s Acting Attorney General
• Brenda Foley, Medical Director of Doylestown Hospital Emergency Department
• Kevin Keller, Licensed Professional Counselor with Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA)
• Matt Weintraub, Bucks County District Attorney
• David Fialko, Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist, The Council of Southeast PA, Inc.

“While the ongoing drug scourge remains a dire problem, we continue to fight it with all the resources at our disposal,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub. “Every life we save belongs to someone who deserves to live drug free. Every drug dealer we lock up is thwarted from perpetuating this crisis.”

Emergency Department Medical Director Brenda Foley said violent incidents in the Emergency Department at Doylestown Hospital has “rapidly increased” in the past five years. 

Marion Callahan, Panel Moderator, Organizer and Assistant Professor of Media and Communication at Delaware Valley University, said uniting leaders in a community forum to discuss solutions is a big step forward.

“This panel is a unique opportunity to bring top state and local leaders together to talk candidly with the community about drug-related violence and fatalities plaguing our neighborhoods, while also talking openly about possible solutions,” said Callahan.

About the presentation

The presentation, “The Violent Toll of Addiction, Why the Community Should Care & How We Can Be Part of the Solution” will share a frank conversation of the realities of emerging drug trends. This is part of a larger colloquium, hosted by Delaware Valley University’s School of Business and Humanities, “Question It! Change It! “Violence in America” Colloquium Spring 2023” 

Time: April 17th, 2023 6:30-7:45pm 

Location: Life Sciences Building Auditorium, Delaware Valley University, Bucks County, Pa. 

For more information on the event: Contact Marion Callahan, Assistant Professor of Media and Communication for the English Department, Delaware Valley University:

Brenda Foley, Doylestown Health Emergency Department Medical Director
Matt Weintraub, Bucks County District Attorney
David Fialko, Prevention Specialist with The Council of Southeast PA
Kevin Keller, Counselor at NOVA

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