Jefferson County Champions Family-Centered Responses to the Overdose Crisis

Meeting of NACo’s Opioid Solutions Leadership Network and Prenatal-to-Three County Leaders Academy draws participants from across the U.S.

Jefferson County, Tennessee, Mayor Mark Potts joined the National Association of Counties August 29-31 for a joint convening of county leaders from the Opioid Solutions Leadership Network and Prenatal-to-Three County Leaders Academy. The multidisciplinary gathering of experts from across county government explored cross-sector initiatives that focus on the unique needs of parents and children affected by the overdose crisis.

Finding solutions to the opioid crisis in our country is best accomplished when we see firsthand approaches that are successful. It is equally beneficial to see approaches which have been less successful. The Jefferson County Task Force is working to find ways to prevent and treat opioid issues in our county. We are currently seeking applications for grants to be distributed to qualifying agencies. Go to Jefferson County TN web page for a link to apply for these funds.

Participants engaged in discussions with national experts and local practitioners about the intersection of the behavioral health and child welfare systems at the state and local levels. The cohorts also toured key elements of Milwaukee County’s health and human services system, including the Penfield Children’s Center and the naloxone vending machines the county has strategically deployed.

In partnership with Vital Strategies, NACo’s Opioid Solutions Leadership Network assists counties in effectively investing opioid settlement funds to save lives and address the needs of people with substance use disorders. The Milwaukee County convening provided a platform for county leaders to share knowledge and explore solutions that align with unique local needs. To learn more, visit

The Prenatal-to-Three County Leaders Academy is part of the National Association of Counties Research Foundation’s Counties for Kids initiative, which supports county leaders who are committed to making investments in infants, toddlers and their families. To learn more, visit

The National Association of Counties (NACo) strengthens America’s counties, including nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees. Founded in 1935, NACo unites county officials to advocate for county government priorities in federal policymaking; promote exemplary county policies and practices; nurture leadership skills and expand knowledge networks; optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings; and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our overdose prevention program works to strengthen and scale up evidence-based, data-driven policies and interventions to create equitable and sustainable reductions in overdose deaths. Work across seven U.S. states is supported by funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Overdose Prevention Initiative, launched in 2018, and by targeted investments from other partners.