State agency says data migration prevents it from disclosing overdose data to the public | State and region news

At a hearing in Goochland General District Court on Monday, a judge ruled that the agency did not need to hand it over because an ongoing data migration was hampering the agency’s ability to deliver it.

McDermott was disappointed.






Michael McDermott said he was able to get state data on overdoses to analyze and show an increasing trend. But this year, the state cited “data migration” for failing to provide it with overdose data. (Courtesy photo)


Jordan Sachs / LoudVision


“This data can save lives, Your Honor,” he told Judge Claiborne H. Stokes Jr., adding: “This data is important in indicating how we can do a better job in the community against this epidemic of addiction.”

Gary Brown, director of the state’s Office of Emergency Medical Services, and Adam Harrell, the associate director, spent two hours in court last Monday in a convoluted hearing in which McDermott represented himself.

In an interview for this story, McDermott said he started asking for 2021 overdose data around April or May. He provided emails to the Richmond Times-Dispatch showing he had been trampled. In May, he corresponded with people at a company working with the state. In June, he emailed Carlos Rivero, the Commonwealth’s data officer, about the data he was trying to get and that he had previously obtained.

McDermott was referred to a state health official and emailed her in early September, copying other officials. She responded, “OEMS is working to quickly restore access to our historical data so that data requests can be made.” She referred it to Harrell, the deputy director of the office.

Sean N. Ayres