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ONEbox Featured on Univ. of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service Smart Policy Podcast

A cop, a guitar company, and a public health analyst walk into a bar…and mount an opioid overdose first aid kit to the wall.


We have covered the Training and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdose, or TEMPO, project before, specifically the effort to get these high tech naloxone kits called ONEboxes into easily accessible locations, where they may be treated no differently than a defibrillator - an essential first aid device for a modern establishment.


The program was so immediately impactful it spread to Knoxville, where a life was saved within a week of the ONEbox installation, and more recently to Chattanooga. However, efforts seemed to have stalled in Nashville…until the right combination of partnerships at the city government level took the program to new heights that surprised everyone involved.


My first guest this month is Benton McDonough, director of nightlife through the mayor’s office. It’s a newly created position intended to act as a liaison between business, government, and residents, which in a city like Nashville, seems as essential as the music itself.


We’re coming out of the era of COVID, after all, when many businesses had gotten used to seeing local government as an enemy, when a lot of trust between the private and public sector has been lost. But this program shows that with the right policy, and more importantly, the right relationships, you can start to rebuild that trust.


My second guest is Erin Evans, chair of the public health and safety committee on the Metro Nashville city council. During the course of my interview with Benton and other stakeholders in this program, it became abundantly clear that I needed to have her on this episode as well. After all, this is a situation where the legislative and executive branches of government are working together, and that teamwork is also a perfect illustration of why it is so critical to not overlook local government.


Hosted and produced by Jeremy Kourvelas. Original music by Blind House.


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