First Lady DeSantis also shares statement of support for military personnel, civilians and families impacted by today’s tragic shooting at NAS Pensacola

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that she has organized a “Babies Born Drug-Free” Community Initiative in Broward County to take a fresh, comprehensive look at existing resources and find better ways to identify women struggling with opioid and other substance addictions, the best methods to communicate with them, and the leading prevention and treatment management practices to stop the number of newborns suffering from withdrawal.

Part of her Hope for Healing Florida initiative, this initiative calls together leaders from law enforcement, health care, the judicial system, the child welfare system, and community organizations in Broward County who have volunteered to participate in this initiative. Many of the participants in this initiative took part in previous listening sessions she held to address the scope and magnitude of the opioid epidemic.

At the event, First Lady DeSantis shared a statement of support for the military personnel, civilians and families impact by today’s tragic shooting at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred this morning at NAS Pensacola and we pray for all the victims and their families during this difficult time,” said First Lady DeSantis. “Upon learning the news, Governor DeSantis immediately traveled to Pensacola to support the victims, law enforcement and military personnel. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has also deployed Florida’s Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator to coordinate mental health resources for families impacted by this tragic shooting.”

First Lady DeSantis continued, “Today, I am proud to announce a new initiative which focuses on taking the important next step of moving quickly toward better delivery of improved outreach, prevention and treatment toward meaningful solutions. I am going to continue to step up the fight to protect these young victims and help identify best practices for delivering the help these women need to fight addiction and start motherhood with hope and a healthy baby.”

“It is crucial that we take action against Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the continued mobilization of our surveillance and prevention efforts,” said Florida Surgeon General Scott A. Rivkees. “First Lady DeSantis’ leadership regarding this important issue will help ensure the health and well-being of thousands of Floridians yet to be born.”

“A baby’s first days in this world shouldn’t be consumed by the trembling, heavy breathing, and inconsolable crying that’s often the result of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,” said Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell. “The First Lady’s community initiative brings together local organizations and leaders who are on the front-lines treating these babies and helping their families to live healthy and thriving lives. With the collective experience of the individuals participating in this group, I have no doubt that they will produce meaningful solutions and develop a model approach that can eventually be implemented throughout the state.”

“I was honored to stand alongside First Lady DeSantis, Secretary Poppell and Surgeon General Rivkees today to support the First Lady’s new initiative to more comprehensively address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Florida,” said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew. “In our state, we see far too many mothers and children suffering from the repercussions of substance abuse. I commend the DeSantis administration for their attention to this issue, for their unwavering commitment to moms and children who need help, and I especially would like to recognize the First Lady for her continued efforts to transform and improve the existing resources we have for substance abuse and mental health outreach, treatment and prevention.”



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