Canada-U.S. Roundtable on Strategies to Combat the Opioid Crisis

September 24th, 2018
Washington D.C.
The Pew Charitable Trusts


Outcome Report

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Event Photos

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Presentation Slides

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Admiral Brett Giroir
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Theresa Tam
Government of Canada

Ann Griepp, MD
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Dr. Robert Strang
Province of Nova Scotia

Robyn Cochrane
Alberta Health

Barbara Bazron
Maryland Department of Health

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD
Rhode Island Department of Health


Thank you to our partners and sponsors











In-kind sponsor



Welcome Remarks

Introduction by Allan Coukell, Senior Director, Health Programs, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Welcome Remarks by Dani Peters, Executive Director, Cross-Border Health Foundation



Panel 1: Setting the Context: The Opioid Crisis in the United States and Canada

Facilitated by Stephen Morrison, PhD, Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Morrison is a Ph.D political scientist. His career spans academic teaching, doctoral field research in southern Africa; senior staff on a highly active congressional committee; an overseas embassy stint in postwar Ethiopia; senior policy responsibilities at USAID and the State Department over 7 years during the Clinton administration; and 13 years developing a distinct policy voice, influence, analytical acumen and vibrant programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a premier Washington foreign policy and international security institute.

He began his career, and remains, an Africanist. Over the past decade, he has acquired a depth of experience in Asia. In the mid-1990s, he engaged seriously in the Balkans. He began -- and remains -- an expert in foreign policy, comparative politics, ending wars, and international development. In the past decade, he deliberately widened his focus to become a global health authority.

Building things is at the center of his professional evolution: USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, the Kimberley Process (on conflict diamonds), the CSIS Africa program, the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force, and the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. Each has involved setting dynamic goals, building consensus, creating new structures rapidly, and delivering important concrete results.

Shaping U.S. policy choices has also been fundamental. Morrison has led multiple high-level commissions that have convened diverse interests, built bipartisan interest in congress, and pushed forward timely, pragmatic innovations in U.S. foreign policy.

High quality writing, speaking and public engagement are integral across all dimensions of his work. He is the active mentor of a new generation of innovative talent.

Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D., was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 15, 2018. The Assistant Secretary for Health leads development of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations, oversees 11 core public health offices — including the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 600 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world. He also oversees three Presidential and 11 Secretarial advisory committees.

Dr. Giroir is a physician, scientist and innovator. He is a former medical school executive and biotech startup CEO, and has served in a number of leadership positions in the federal government as well as academia.

In addition, Dr. Giroir serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Opioid Policy. In this capacity, he is responsible for coordinating HHS’s efforts across the Administration to fight America’s opioid crisis.

From 2014-2015, Dr. Giroir chaired the Veteran’s Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel to reform the U.S. Veterans Health System. During the Ebola emergency, he directed the Texas Task Force on Infectious and Disease Preparedness Response.

Dr. Theresa Tam, MD, Chief Public Health Officer, Government of Canada

Dr. Theresa Tam was named Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer on June 26, 2017. She is a physician with expertise in immunization, infectious disease, emergency preparedness and global health security.

Dr. Tam obtained her medical degree from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. She completed her paediatric residency at the University of Alberta and her fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has over 55 peer-reviewed journal publications in public health. She is also a graduate of the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program.

Dr. Tam has held several senior leadership positions at the Public Health Agency of Canada, including as the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer and the Assistant Deputy Minister for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control. During her 20 years in public health, she provided technical expertise and leadership on new initiatives to improve communicable disease surveillance, enhance immunization programs, strengthen health emergency management and laboratory biosafety and biosecurity. She has played a leadership role in Canada's response to public health emergencies including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic influenza H1N1 and Ebola.

Dr. Tam has served as an international expert on a number of World Health Organization committees and has participated in multiple international missions related to SARS, pandemic influenza and polio eradication.




Building Bridges Through Lived Experience

Mitch Wolfe, MD, MPH, Director (interim), Center for Disease Control, Washington Office

Mitch Wolfe, MD, MPH, is currently the Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Washington, D.C. Office. As a member of the US Public Health Service since 1998, Dr. Wolfe worked at CDC in a number of capacities. From 2009–2014 he was Director of the CDC Thailand Office (2012–2014), and Director of the CDC Global AIDS Program Thailand/Asia Regional Office (2009–2014). From 2004–2009 he was Director of the CDC Vietnam Office, leading the establishment of Vietnam as a PEPFAR focus country, as well as developing an influenza program and many other technical collaborations with Vietnam. Before moving to Asia, Dr. Wolfe served as a medical epidemiologist, and then team leader, for the Clinical Outcomes Team, Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. He has also performed several special assignments with CDC, including at the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Branch supporting, in 2001, CDC’s response to the anthrax attacks, and participating in the first national population-based survey of mortality, disability, and mental health in Afghanistan. Dr. Wolfe joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer with the National Center for Environmental Health, leading investigations on infectious disease mortality, heat-related mortality, syphilis in prisons, and exposures to heavy metals related to a large forest fire. He earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont, his Master of Public Health degree from University of California, Berkeley, and his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has an American Board Certification in general preventive medicine and public health.

Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, First Lady, North Dakota

Kathryn Helgaas Burgum became First Lady on December 15, 2016, when her husband Governor Doug Burgum was sworn in as the 33rd Governor of North Dakota.

As First Lady, Kathryn’s priority is supporting and developing initiatives to eliminate the shame and stigma of the chronic disease of addiction in North Dakota’s communities.

In long-term recovery for 16 years, she shares her personal experience and encourages others to do the same to normalize the conversation around the disease of addiction. She is spreading the word that addiction is a chronic disease and not a character flaw. Kathryn plays an active role in supporting the Office of Recovery Reinvented as the chair of the Advisory Council.

Her advocacy work has enabled her to partner with advocates, experts in the field, and stakeholders nation-wide including the White House, Faces and Voices of Recovery, the Addiction Policy Forum, and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation where she serves on the board of trustees.

The second youngest of four children, Kathryn grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, where her family was in the John Deere business for over 35 years. She held her first job at the family business working in the parts department. She graduated with honors from Jamestown High School, where she was involved in student council, choir, varsity, tennis and cheerleading.

She earned her undergraduate degree in retail business at Arizona State University and a master’s of business administration degree in human resources from the University of North Texas.

Her 25-year career in human resources and marketing had spanned industries, including retail, biotechnology, software, manufacturing, agriculture and real estate development.

Over her life, Kathryn has donated her time and leadership to many charitable endeavors including at-risk women and children, animal welfare, visionary artists and the arts, and addiction and recovery. Kathryn enjoys reading, fishing, horses, snowboarding and is an avid college football fan.


Panel 2: The Bright Lights: Innovation in Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

Facilitated by Anne Snowdon, PhD. Academic Chair, World Health Innovation Network, Scientific Director and CEO, SCAN Health

Dr. Anne Snowdon is a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Academic Chair of the World Health Innovation Network (WIN) and Scientific Director and CEO of SCAN Health, a Networks of Centres of Excellence International Knowledge Translation Platform located at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. Dr. Snowdon leads the work of the first Canadian health innovation centre with formal ties to the U.S., building collaborative partnerships between the two countries to advance the health of populations and accelerate health system innovation in both countries to achieve sustainability, economic value and productivity by providing support for innovators and entrepreneurs to successfully bring their discoveries to the Canadian, U.S. and world markets.

Currently, Dr. Snowdon is leading over 15 innovation research initiatives across seven Canadian provinces that collaborate with government, health professionals, private industry, foundations and families. She is the current Vice Chair of the Board of the Directors for Alberta Innovates, a board member for the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and has recently been appointed to the Health Futures Council of Arizona State University (ASU).

She is also an Associate Professor to the adjunct academic staff of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University, Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Windsor and Adjunct Faculty at the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University.

Dr. Snowdon has published more than 140 research articles, papers and cases, has received over $22 million in research funding, holds patents and has commercialized a highly successful booster seat product for children traveling in vehicles. She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan, an MSc from McGill University, and BScN from Western University. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses and received the CIHR Partnership Award for her partnership with the automotive industry focused on injury prevention for children.

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Director, Rhode Island Department of Health

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH has been the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) since April 2015. Dr. Alexander-Scott brings tremendous experience to this position from her work as a specialist in infectious diseases for children and adults, and from her time in academia as an associate professor of pediatrics, medicine, and public health (with a focus on health services, policy, and practice). Dr. Alexander-Scott is board certified in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Adult Infectious Diseases. In 2017, Dr. Alexander-Scott was elected President-Elect of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the national organization for state health directors. She will serve in this capacity before becoming President of the organization in September 2018. The focus of her ASTHO presidential term will be "Building Healthy and Resilient Communities." In her time as Director of Health, Dr. Alexander-Scott has made it RIDOH's principal focus to give every person and every community in Rhode Island an equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Under her leadership, RIDOH is committed to addressing community level determinants of health, such as education, housing, transportation, and employment, so that a person's health does not depend on his or her ZIP code. Dr. Alexander-Scott has established as RIDOH's three leading priorities: (1) addressing the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health; (2) eliminating disparities of health and promoting health equity; and (3) ensuring access to quality health services for all Rhode Islanders, including the state’s vulnerable populations. For her commitment to health equity, Dr. Alexander-Scott has been recognized by numerous local and national organizations, including Grow Smart Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Kresge Foundation. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Alexander-Scott attended Cornell University, where she majored in Human Development and Family Studies. She subsequently graduated from medical school in 2001 from SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse. After completing a combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency at SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital in 2005, Dr. Alexander-Scott finished a four-year combined fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious diseases at Brown University. She obtained a Master's Degree in Public Health from Brown University in 2011.

Barbara Bazron, PhD, Deputy Secretary and Executive Director, Behavioral Health, State of Maryland and Clay Stamp, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center, Senior Emergency Advisor, State of Maryland

Barbara Bazron is currently the Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health.  In this role she is responsible for leading the behavioral health authority responsible for substance use disorders and mental health services in the State of Maryland within the child, youth and adult system of care. This includes the provision of a full array of clinical and support services, housing, forensic services, services for homeless individuals, crisis services and monitoring and supporting contracted Local Health Departments, Local Addiction Authorities and Core Service Agencies responsible for the oversite of community-based service delivery system. She is also responsible for managing five psychiatric hospitals and two Regional Institutions for Children and Adolescents (RICAs).

She formerly served as the Interim Director and Senior Deputy Director of Behavioral Health in the District of Columbia.  During her tenure in the District of Columbia, she oversaw children and youth and adult services, emergency and disaster planning, housing, forensic services, care coordination services and provider relations.  She was also responsible for developing and managing the government operated urgent care clinics and specialty services.  She developed and managed the Urgent Care Clinic located at Superior Court which provides integrated care to individuals involved with the Court that require substance use disorder, mental health of co-occurring treatment.

She has over 20 years experience serving in executive leadership positions within the fields of education, mental health and addictions. She is a seasoned special educator with extensive experience and expertise working with children, youth and adults with emotional and behavioral disorders.  A major focus of her work has been in the area of leadership development where she provides executive coaching and consultation.  Other areas of expertise include public policy issues related to substance abuse; training and facilitation of professional meetings and conferences addressing health care, education and cultural competence issues; the provision of technical assistance to community-based and state level organizations developing policies and programs in these areas; and strategic planning.  She has clinical experience as a family therapist and as an educational diagnostician. 

She received her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, Masters degree from the University of Cincinnati and Bachelors degree for Oberlin College.

Ann Griepp, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Project ECHO

Ann Griepp, M.D., chief medical officer for Behavioral Health at Excellus BCBS, hails from Michigan, but has lived in Rochester since she started her psychiatry residency and neuropsychiatry fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Griepp is board certified in psychiatry and by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. She is married, lives in Pittsford, Monroe County, and has two college age children and two pretty naughty dogs. Ann loves children, cooking, fencing, and always has a puzzle going in her office for stress-reduction.

Robyn Cochrane, Executive Director, Opioid Implementation Team, Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health

Robyn Cochrane is the Executive Director of the Opioid Implementation Team within the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health at Alberta Health. Robyn works closely with the Minister’s Emergency Opioid Response Commission to implement their recommendations and response to the opioid crisis in Alberta. She has over twenty years of government experience in areas with a major focus on strategic planning, governance and communications in departments such as Health, Finance, Education and Executive Council.

Robert Strang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Province of Nova Scotia

Dr. Robert Strang is the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Nova Scotia. He completed his medical degree (1990), family practice residency (1992) and Community Medicine Residency (1997) at the University of British Columbia. He was an Associate Medical Officer of Health in British Columbia from 1997-1999. In 1999, he moved to Halifax to become Medical Officer of Health for Capital District Health Authority. In January 2007 he became Acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province. Dr. Strang was appointed Nova Scotia's first Chief Public Health Officer in August 2007, before transitioning to the Chief Medical Officer of Health in 2016.




Leadership Forum: U.S. Perspectives

Introduction by Michael Jackson, Public Health and U.S. Elections, Amazon Web Services

Michael (MJ) Jackson heads the Public Health and US Elections businesses at Amazon Web Services (AWS). There, he leads an agile team that commercializes mission-critical cloud offerings addressing the unique needs of its ecosystem stakeholders. Since joining AWS in 2016, Jackson has successfully launched, scaled, and led multiple vertical industry businesses that drive social impact in highly regulated environments, resulting in seamless enterprise adoption, effective digital transformations, and unparalleled customer experiences.

Prior to joining AWS, Jackson served as General Manager of Consumer Health at Intel Corporation, providing executive leadership, vision, and go-to-market strategy for growth in healthcare markets worldwide. 

Previously, as Director of Digital Government & Public Health at Adobe Systems, Jackson led industry strategy as he established new lines of business and drove the commercialization of digital solutions currently trusted to help power federal, state, and commercial Health Benefits Exchanges in over 30 US states.

Jackson earned an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Baltimore. He is also a proud veteran of the US Coast Guard and serves on the Board of Directors at Health Care for the Homeless, a non-profit organization in Baltimore, MD.

Forum led by Hal Wolf, CEO, Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Harold (Hal) Wolf III is the President and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). HIMSS consists of HIMSS North America, HIMSS International, cause-based, global membership societies; HIMSS Analytics, the market research and data services group; HIMSS Media, the diversified media and publishing division; PCHAlliance, the Personal Connected Health Alliance; and Health 2.0 the Digital Health Conference—all focused on better health through information and technology.  

With nearly 35 years of experience, Wolf is respected internationally as a healthcare and informatics executive with areas of expertise in mhealth, product development, integrated care models, marketing, distribution, information technology and innovation implementation. He has helped health systems and providers across the world with end-to-end operations, commissioning, data and architectural design.

Before joining HIMSS, Wolf served at The Chartis Group as Director; Practice Leader of Information and Digital Health Strategy. As the key architect in the development of content, research and user interface for video on demand and broadband, Mr. Wolf is a pioneer in consumer engagement. He has contributed his unique approach and insights to the birth of the digital health era, combining the traditional enterprise strategy with an end-to-end organizational view while keeping the patient as the central focus.

Wolf also served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Kaiser Permanente’s Permanente Federation representing more than 16,000 physicians. There he was responsible for the development and implementation of critical care delivery strategies, data management and governance, population care management environments and the implementation of unique innovations and large scale programs that impacted end-to-end operations. Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Wolf worked as Vice President E-Business, Chief Information Officer for the Corporate Systems and Wholesale divisions of Qwest Communications/USWest. Previous endeavors include working internationally in the deployment of interactive television services in operations, content and business development; senior business management positions with Time Warner and MTV Networks; and Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company and ADVI, LLC.

12:30-1:00pm - The Federal Perspective - The Honorable Maggie Hassan, Senator, New Hampshire

United States Senator Maggie Hassan is committed to working with members of both parties to represent New Hampshire values and to solve problems in order to expand middle class opportunity, support small businesses, and keep America safe, secure, and free. She is the second woman in American history to be elected both Governor and United States Senator, along with fellow New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Senator Hassan is working to combat the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis; expand access to job training and make college more affordable for our students and families; help innovative businesses grow and create good jobs; and build a more inclusive economic future where all people who work hard to get ahead can stay ahead.

She is also focused on strengthening national security; protecting Social Security and Medicare; ensuring that veterans get the services that they need and deserve; combating climate change and preserving our natural resources; and protecting a woman's right to make her own health care decisions.

Senator Hassan’s committee assignments allow her to focus on these as well as other critical priorities facing New Hampshire’s families, small businesses, and economy. She is a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and the Joint Economic Committee.

Senator Hassan was drawn to public service as an advocate fighting to ensure that children like her son Ben, who experiences severe disabilities, would be fully included in their communities and have the same opportunities that all parents want for their children.

In 1999, then-Governor Shaheen asked her to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission. Her experience as a business attorney and as a parent of a child who experiences disabilities enabled her to provide a unique perspective as the commission did its work.

1:00-1:30pm - The State Perspective - The Honorable Mary Taylor, Lieutenant Governor, Ohio

After graduating from the University of Akron with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Taxation, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor started her career as a CPA.

After 16 years of private sector experience, Taylor was driven to help her community and as a result she successfully ran for City Council in her hometown of Green. After serving on city council, Taylor was elected to the Ohio General Assembly to represent the 43rd district.

Following two terms in the Legislature, Taylor was elected as Ohio State Auditor in 2006 and was the only Republican to win statewide office that year.

Taylor was sworn in to serve as Lt. Governor in 2011 and is currently fulfilling her second term alongside Governor John Kasich.

As Ohio’s 65th Lieutenant Governor, Mary Taylor leads Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) to reform the state’s regulatory policies, and served as the Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance from 2011 to 2017.

Taylor is a life-long resident of northeast Ohio where she lives with her husband, Don, their sons Joe and Michael, and their three dogs: Mya, Cooper and Akita.


Open Forum

This session brought forward the perspective of individuals with lived experience with substance and opioid addiction and recovery, engaging Roundtable participants on personal stories and providing meaning to Canada-U.S. dialogue on the opioids crisis.

Facilitated by Tom Hill, Vice President of Practice Improvement, The National Council for Behavioral Health

Tom Hill, MSW, joined the National Council for Behavioral Health in March 2017 as Vice President of Addiction and Recovery. Mr. Hill previously served as a Presidential Appointee in the position of Senior Advisor on Addiction and Recovery to the SAMHSA Administrator. As part of this post, he initially served as Acting Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Hill was a Senior Associate at Altarum Institute, serving as Technical Assistance Director for a number of SAMHSA treatment and recovery support grant initiatives. He also served for four years as Director of Programs at Faces & Voices of Recovery.

Mr. Hill is frequently sought out as a national thought leader in the addiction and recovery field; his personal experience of recovery from addiction spans two decades. Reflecting his commitment to the goal of long-term recovery for individuals, families and communities, he has also served on numerous boards of directors, advisory boards, committees and working groups. Mr. Hill received his MSW in community organizing from Hunter College at City University of New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Johnson Institute America Honors Recovery Award, the NALGAP Advocacy Award and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship in the Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse initiative.

Tom interviewed William Miller Jr., Coordinator, Bmore-POWER Program Behavioral Health System Baltimore

William Miller Jr. is the coordinator for Bmore-POWER ( Peers, Offering, Wellness ,Education and Resources), a peer-led, grassroot membership that conduct street outreach around overdose, peer education and naloxone distribution, as well as harm reduction education in some of the most affected neighborhoods in Baltimore City .He is also a research aid for John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Last but not least, Will Jr is also is a member of the Bridges coalition, which is exploring implementation of a Safe Consumption space in Baltimore City. Through all his work, Will Jr is dedicated to raising awareness of ways to prevent loss of life.



Breakout Sessions

The Roundtable held two concurrent breakout sessions, with attendees having the option to select their preferred session. Each identified opportunities for further Canada-U.S. collaboration beyond the event.



Breakout Session 1

1a. Fostering Cross-Border Coordination between Public Health and Law Enforcement: Case Examples and a Way Forward

Facilitating questions:
a) How are public health and law enforcement authorities currently working together to address common priorities, with respect to the opioid crisis?
b) Canadian and U.S. public health officials have demonstrated close coordination in areas such as emerging infectious disease. How could existing Can-U.S. coordination in public health be applied to address common priorities under the opioid crisis?
c) What are the opportunities and obstacles to fostering greater Canada-U.S. cross-coordination and information-sharing between public health and law enforcement?

Facilitated by Regina LaBelle, Principal, LaBelle Strategies

Regina LaBelle, JD, is a principal with LaBelle Strategies LLC, advising governments and non-profit organizations on effective strategies to address today's opioid epidemic. Regina is also a Visiting Fellow with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.  A frequent commentator on the opioid issue, Regina has appeared on MSNBC and CNN and is a regular contributor to The Hill. Until January 2017, Regina was Chief of Staff in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) where she served for eight years as a political appointee.  At ONDCP, she co-authored and helped to implement the Administration's plan to address the opioid epidemic. Regina represented ONDCP before Congress, at national conferences, and with the media.

Skilled at public speaking, writing, and strategy development, Regina's previous work as legal counsel to the Mayor of Seattle, as well as in the Federal Government, provide a unique perspective on today's public policy challenges. A graduate of Georgetown University Law

Center in Washington, DC and magna cum laude graduate of Boston College, Regina lives with her husband and son in Maryland.

Scott Allen, Chief of Police, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Chief Scott Allen has been an East Bridgewater Police Officer since 1995. He has served as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Drug Task Force Commanding Officer and Investigator, and Sergeant before becoming Chief of Police in 2016. Chief Allen holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Plymouth State University and Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England University. Chief Allen is a member of the Governor’s Council Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, is a leader with the Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) initiative, and national law enforcement council member for the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) in 2017.

Michael Botieri, Chief of Police, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Chief Michael E. Botieri began  his law enforcement career as a Plymouth Police Officer in May of 1985. He graduated from the First Municipal Police Officers Class held at the Plymouth Police Academy in December of 1985. He worked as Uniformed Patrol Officer until September of 1989, when he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. As Sergeant, he was assigned to the Uniformed Patrol Division as a Patrol Supervisor.

In October of 1996, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. As Captain, he was assigned to the Administrative Division. As head of Administration, he was responsible to oversee the Training Division, Records Division, Equipment, Procurement, and all Auxiliary Services attached to the Plymouth Police Department.

In February of 1997, the Captain assigned to the Operations Division retired. At this time, Captain Botieri was assigned to the Operations Division while continuing to oversee all administrative duties. In March of 2000, Captain Charles Chandler was appointed as head of the Administrative Division. At this time, Captain Botieri was designated as head of the Operations Division. His responsibilities included overseeing the Uniformed Division, Dispatchers, Detectives Division, Prosecution Division, Safety Officer, and Harbormaster’s Division.

Chief Robert J. Pomeroy retired on August 8, 2008, at which time Captain Botieri was named Acting Chief of Police. On November 18, 2008, Acting Chief Botieri was appointed as the eighth Permanent Chief of Police for the Town of Plymouth.

Chief Michael E. Botieri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Southeastern Massachusetts University as well as a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College. Chief Botieri is a graduate of the 171st session of the FBI’s prestigious National Academy in Quantico, Virginia as well as the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Program. He is an active member of the New England Chapter FBI National Academy Associates and served as President in 2013. Chief Botieri is a former member of the adjunct faculty at Quincy College where he taught several courses in Criminal Justice. Chief Botieri was appointed by Governor Charles Baker to the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) in 2012, representing Southeastern Massachusetts Police Agencies.

Trevor Dinwoodie, Sergeant, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Sergeant Trevor Dinwoodie grew up in the Metro Vancouver area of British Columbia.  In 2003 he was recruited into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was very lucky to be posted to Surrey BC, only a few kilometres/miles from his family home. 

Sergeant Dinwoodie spent the large majority of his career working in high-poverty neighborhoods affected by extreme addiction and homelessness.  He has an extensive background in drug enforcement, patrol policing and Foot Beat.  Sergeant Dinwoodie was a labour representative for 5 years, representing approximately 2,200 police officers within the RCMP.

In 2016, Sergeant Dinwoodie designed and implemented a collaborative, joint agency task force called the Surrey Outreach Team (SOT) which he currently commands, to specifically address the opioid crisis. 

Van Ingram, Executive Director, Office of Drug Control Policy, State of Kentucky

Van Ingram is the Executive Director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. Van joined ODCP in November 2004, shortly after it was created with the mission of coordinating Kentucky’s substance abuse efforts in enforcement, treatment and prevention/education. Van served with the Maysville Kentucky Police Department for more than 23 years, the last six as Chief of Police. He is a former President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, and was named “Kentucky Chief of the Year” in 2001. He is the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement, as well as, the Melvin Shein Award for distinguished service to Kentucky law enforcement. Van is a certified law enforcement instructor and has trained officers across the state on a variety of topics, including community oriented policing, case management, and “Kentucky Substance Abuse Issues” for Chiefs, Sheriff’s and command staff. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of substance abuse issues both in Kentucky and nationally.

Stephen McConachie, Chief Operations Manager, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency

Stephen D. McConachie is a Chief Operations Manager at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters in Washington, DC. He manages programs involving Counternarcotics and Illicit Trafficking, Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and Medical Countermeasures. He also serves as a senior liaison to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.Mr. McConachie has been a volunteer firefighter since he was 16, and has served as an engine company Lieutenant and Captain. He joined the Allegheny County Hazardous Materials Team at 18 and rose to the rank of Commander of the Silver Team, leading over 60 HazMat Operators and Technicians. He also served on the Allegheny County Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Region 13 Counterterrorism Task Force, and as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Hazardous Materials Technicians.

Allie Hunter McDade, Executive Director, Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, Gloucester, Massachusetts

With over 10 years of experience in nonprofit management and leadership, Allie came to PAARI following her role as the Deputy Director of the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy. She has worked at several other Boston-area nonprofit organizations, including ZUMIX and Bikes Not Bombs, and has aided various nonprofits with fundraising efforts, event planning, and coaching emerging leaders. In spring 2017, Allie received a Nonprofit Excellence Award and was named young professional of the year by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.Allie holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from Ursinus College and a master’s degree in international development from Ohio University, where she focused on community health and behavior change. She also earned a certificate from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.Allie lives in Boston and is based in P.A.A.R.I’s office at 186 Main See, in Gloucester, directly across the street from the Gloucester Police Department, nd spends much of her time traveling to support current and prospective law enforcement partners. Like many, she has been personally touched by the disease of addiction and has a close family member who is in recovery from an opioid use disorder.

Bill Spearn, Inspector, Vancouver Police Department

Inspector Bill Spearn grew up and attended high school in Terrace, British Columbia. After graduating he attended the University of Victoria where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He worked in BC Provincial Corrections before he was hired by the Vancouver Police Department in 1996. As Constable, Inspector Spearn spent his first five years in District 2 walking the beat in the Downtown Eastside. He then completed four years with the Drug Squad before being seconded to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC. He returned to the VPD in 2010 and worked in the Criminal Intelligence Section. Inspector Spearn was promoted to Sergeant in 2011 and returned to the Downtown Eastside to supervise a Beat Enforcement Team. In 2012 he was transferred to Professional Standards Section until 2014 when he moved to supervise an Organized Crime Unit. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 2015 and assigned to the Organized Crime Section before being promoted to Inspector in 2017. Inspector Spearn is an accredited Major Case Management Team Commander and a court recognized drug expert. He led to VPD team that implemented naloxone and is a member of the Drug Overdose and Alert Partnership. He has been a guest speaker at a number of conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US on drug and organized crime investigations, the opioid crisis, harm reduction and drug treatment. Inspector Spearn is the recipient of two of two Chief Constable’s Unit Citations. He is currently the Inspector in charge of the Organized Crime Section which is comprised of the Gang Crime Units, Organized Crime Units, Drug Unit, Criminal Intelligence Unit and the Human Source Handling Unit. 

1b. Primary Prevention, Secondary Prevention and Treatment: Applying Lessons Learned

Facilitating questions:
a) What are the lessons learned from promoting non-opioid treatment options and medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder?
b) How are health systems working together with prescribers to encourage appropriate prescribing and the expansion of medication-assisted treatment (both in Canada and the U.S.)? 

Facilitated by Chris Hassan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Symetria Health

Chris Hassan is a senior executive with over 25 years of experience in the field of healthcare and is the creator of the outpatient treatment model for opioid dependence therapy. Prior to founding Symetria Health, Chris was the co-founder of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals responsible for the commercialization and manufacture of the foundational modalities of medication assisted treatment: Suboxone® and Subutex®.

Previously in his career, Chris also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Colonial Management Group – one of the largest chain of opioid addiction treatment centers in the US. He has also developed and patented a number of new opioid product combinations focused on preventing diversion and inadvertent benzodiazepine overdose in opioid patients.

Chris is active on a number national panels and corporate boards while also serving as a Huffington Post contributor.

Opening remarks by Allan Coukell, Senior Director, Health Programs, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Allan Coukell is senior director of drugs and medical devices, overseeing Pew’s initiatives related to drug and medical device innovation and safety, medical conflicts of interest, the pharmaceutical supply chain, pharmacy compounding, antibiotics, prescription drug abuse, the Food and Drug Administration, and specialty drugs, and other efforts related to health costs and care delivery.

Before joining Pew, he practiced as a clinical pharmacist in oncology at the London (Ontario) Health Sciences Center and the Ontario Regional Cancer Center, served as a senior medical writer and editor with the medical journal publisher Adis International, and covered health and science as a reporter and producer for WBUR (NPR) in Boston and Radio New Zealand.

He is vice chair of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium and a board member of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA. He served as a consumer representative on the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee.

Norm Buckley, MD, Chair, Department of Anesthesia, Scientific Director, Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care, McMaster University

Dr. Buckley's particular interests are pain, both acute and chronic. He has been extensively involved in the development and organization of the acute post operative pain service for adult and pediatric patients, and the pediatric sedation services. His clinical practice is divided between chronic pain management and anesthesia at McMaster University, with an interest in pediatric practice.The mission of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care is to understand the underlying mechanisms of chronic pain in order to develop better prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies. As Director of the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre, Dr. Buckley's work focusses on improving the management of chronic pain through the dissemination of best practice information and guidelines for managing pain.

Linda Fischer, Vice President, Product Strategy, DrFirst

Linda Fischer, Vice President Product Strategy, joined DrFirst after having served 21 years as a VP and CIO for Huntington where she played a key role in the implementation of an EMR and successful attestations through MU Stage 2.  Ms. Fischer is a long-time member of HIMSS, CHIME, and GNYHA, and is a founding member of the CHIME Opioid Task Force and DrFirst Opioid Task Force.  In 2009, she received the CPEHR Certification from CCHIT as well as a “Friend of Nursing” MAGNET award.  Ms. Fischer served on the original Board of Directors in the creation and implementation of the Long Island HIE, known now as HealthEx.

Halena Gazelka, MD, Anesthesiologist, Mayo Clinic

Bio coming soon.

Tom Hill, Vice President of Addiction and Recovery, National Council for Behavioral Health

Tom Hill, MSW, joined the National Council for Behavioral Health in March 2017 as Vice President of Addiction and Recovery. Mr. Hill previously served as a Presidential Appointee in the position of Senior Advisor on Addiction and Recovery to the SAMHSA Administrator. As part of this post, he initially served as Acting Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Hill was a Senior Associate at Altarum Institute, serving as Technical Assistance Director for a number of SAMHSA treatment and recovery support grant initiatives. He also served for four years as Director of Programs at Faces & Voices of Recovery.

Mr. Hill is frequently sought out as a national thought leader in the addiction and recovery field; his personal experience of recovery from addiction spans two decades. Reflecting his commitment to the goal of long-term recovery for individuals, families and communities, he has also served on numerous boards of directors, advisory boards, committees and working groups. Mr. Hill received his MSW in community organizing from Hunter College at City University of New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Johnson Institute America Honors Recovery Award, the NALGAP Advocacy Award and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship in the Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse initiative.

Seonaid Nolan, MD, Clinical Researcher, British Columbia Centre on Substance Use

Dr. Seonaid Nolan, MD is a Clinician Researcher with the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Physician Program Director for Providence Health Care’s Interdisciplinary Substance Use Program. She works as an addiction medicine physician at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Dr. Nolan is a Co-investigator on the Optimizing patient centered-care: A pragmatic randomized control trial comparing models of care in the management of prescription opioid misuse (OPTIMA), a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded, multi-site clinical trial led by the Regional Nodes of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse. She is also a Co-investigator on the Mobile Opioid Vital-signs Evaluation(MOVE) pilot study. As an Addiction Medicine Physician, Dr. Nolan contributes substantially to the Clinical Care Guidance and education programs of the BCCSU, and is a mentor for the Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship and is preceptor for the St. Paul’s Hospital Goldcorp Addiction Medicine Clinical Fellowship.

Dr. Nolan has received several honours for academic, research, and teaching activities, including acceptance to the prestigious Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars program at Boston University (2013-2015). Dr. Nolan has maintained certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine since 2014. She completed fellowships in both General Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine at UBC in 2014, her residency in Internal Medicine at UBC in 2012, and her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland in 2009.




Breakout Session 2

2a. Access to Care and Population Health: A Perspective from Rural and Urban Communities

Facilitating questions:
a) What novel approaches are being used to better service needs of rural communities?
b) How can we apply successes from urban settings to rural settings?
c) How are we examining the underlying causes that lead to addiction, and considering social determinants of health?
d) What are best practices with respect to social housing and treatment support?

Facilitated by Michael Petersen, MD, Health Innovation Lead, Accenture Health and Public Services

Michael Petersen, M.D., is a transformative physician executive and medical director with Accenture’s health management delivery operations team. He serves as an innovation lead, and is working to develop a solution to help health and government organizations measure, manage and mitigate the opioid epidemic in the United States. Dr. Petersen specializes in healthcare innovation, clinical and business operations, process optimization, health management, wellness and prevention, care value, and healthcare technologies, such as clinical analytics, electronic health records and health information systems.

Jay Butler, MD, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska

Department of Health & Social Services Jay Butler was appointed chief medical officer for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and director of the Division of Public Health by Governor Bill Walker in December 2014. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Medical School, has completed clinical trainings at Vanderbilt and Emory Universities, and maintains clinical board certifications in infectious diseases, internal medicine, and pediatrics. He has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers and medical textbook chapters on infectious diseases and emergency preparedness and he is an affiliate professor of medicine at the University of Alaska Anchorage. From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Butler was senior director for community health services at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage, where he was also a clinical infectious diseases consultant and medical director for infection control and employee health. Earlier work includes serving as chief medical officer of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services from 2007-2009, Alaska state epidemiologist, 2005- 2007, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Arctic Investigations Program, 1998-2005, and medical epidemiologist in CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, 1991-1998. He completed over 23 years of service as a U.S. public health service medical officer and participated in a number of emergency deployments which have included heading the H1N1 Vaccine Task Force at the CDC in Atlanta in 2009-2010, was a team co-leader during the CDC responses to the SARS outbreak of 2003, avian influenza in 2004, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, served as the CDC liaison to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. after the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001, and led the CDC field response to the initial Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome outbreak in the U.S. in 1993. In 2010, he received ASTHO’s National Excellence in Public Health Award and served as ASTHO’s President in 2017.

Kathryn Dong, MD, Director, Addiction Recovery Community Health Team (ARCH) and Inner-City Health and Wellness, Alberta

Dr. Kathryn Dong’s model of person-centred care is empowering socially vulnerable addiction and mental health patients in an inner city Edmonton hospital. Dr. Kathryn Dong was already making a positive impact in the Royal Alexandra Hospital emergency department, but she knew an even better model of care was possible. From an idea to a research project in 2008, all the way to a pilot project and, ultimately, a fully funded clinical program in 2014, Dr. Dong’s new model supports and empowers socially vulnerable addiction and mental health patients by insisting on patient-centred care. It sees the hospital working with other agencies and community organizations to provide people evidence-based treatment for their substance use disorders alongside other services they need such as affordable housing, mental health support services, ID services, and more. Without Dr. Dong, the Inner City Health and Wellness Program would not exist, nor would the companion Addiction Recovery and Community Health (ARCH) Team. These programs have treated thousands, with many crediting them with changing their lives. The program’s research team are studying the health outcomes and economic value of this model, with the hope that this program can inform the care of at-risk community members entering other emergency rooms across the province.

Bonnie Henry, MD, Provincial Health Officer, Province of British Columbia

Dr. Bonnie Henry was appointed as provincial health officer for the Province of BC effective February 1, 2018.Dr. Bonnie Henry was the deputy provincial health officer for three years starting in August of 2014 and prior to that served as the interim provincial executive medical director of the BC Centre for Disease Control from December 2013 until August 2014.

She was also the medical director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control and Public Health Emergency Management with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and medical director for the provincial emerging and vector-borne diseases program as well as a provincial program for surveillance and control of healthcare associated infections; a position she started in February of 2005.

She joined Toronto Public Health in September 2001 as associate medical officer of health where she was responsible for the Emergency Services Unit and the Communicable Disease Liaison Unit. In 2003, she was the operational lead in the response to the SARS outbreak in Toronto. She was a member of the executive team of the Ontario SARS Scientific Advisory Committee.

She is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine and is board certified in preventive medicine in the U.S. She graduated from Dalhousie Medical School and completed a Masters in Public Health in San Diego, residency training in preventive medicine at University of California, San Diego and in community medicine at University of Toronto.

Lipi Roy, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, NYU Langone Health

Dr. Lipi Roy is an internal medicine physician board certified in addiction medicine as well as clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health. As the former Chief of Addiction Medicine for NYC jails including Rikers Island, Dr. Roy oversaw substance use treatment and recovery services for the nation’s second-largest jail. Previously, she was a primary care doctor to Boston's vulnerable homeless population, among whom the leading cause of death was drug overdose. She is currently the medical director of a state-run addiction treatment center in New York City. Dr. Roy also served as an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Roy completed her medical and master’s in public health degrees at Tulane University, followed by internal medicine training at Duke University Medical Center. She is a strong advocate for public service. In addition to caring for incarcerated and homeless men and women, she has served the underserved in Nicaragua and India, as well as New Orleans residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Roy has also provided medical relief to earthquake victims in Haiti, and volunteered in the medical tent at the Boston Marathon. She currently volunteers with the New York City Medical Reserve Corps.

Featured on CNN, Charlie Rose and a documentary film "The Faces of the Opioid Crisis," Dr. Roy is a sought-after, charismatic speaker with expertise in addiction medicine, clinical nutrition and mindfulness. A Forbes andHuffington Post contributor, Dr. Roy has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and She is passionate about educating and empowering the public to make healthy lifestyle decisions through her website (, articles, YouTube channel and speaking engagements. She was also a frequent contributor to Boston Herald Radio and medical expert on WCVB-ABC Boston. 

Steve Williams, Mayor, Huntington, West Virginia

Steve Williams was elected as Huntington’s 47th mayor on Nov. 6, 2012, and was re-elected to a second term in November 2016. Under Williams’ leadership, Huntington was named the $3 million grand prize winner of the America’s Best Communities competition in April 2017. This nationwide contest sponsored by Frontier Communications aimed to spur economic development in small communities. More than 350 communities entered. Huntington has also gained national recognition for the establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The Office has formed several partnerships in developing a harm reduction program and has focused on reducing drug trafficking and related crime while promoting prevention and treatment options. In March 2016, Williams was named to a joint task force of the National League of Cities and National Association of Counties to address the opioid epidemic. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with Cum Laude honors from Marshall University in 1978 and a master's degree in public administration from West Virginia University in 1980. He began serving as the city’s director of economic development in 1984 and, later that same year, he was named the youngest city manager in Huntington’s history. He served as city manager until Huntington switched to a strong mayor form of government in 1985. Williams also represented Cabell and Wayne counties in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1987 to 1994 where he spent much of his time working to reform the higher education and medical education systems in West Virginia. Professionally, Williams established a career in finance with 26 years in investment banking and investment brokerage. He has served as an investment banker, stock broker, sales manager and senior level executive, overseeing many of the largest markets for the largest banking institutions in the nation. Williams returned to politics in 2008 when he was elected as an at-large Huntington city councilman. He fulfilled his four-year term and served as the governing body’s Finance Committee chairman before he was elected mayor. He was named as the 2015-2016 Mayor of the Year by the West Virginia Municipal League.

2b. Data, Surveillance and Research: Where We Are At, and Where We Need to Be

Facilitating questions:
a) What are the benefits and challenges associated with establishing standards for data collection, monitoring, sharing and research?
b) What informatics tools are being utilized to address the opioids crisis?
c) What are the lessons learned and way forward for Prescription Drug Monitoring? How can Canada and the United States work together to promote greater data sharing, research etc.?
d) What other kinds of data and information are critical for ensuring an effective opioid response?

Facilitated by Michael Green, CEO, Canada Health Infoway

Michael Green is a strong leader and a creative, strategic thinker who has an international reputation and a proven track record of transforming health care through the use of digital health. He has leveraged international research and innovation to advance the digital health agenda, create jobs and stimulate economic growth in Canada. Michael has been President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway since August 2014.Michael envisions a future where all Canadians can access their health information and interact with their providers from the device of their choice. As President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway, he is leading a national strategy called Driving Access to Care to realize this vision. ACCESS Digital Health and PrescribeITTM are aimed at providing citizens with tools to manage their health, eliminating paper and faxes, and modernizing the way doctors prescribe medicines, book appointments and communicate with patients and colleagues. Michael has long been a visionary for the way digital health solutions can make public health systems more sustainable and improve the patient experience. He has played senior executive roles with health technology companies spanning major global markets. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contribution to the Canadian Health IT industry.Michael is a past Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) Board of Directors and a past director of the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA — USA). He received the ICD.D designation following study at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management in 2017.

Jessica Halverson, Director, Opioid-Related Harms, Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada

Jessica Halverson is currently the Director of Opioid-related Harms at the Public Health Agency of Canada. She has served in the Canadian federal public service in public health for nine years. She also has ten years of experience in the non-profit sector, where she coordinated programs related to HIV and sexual health in Latin America and the Caribbean, and also served as a social worker in New York City. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.

Elaine Hyshka, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta; and Scientific Director, Inner City Health and Wellness Program, Royal Alexandra Hospital

I am a health services and policy researcher focused on advancing a public health approach to substance use by: (1) evaluating novel interventions designed to reduce the health, social, and economic costs of drug and alcohol use; (2) analyzing the social, legal and political determinants of substance use policy and practice; and (3) examining health inequities and service barriers faced by socially marginalized populations experiencing problematic drug or alcohol use. I am committed to engaged scholarship, and my research is conducted in partnership with several local, provincial, and national-level service providers, policymakers, and public health advocacy organizations.

Beyond my faculty position, I am the Scientific Director of the Royal Alexandra Hospital's Inner City Health and Wellness Program. In this role, I work with affiliated clinicians, senior hospital leaders, and community partners to implement clinical practice and hospital policy changes that redefine the healthcare experience for people living with substance use disorders, and evaluate their impact on both patients and staff. The overall aim of this research program is to reduce health inequities and contribute to development of new standards of care for substance use disorders that are not only ethical and effective, but truly patient-centred. 

Stéphane Joanis, Product Manager, Safety and Security, Field and Service Instruments at Thermo Fisher Scientific

Bio coming soon.

Steve Kearney, Pharm. D., Medical Director, SAS Institute

Dr. Kearney is the Medical Director and Senior Manager for Healthcare in the US Government and Education Practice at SAS Institute where he works with a world-renowned team to help solve the most complex healthcare challenges utilizing advanced analytical solutions.  Prior to joining SAS, he was a Director in the Medical Outcomes Specialists group for Pfizer Global Medical where he worked for 17 years integrating clinical, HIT, health outcomes and policy for states, integrated delivery networks, payers, providers and patients.   During that time, he served on the NC Governor’s Task for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and The Behavioral Health Subcommittee for NC Medicaid. 

Most recently he served on the NC Chronic Pain Advisory Board and led the Pfizer effort as part of the Project Lazarus initiative. He was a founding member of Pfizer’s Practice Transformation taskforce and served as the Medical Lead of the ACO resource team. Prior to joining Pfizer, he was a Clinical Pharmacist for Durham Medical Center (a Duke University Clinic with 11 internal medicine physicians), Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy and Assistant Director for Pharmacy Education for the Non-Affiliated AHEC. He was also the course director for Ambulatory Medicine at the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree from East Carolina University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Campbell University School of Pharmacy.  He completed a one-year post-doctoral residency in pharmacy practice at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and then joined the pharmacy department at Duke University Medical Center in 1995 where he worked as the clinical pharmacist for family medicine and cardiology.  He has completed Executive coursework at the Kenan Flagler School of Business and the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Prior to his Pharmacy degree, Dr. Kearney developed and co-lead a Behavioral Health program for a regional hospital which included development of the curriculum, writing the policies and procedures, designing and overseeing the construction of the facility, working with County and State officials on policy and leading the Capital funds campaign for the facility.

Alana Vivolo, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Alana Vivolo-Kantor is a Behavioral Scientist at the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (DUIP) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working on the Enhanced State Unintentional Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program.  She serves as a Science Officer for several funded state health departments, and manages data delivery and analysis for both emergency department and emergency medical services data on drug overdose. She also partners with CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) to develop syndrome definitions for drug overdoses.  Prior to coming to DUIP, Dr. Vivolo-Kantor was a Behavioral Scientist in CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention in the Research and Evaluation Branch where she focused on measurement, surveillance, etiologic research, and program evaluation activities for youth violence, bullying, and teen dating violence.


Concluding Remarks