Area DA selected to serve on opioid panel

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Washington and Nowata counties District Attorney Kevin Buchanan is one of nine people selected to serve on the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the first of five meetings will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. The other four meetings will be held between September and January. Those dates have not been selected, yet.

The meetings will be at the Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, 73105 in room 419-A. The meetings will be open to the public and a live stream will be available at http://bit.ly/2uZTzFx.

The nine-member commission, chaired by Hunter, contains members from the medical community, law enforcement, private sector businesses and a member from the Oklahoma House, Senate and includes two members as advisers.

Its main areas of focus will be on prevention, intervention, education, treatment, law enforcement and rehabilitation. The goal of the commission is to release its findings and suggestions for potential legislation in the weeks leading up to the 2018 legislative session.

“I appreciate those who have stepped up to serve on the commission,” Hunter said. “Each member has a professional, personal or firsthand account of the opioid epidemic. I am confident we will work together to bring the best recommendations possible to the legislature and the governor.

“The opioid epidemic is the modern day plague. It has no limits and its fatal effects have already left a devastating toll on the state. We are committed to taking any and all actions necessary to resolve this deadly crisis.

Hunter, Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz selected the members of the commission after the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 in May.

Buchanan was elected as the district attorney for Washington and Nowata counties in 2011. He serves as president of the District Attorneys Council. Prior to his current role, he worked in private practice as a criminal defense attorney. Buchanan received a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the University of Tulsa.

Other commissioner members are:

• State Sen. AJ Griffin, who represents District 20.

• Bob Howard , Oklahoma City businessman.

• Cynthia Fain, pharmacist and serves as the chief compliance officer at the Oklahoma Pharmacy Board.

• John Scully, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Director – ex-officio member.

• Dr. Kevin Taubman, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association and is an assistant professor in the OU School of Community Medicine, department of Surgery and Vascular Fellowship Program director in Tulsa.

• Dr. Layne Subera, doctor of osteopathic medicine.

• Terri White, commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – ex-officio member.

• State Rep. Tim Downing, who represents District 42.