"Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them."
~ Nelson Mandela
Dr. Anahi Ortiz
Dr. Anahi Ortiz has been the Franklin County Coroner since 2014. During that time she has not only worked on streamlining a number of initiatives within her agency but also has spent her time highlighting cultural awareness within the community. She has been a resident of central Ohio since 1996 and has committed to better her community and its people.
Dr. Ortiz’s career focus has been providing care to the underserved communities of New York City and eventually those in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Anahi Ortiz has almost 30 years of experience in working with high-risk communities in the medical field. She brings this experience and knowledge to the Coroner’s Office to help improve the lives of our community and be the voice for those who die of violent means as well as the 520 overdose deaths in 2017 and 345 overdose deaths within the first eight months of 2018.
In March of 2015, Dr. Ortiz convened the Franklin County Drug Overdose Initiative (DODI). Since then she has hosted two Franklin County Opiate Crisis Summits, one in March of 2016 and again in 2017. Her creation of the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Task Force in 2015 was the catalyst for the development of the Franklin County Community Action Plan in 2018.
Dr. Ortiz has spoken to numerous community groups and organizations in Franklin County as well as throughout Ohio on stigma, addiction,and the opiate crisis. Dr. Ortiz currently co-chairs the Recovery Committee of the Franklin County/City Opiate Action Plan.
Mrs. April Caudill
Mrs. April Caudill serves as Executive Director of Garrett Recovery Housing, a not-for-profit association whose mission centers around providing safe, secure sober living housing for women recovering from addiction. Prior to launching Garrett Recovery Housing, Mrs. Caudill was part of the leadership team of an independent, non-profit organization which promoted and coordinated the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation for nearly 20 years.
With a record of success in getting initiatives off the ground and flourishing, Garrett Recovery Housing was launched from infancy to operational including formation as a 501c3 charitable organization in less than 6 months.
Garrett Recovery Housing located in the hilltop area of Columbus and led by Mrs. Caudill, commonly are identified as operating with integrity, inspiring purpose, upholding resident’s rights and promoting those in recovery with successful integration back into the community.
Mrs. Caudill has been active in supporting the Franklin County Community Action Plan, co-chairing the Recovery committee and also sits on the Treatment committee. Mrs. Caudill has been featured on WSYX, WTTE and WBNS as well as speaking at numerous outreach events focused on the fight against addiction. Mrs. Caudill is also a partner of the Franklin County Justice Program’s PATHWAYS for Women providing sober-living options and lecturing to incarcerated and at-risk women in Columbus and Franklin County.
The Ohio State University College of Medicine Students
The Ohio State University College of Medicine curriculum requires that all students participate in a year-long Community Health Education project, with the objective of improving the health of a specific underserved population in Columbus. The goal is to help students identify and understand the needs of a particular population, then implement and evaluate a program for that specific population. Because we expressed interest in combating the opioid epidemic, we were fortunate to be placed with Dr. Anahi Ortiz working on the Opioid Action Plan. Through this experience, we learned how to better care for this population and what resources are helpful for recovery homeowners and faith-based organizations in our community. Thank you so much to Dr. Ortiz for allowing us to be a part of this meaningful project.