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Kentucky’s opioid crisis focus of Sept. 25 meeting of Howard Bost Health Policy Forum


Author and journalist Sam Quinones, whose book Dreamland chronicles the rise of prescription opioid abuse and subsequent heroin addiction across suburban and rural America, will keynote the Howard L. Bost Health Policy Forum on Sept 25 in Lexington.

The title of the 15th annual forum, underwritten by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky with support from Gilead Sciences, Inc., is “Kentucky’s Substance Use Crisis: Solutions and Strategies.”

“Quinones’ narrative is a compelling account of the opioid crisis that took 1,400 lives in Kentucky last year,” said Ben Chandler, Foundation president and CEO. “Kentucky’s experience with both prescription and illicit opioids has been more severe and longer-lived than in most other states. Quinones and other presenters will help us better understand how we got to where we are today, how to climb our way out of this crisis, and the policy changes that can prevent this from happening again.”

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amul R. Thapar, 6th Circuit, will also speak, and introduce Quinones.

Attendance at the Bost Forum is free, but registration is required (register here). The day-long conference begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington.

Speakers and panel discussions will address Kentucky’s growing epidemic of opioid and other substance misuse by sharing the latest crisis statistics and their impact; exploring evidence-based and promising policy solutions; and providing examples of local, regional and international prevention approaches.

Morning TED-Style Speakers/Afternoon Panelists:

Where We Stand: Kelly Firesheets is a senior program officer at Interact for Health, an independent nonprofit that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana; she coordinates Interact’s Preventing Opioid Misuse and Safety Network. Her remarks and the afternoon breakout session in which she participates will focus on current Kentucky statistics, including disparities among certain populations, as well as various treatment options.

On the afternoon panel with Firesheets:

— Van Ingram, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy
— Jason Merrick, Director of Addiction Services, Kenton County Detention Center
— Dr. Allen Brenzel, Medical Director, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Families Services

Policy as a Tool to Address the Social, Economic and Health Impact of Opioid Addiction in Kentucky: Mark O’Brien is the Director of Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment for the Baltimore City Health Department. His remarks and breakout session will cover the role of various policies – on both the supply and demand side of the equation – and provide examples of policies and their effects in Kentucky, Baltimore and other localities.

Joining O’Brien at the afternoon session:

• Julia Zur, Senior Policy Analyst, Kaiser Family Foundation
• Daniel Raymond, Deputy Director of Policy and Planning, National Harm Reduction Coalition
• Dr. Trish Rippetoe Freeman, Director, Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Practice

Prevention is Key: Dr. Harvey Milkman, a professor of psychology at Metropolitan State College of Denver, will discuss Iceland’s success in reducing teenage substance abuse. His breakout session will focus on various approaches to primary prevention of opioid misuse, including education campaigns, youth development programs, pain management practices and community-based prevention efforts.

Joining Milkman on the afternoon panel:

• Charlotte Ipsan, Chief Administrative Officer, Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital
• Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
• Dr. Jay C. Butler, Chief Medical Officer for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and Director of the Division of Public Health

Lessons from the Field: Interventions that Work in Addressing Opioid Addiction: Dr. Roberto Cardarelli is Chief of Community Medicine at UK Healthcare. His remarks and breakout session will focus on secondary and tertiary interventions including screening and diagnosis; medication-assisted treatment, supportive counseling and other treatment programs; naloxone use by first responders, family members, and friends of individuals who may be misusing opioids; and training for substance use treatment providers.

Joining him on the panel:

• Laura Brinson, Substance Abuse Health Educator, Northern Kentucky Health
• Jennifer Hancock, CEO, Volunteers of America
• Jennifer Havens, Faculty, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Science

A full agenda with speaker bios will be available on the Foundation’s website shortly.

From Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky


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