This project, with its more than fifty contributors from around the state, required the support of a large and generous group of individuals. We are grateful to our colleague Dr. Jane Balbo, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, for her help in conceptualizing the project. Jane helped edit and provided feedback on some of the early submissions and was instrumental in connecting us with various social and patient services groups around the state. Kacy Gaddis, M.Ed, Curriculum Coordinator at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Dublin campus served as Managing Editor for this project. Kacy played a key role in early and ongoing conversations about the book’s conceptualization as well as the logistics of compiling, organizing, and completing it. Jory Gomes, Health Policy Research Assistant at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine helped with initial edits of submissions and helped pull the final manuscript together. Matt Taylor, DO, then a fourth-year medical student at Ohio University, provided helpful feedback on the glossary of pharmacological terms.
Dr. Ann Dietrich, Associate Clinical Professor at the Heritage College, connected us with first responders and clinicians in the Columbus area. The Ohio Poetry Association helped by connecting us to some of the talented poets featured in the collection, as did the poet Brian Spears. Becca Lachman, Communications Officer at the Athens Public Library, and Nick Tepe, Director of Athens County Public Libraries, helped us recruit contributors and develop relationships with libraries across the state.
Generous contributions from several sources at Ohio University enabled us to reduce the cost of the book, include color plates, and expand the book’s reach to readers throughout the state. The co-chairs of Ohio University’s Opioid Task Force, Dr. Ken Johnson, Executive Dean of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Dr. Randy Leite, Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions, both graciously provided support for the book. Dr. Nagesh Rao, Interim Chair of the Department of Social Medicine, supported this project by making departmental funds available, as did the Heritage College’s Office of Research and Grants, directed by Dr. Darlene Berryman, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation. Finally, we are grateful for funds provided by Ohio University’s Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. This project also would not have been possible without various kinds and levels of support from our Heritage College colleagues, including (in Dublin) Dr. Bill Burke, Pam Dixson, Maureen McCann, and Brian Thompson; and (in Athens) Angela Mowrer and Cassie Tritipo.
We thank The Ohio State University Press, especially Director Tony Sanfilippo, for supporting this project from its inception and helping us see it through to publication. Finally, we thank The Ohio Humanities Council for funding the opioid-related community conversations that we will be facilitating in Ohio in 2019. The council’s support will make it possible to use this book as a foundation for community discussions across the state. We hope that the stories included in this book are just the beginning.