By White House Media Affairs:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House is recognizing 10 individuals from across the country Friday as “White House Champions of Change for Advancing Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery” including 1982 Los Alamos High School graduate Leslie Hayes, MD.
Dr. Hayes is the daughter of longtime Los Alamos resident Ann Hayes and works for El Centro Family Health in Espanola as a family practitioner. El Centro Family Health is a community health center with clinics located throughout northern New Mexico, a rural, underserved area. While Dr. Hayes enjoys all aspects of family medicine, she said her particular passion is taking care of people with opioid use disorders. She works with pregnant women and new mothers who have substance use disorders to make sure that they and their babies receive compassionate and appropriate medical care.
Dr. Hayes received much of her training in substance use disorders through Project ECHO, a program that uses telecommunication to link specialists with primary care providers. She considers herself extremely fortunate to have been able to give back to Project ECHO, and she now provides training for other providers around the state of New Mexico in substance use disorder and use of the medication assisted treatment buprenorphine.
The White House selected Dr. Hayes and the nine individuals for their leadership and tireless work to prevent prescription drug abuse and heroin use, improve access to treatment and support recovery.
Prescription drug abuse and heroin use have taken a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families, while straining resources of law enforcement and treatment programs. More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes. The President has made clear that addressing the opioid overdose epidemic is a priority for his Administration and has highlighted tools that are effective in reducing drug use and overdose, like evidence-based prevention programs, prescription drug monitoring, prescription drug take-back events, medication-assisted treatment and the overdose reversal drug naloxone.
Friday’s recognition event will feature remarks by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli. The event also will feature members of the cast and production team of the Warner Bros. Television-produced CBS comedy series Mom.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be open press and streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. Follow the conversation at #WHchamps.