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Mona Makki, Director of ACCESS Community Health and Research Center, Appointed to Michigan Opioid Advisory Commission

Mona Makki, ACCESS Community Health and Research Center (CHRC) Director, has been appointed to Michigan’s Opioid Advisory Commission. The Commission has 12 voting members and Makki was recommended for the post by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve on this important commission,” says Makki. “Opioid addiction is tearing our communities apart. It’s destroying families and neighborhoods and robbing those who struggle with addiction of hope and a future. We must have the courage to step up to this crisis. We have lost far too many lives to addiction and we must ensure that sufficient funding is invested in saving lives, removing barriers and providing hope and opportunity to those who need it the most.”

Makki is a lifelong advocate and voice for those too often forgotten. During her more than 18 years with ACCESS, she has committed herself to improving and empowering the lives of individuals and families in Michigan. As the director of the CHRC, she oversees more than 70 programs providing a wide range of healthcare, mental health and public health services. These programs include a medical center with infectious disease specialty, a community mental health facility and various prevention programs including tobacco and substance use, domestic and sexual violence, cancer screening and much more.

“We have always been a leading force in providing programs and resources to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community,” says ACCESS President and CEO Maha Freij. “The current substance use crisis in our local communities and in our nation has created astonishing misery and is devastating lives and families. We have been combating substance use for many years, and I am so proud of the work we’re doing at ACCESS to address this issue. I want to congratulate Mona on her appointment to the Commission. She brings a wealth of experience, compassion and a keen understanding

of the cultural sensitivities of our Arab American communities to these efforts. She will make a pivotal contribution to the Commission and our state’s hard work to save lives.”

In addition to her work at ACCESS, Makki serves numerous other community organizations, including the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities; Beaumont Community Advisory Board; advisory board member for the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD) and the Healthy Dearborn Steering Committee. She has also served as a member of the Arab American Coalition Against Domestic Violence; the Greater Detroit Area Health Council board; the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Institutional Review Board; the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Wayne County Council Against Family Violence. She was awarded the Esteemed Women of Michigan Award by the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic and Notable Women in Health Care award by Crain’s Detroit Business. She was also a partner, co-creator and site lead for COVID-19 mobile testing.

For more than a decade, ACCESS has been addressing the drug epidemic in a variety of capacities, from peer recovery coaching and counseling to the ACCESS Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Coalition — a community coalition that raises awareness and reduces substance use among community members and youth. ACCESS’ Overdose Rapid Response Partnership with the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights Police departments has also documented steep increases in drug overdoses and overdose deaths among Arab Americans.

Drug overdose deaths — in Southeast Michigan and across the country — are at their highest levels ever. Treatment visits in Wayne County alone fell by 27% when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Opioid Advisory Commission members review local, state and federal initiatives related to education, prevention, treatment and services for those affected by substance use disorders and make funding recommendations to the Michigan Legislature. The Commission’s report will be submitted in March 2023.


ACCESS has been serving the community for 50 years. Founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1971 out of a storefront in Dearborn’s impoverished south end, ACCESS was created to assist the Arab immigrant population adapt to life in the United States. Today, ACCESS is the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the United States. With 10 locations and more than 120 programs serving metro Detroit, ACCESS

offers a wide range of social, economic, health and educational services to a diverse population.