CREATING A HEALTHIER WESTLAND
AND COMBATING THE OPIOD CRISIS
The City of Westland must be compassionate and responsive when it comes to addressing the health and wellbeing of our residents. We need to support programs and services that will positively impact a person's physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. As well, we need to be diligent in combating the Opioid Crisis that is hurting people and families by ensuring that addiction and substance abuse are treated as public health problems, not criminal justice issues.
RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Worked with the Westland Police and hired two Social Workers to focus on the mental and physical well being of Westland residents.
City Council and our Westland Police worked together to create a crisis and mental health response team within
the Westland Police Department by partnering with Hegira Health and adding two Social Workers. These
two Social Workers will work directly with our Westland Police Department and help us respond to situations where
more than just a Police Officer is needed. Situations like domestic disputes, child endangerment, mental health
emergencies, suicided prevention, and substance abuse calls will now have a Social Worker not only showing up to
them, but following up in the days and weeks afterwards to check on the wellbeing of all those involved. We can work to
keep people out of prison and get them the help they need with our Social Work program.
Hired a Social Worker specializing in substance abuse disorders to help combat alcohol and drug addiction.
One of the two Social Workers we hired will specialize in substance abuse disorders and drug addiction. When a person
has a substance abuse or drug addiction problem they shouldn't be sent to jail, they should be given the help they need to get better and turn their life around. Substance abuse and drug addiction are public health issues, not matters for the
With a Social Worker specializing in substance abuse issues we can now better combat the opioid and drug addiction crisis. We can aid those people in our community who need our help through rehabilitation and recovery. We are giving people the opportunity to turn their lives around instead of spending time in jail.
Hired a Domestic Violence Advocate to help families and children who are the victims of domestic violence.
City Council and our Westland Police also worked together to hire a Domestic Violence Advocate to work with the
Westland Police Department. Our Domestic Violence Advocate goes out on calls that involve domestic abuse to help
Police in their response to the situation. They are also able to follow up afterwards and ensure the safety and wellbeing
of the abused victims and any effected family members. They can help victims of domestic abuse being their recovery
process, find a safe place to stay, and ultimately leave their abuser to start a better, healthier life for themselves and
Worked with my colleagues on City Council, the Mayor, and our Fire Department to implement a free Covid-19 Vaccination program.
As apart of the city's response to Covid-19 City Council, the Mayor, our Westland Fire Department, and the Wayne
County Department of Public Health collaborated to roll out a free Covid Vaccination program for Westland residents.
We offered Westland residents the Covid-19 Vaccine at no cost to them at a vaccine event held at Schoolcraft College.
Voted against the Westland Humane Society contract because of it not being a no-kill animal shelter.
I voted, along with another colleague on City Council, against the Westland Humane Society Contract because they could not guarantee us that they would be a no-kill shelter. I don't feel that we should be supporting killing animals at our
MY PLAN FOR MAKING A HEALTHIER WESTLAND
Create a Public Health Department and Hire a City Public Health Director:
As part of a plan to make Westland a healthier and happier community I would like to see our city create a full-service
Public Health Department and hire a Public Health Director. With the creation of a Public Health Department and by
hiring a Public Health Director we can offer programs and services that help people live a healthier and happier life by
addressing their physical, mental, and emotion wellbeing. We can offer free or low-cost classes, programs, and
resources to residents through our new Public Health Department.
The Public Health Department would be staffed with a variety of experts, focusing on the total wellness and healthcare
of Westland residents, from physical to emotional to mental healthcare. They would also focus on addiction, substance
use, and recovery issues as these are public healthcare matters as well. The Public Health Department would be staffed
with 6-7 healthcare experts, working in a variety of medical and wellness fields. The department would be led by a
state-licensed and trained Physician, preferably with a background in public health and community wellness. The
licensed and trained Physician would have a background in internal medicine and would have a deep knowledge of a
person's total wellbeing, good dietary and exercise habits, and mental healthcare. The department would also be given
an annual budget to offer Westland residents programs and services that help improve their overall wellbeing and assist
them with getting on a path to leading a healthier, more productive lifestyle.
Below is how I would envision the Westland Public Health Department being staffed and structured.
Public Health Department Staffing Outline and Responsibilities
Leadership: Director of Public Health: A state-licensed and trained Physician who would run the daily operations.
Traveling Nurse: A state-licensed and trained Nurse who would can make home visits and wellness checkups.
2 General Social Workers: 2 Social Workers who focus on mental healthcare needs and domestic-related issues.
Substance Use Disorder Specialist: A person who specializes in helping those battling addiction and in recovery.
Dietary and Fitness Specialist: A professional who focuses on people's wellbeing related to dietary and fitness needs.
Expand access to mental healthcare in Westland by hiring two additional Social Workers and partnering with a non-profit organization to offer free or reduced-cost counseling and therapy services:
I am extremely proud that our city has started a crises response team and mental health program here in Westland.
Taking care of the health and wellbeing of our residents is a top priority. Included in that must be a person's mental and
emotional wellbeing. I would like to see us expand our crises response team and mental health programs by hiring two
additional Social Workers. As well, I would like to partner with an outside non-profit organization that can help to offer
Westland resident free or reduced-cost counseling and therapy to better serve people during moments of anxiety,
depression, and extreme stress. By hiring two additional Social Workers and offering residents free or reduced-cost
counseling and therapy services we can better serve the mental healthcare needs of residents across our city.
Develop a healthier Westland lifestyle and fitness program for residents:
Through the creation of a City of Westland Public Health Department and by hiring a Public Health Director we can
begin as a city to offer programs and services that help resident focus on leading a healthier lifestyle. We can offer
classes, programs, and services that help residents make the best health-related choices for their daily lifestyles and
personal fitness. These would include diet and exercise classes that would be offered to residents at a reduced-cost
compared to private, for-profit programs.
End the stigma around drug and substance use:
Substance abuse and drug addiction are public health issues, not matters for the court. As a community, we need to
band together and help to end the stigma around drug abuse and addiction. We need to offer people help and
treatment to get clean and recover from their addiction, not put them in jail. As a city, we need to make sure that those
who are still battling addiction have access to life-saving resources like Narcan in-case they overdose and clean, sterile
needles so they don't spread infectious diseases like HIV or Hepatitis, and access to recovery-related programs and
services. We can as a community provide people and families the resources they need to help end the opioid crises and
improve their quality of life by getting clean.
Holding meetings and provide courses to educate people around substance abuse issue:
We can form partnerships between our public safety department and local health officials to offer interactive,
instructional and informational courses to the general public and families who are dealing with a drug-addicted
individual. The city can offer quarterly sessions to inform people on how best to prevent the problem from spreading
and to better deal with those who currently have an addiction problem.
Enact a Good Samaritan Ordinance:
Good Samaritan laws provide immunity from prosecution related to drug possession charges for overdose victims and
those who call for help. These laws are designed to encourage users and bystanders to contact the authorities in the
event of a potential overdose. We can work with our law enforcement officials in Westland to ensure that they can best
assist family members, friends, and people in the community who are dealing with someone with a drug addiction
problem and ensure that they aren't afraid to come forward and get that person help.