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April 22, 2016     Post-Gazette
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April 22, 2016
 

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POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 22, 2016 PAGE 9 National Opioid Crisis Public Forum Held at Back Bay Events Center Keynote speaker Governor Charles Baker, center, with Forum Director David Herzog, MD, left, and William James College President, Nicholas Covino, PsyD. William James College, a leader in educating mental health professionals and the largest graduate psycholo- gy program in New England, hosted "Opioid Crisis: Thinking Outside the Box~ on Tuesday, April 5~, at the Back Bay Events Center. The event is part of the William James College Forum series in Boston's Back Bay, which convenes thought leaders to address societal issues that affect mental health. Ittifeatured an update by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on his administration's progress re- lated to the opioid crisis. Despite evidence-based inter- ventions and policies aimed at reducing opioid abuse, mortal- ity rates remain high. According to the Massachusetts Depart- ment of Public Health, 684 fatal opioid overdoses occurred during the first half of 2015, indicating a 6 percent increase from the same period in 2014. ~Governor Baker is to be cred- ited for keeping this issue in the public eye and advancing poli- cies to tackle it," said Nicholas Covino, PsyD, and President of William James College. "The public Forum is an opportunity to hear more from thought lead- ers about innovative ways to reduce the devastating impact of this crisis. This is a personal issue for many of us in the Com- monwealth, and it needs a sus- tained investment from many stakeholders to help our fami- lies, neighbors, and patients." The Forum addressed the crisis from a policy, academic, and clinical perspective. The speakers and panel discussed harm-reduction strategies, ways to reduce racial and ethnic disparities surrounding treat- ment, and programs for preven- tion and early intervention. The Forum began with a Wel- come from David Herzog, MD, and Opening Remarks from Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, followed by keynote speakers: Carl Hart, Ph.D.: Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University; Director of the Residential Studies and Methamphetamine Research Laboratories at the New York State Psychiatric Institute; and Andrew Kolodny, M.D.: Senior Scientist, Heller School for Social Policy and Manage- ment, Brandeis University; Chief Medical Officer, Phoenix Forum panelist Jessie Gaeta, MD, (RIGHT} chief medical officer at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, and Mary McGeown, president and CEO of Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, during the panel discussion. House Foundation; Executive Director, Physicians for Respon- sible Opioid Prescribing The keynote speakers were followed by a panel moderated by Martha Bebinger, WBUR reporter. Panelists included: Leonard Campanello: Chief of Police, Gloucester, Massa- chusetts Jessie M. Gaeta, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine Haner Hern&ndez, PhD, CADAC II, LADC I: Faculty member at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addic- tion Studies Mary McGeown: President and CEO, Massachusetts Soci- ety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; and Joanne Peterson: Founder and Executive Director, Learn to Cope, Inc. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker provided an update on his administration's progress on the opioid crisis and A. Kathryn Power, Regional Administrator, Region One for the Substance Abuse and Men- tal Health Services Administra- tion (SAMHSA), offered Closing Remarks. Over 600 guests attended the forum in John Hancock Hall. A post forum reception and luncheon was held at Doretta Taverna in Park Square for all speakers, panelists, forum supporters and friends. The luncheon was hosted by William James College Presi- dent Nicholas Covino, PsyD, and Forum Director David Herzog, MD. Forum sponsor Nancy Harris, on right, joins Julie Poison from William James College. (Photos by Roger Farrington} Keynote speaker Carl Hart, PhD, who's a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University, award-winning author, and authority on opioid addiction, greets Forum guest Jennifer Rathbun, MD. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Service Marylou Sudders (on Right} with Forum Panelist Joanne Peterson:, who is founder and executive director of Learn to Cope, Inc, Saturday, June 4th (Rain date: Sunday, June 5th) 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Waltham Common WANTED: VENDORS (food & non) Proceeds support Scholarships and local charities. Hosted by: Regina Margherita di Savoia Mixed Lodge #1094 (Waltham) of the Order Sons of Italy For more information, contact: Carol @ 508-855-0124 or rmlmixed@gmail.com www. rmlmixed.org/Festa