Following FLOTUS’ introduction at Working Group on Youth Programs, Alex Azar, DeVos and Ben Carson delivered remarks highlighting ways in which their agencies are focusing on youth development.

Azar mentioned the work of SAMSHA (substance abuse and mental health services administration and Carson called out HUD’s Strong Families initiative and announced that the millionth book was donated this year as a part of HUD’s book rich environments initiative.
Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, also took the floor to announce efforts from HHS to combat the opioid crisis, one of the pillars of Be Best, including a new research initiative — the healthy brain and children development study: 
“Under Azar’s leadership the NIH has started historic effort called ending addiction long term in America.. overdose prevention in reverse, optimization of treatment strategies.. underpinnings of chronic pain.. non-addictive pain treatments.. neonatal abstinence syndrome. Two major programs starting.. The first initiative is called Act Now or advancing clinical trials.. although we saw our first patient with neonatal syndrome in 1875 we still don’t have best practice on how to treat with this syndrome.. 20 sites across the country and will test important strategies.. like eating, sleeping consoling the children.”
“The healthy brain and children development study will enroll 10,000 pregnant mothers that will follow them and their children.. 20% of mothers exposed to opioids.. there will be long term collection about pregnancy as well as fetal, childhood, development and structures.. the knowledge gained from this study will impact our knowledge and treatment ability for those exposed prenatally or postnatally and we will understand the future of potential for substance abuse and other behavioral problems.. HHS will dedicate 350 million dollars into this study over the first five years.” 
USAID’S Mark Green and Pete Gaynor of FEMA also spoke. Gaynor passed around “a prop” which FLOTUS shuffled through — a pack of cards designed by the agency to help educate young children on what to do in times of national emergencies. Gaynor told an inquisitive FLOTUS that it was best to start educating children on what to do in times of an emergency as soon as possible. 
Press was escorted out of the room before FLOTUS concluded the event with questions and comments from participants.
Final List of attendees per FLOTUS office: 
Secretary Alex Azar, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Matt Dummermuth, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, United States Department of Justice
Ms. A.T. Johnston, Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Defense
Acting Secretary David Bernhard, United States Department of Interior
Secretary Wilbur Ross, United States Department of Commerce
Patrick Pizzella, United States Department of Labor
Secretary Ben Carson, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Betsy DeVos, United States Department of Education
Secretary Elaine Chao, United States Department of Transportation
Henry Darwin, Acting Deputy Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, FEMA
Ayanna Hudson, Director of Arts Education, NEA
Michelle Giuda, Assistant Secretary, United States Department of State
Dr. France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation
Administrator Mark Green, United States Agency for International Development
Barbara Stewart, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service
Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection  Bureau
Jamila Robinson, Office of National Drug Control Policy

Produced by members of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), these brief Pool Reports track American president. The White House Press Pool is composed of the members of the White House...

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