2018 Speakers
The Rx Summit annually gathers leading field experts, researchers, policy makers, and others to present a comprehensive and diverse agenda. Below are 2018 speakers.
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Jason Hoppe
DO, Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Colorado
Dr. Jason Hoppe is an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at the University of Colorado and Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center with a career focus on Rx opioid safety and maximizing the utility of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). He serves as co-chair for Colorado’s statewide PDMP task force and is a founding member of the coordinating committee for the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. Through these groups he has worked extensively to improve Colorado’s PDMP. His research using PDMPs has resulted in several published projects linking PDMP and clinical data. These projects have lead to further grant funding for three additional large scale PDMP implementation and evaluation projects. He has worked extensively with the Colorado Board of Pharmacy and the Department of Public Health to improve and evaluate the Colorado PDMP.
Improving Clinician PDMP Interventions: Unsolicited Reports, Provider Report Cards and Mandated Use

Sara Howe
MS, CHES, Chief Executive Officer
Illinois Association for Behavioral Health
Sara Moscato Howe, MS, CHES, is Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health (IABH). Her responsibilities include state and federal policy analysis and advocacy efforts on behalf of the IABH's membership. Howe also oversees the planning and implementation of IABH’s substance abuse prevention programs: Operation Snowball and the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute. She is Chair of the Illinois Department of Human Services Social Services Advisory Council, a member of Illinois’ Human Services Commission, and serves as Public Policy Chair of the National Council for Behavioral Health. Howe holds a master's degree in health promotion with a research emphasis in collegiate peer alcohol abuse prevention and a bachelor's degree in health promotion from Purdue University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.
A Parity Framework

Joseph Hsu
MD, Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon
Carolinas HealthCare System
Joseph Hsu, MD, is Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon at Carolinas HealthCare System and has over 10 years of experience as an orthopaedic traumatologist. He has clinical expertise in surgical interventions, limb salvage, orthopaedic infections and fragility fractures. His current research interests are in lower extremity disability, Rx drug overdoses and fall prevention. Hsu has several peer-reviewed publications in the field of orthopaedic trauma and hip fractures, and he has experience working within clinical consortiums at a national and international level. He has extensive experience in the military and civilian organizations with creating and implementing clinical practice guidelines.
Using EHR-Based Clinical Decision Supports to Affect Opioid Prescribing Behavior

Courtney Hunter
MPA, Director, Advocacy and Government Affairs
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Courtney Hunter joined the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit that supports families struggling with their son or daughter's substance use, in 2009. She has worked in various roles at the Partnership, with the media relations department, state alliance program and the program department, managing The Meth Project. In her current role as Director, Advocacy and Government Affairs, Hunter works closely with families to advocate for more resources at the federal level and increased access to addiction treatment. Hunter graduated cum laude with a degree in political science and Spanish studies from the University of Minnesota. She received her Master in Public Administration degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 2013.
Empowering Families: How to Address a Loved One’s Opioid Use and Become a Family Advocate

Edward Jacoubs, MSW
Director of Grants and Sponsored Projects
Plymouth County District Attorney's Office
Edward Jacoubs is director of grants and special projects for the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. He brings to the board experience designing and implementing programs for off-track youth, and he has authored and received numerous grants focused on supporting Map Academy’s target population. Jacoubs will help facilitate change for high-risk youth through his deep connections to local organizations that can provide resources and supports to Map Academy students and families. Additionally, he is the chair of the Map Academy Board of Trustees.
Drug-Endangered Children: How Law Enforcement, Child Protection Agencies and Schools Can Help

Sherani Jagroep
MPH, Public Health Analyst
Atlanta-Carolinas HIDTA
Sherani Jagroep is a Public Health Analyst with the Atlanta Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), based in the North Carolina Division of Public Health. In the four years since receiving her Master of Public Health in evaluative sciences from Stony Brook University, Jagroep has worked as a Research Co-Investigator on a reproductive health study in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and as a Data Analyst with Physicians for Reproductive Health and Ipas. She joined the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch in February 2017 as a Public Health Analyst, supporting both the public health and public safety sector with data requests and surveillance of the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.
Data-Driven Initiatives to End Overdoses
It's More Than Opioids: Polysubstance Use in North Carolina

Frank James
MD, JD, FASAM, FACLM, Vice Chair, Payer Relations Committee
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Dr. Frank James earned his law and medical degrees at Southern Illinois University. He is board certified in general, child and adolescent, and forensic psychiatry, as well as addiction medicine. James spent his clinical years providing inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services in underserved areas in the Ohio Valley. He developed a specialty outpatient clinic for opioid use disorder (OUD). His treatment model focused on the integration of group therapy and psychotropic medication management with the use of urine drug screens (UDS) and medication assisted treatment (MAT). For the last seven years, James has worked in managed care. He provides large behavioral health organizations guidance in drafting evidenced-based benefit guidelines specific to OUD treatment and service, including level of care determination, MAT prior authorizations, and UDS coverage determination. His current focus is medical/behavioral integration and alternative payment model development substance use disorder services. James is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Finance Committee, Vice Chair of ASAM’s Payer Relations Committee, and Alternate to ASAM’s Board of Directors for Region III. He helped develop ASAM’s Public Policy on Hepatitis C treatment, including recommendations for integrating Hepatitis C treatment in SUDs treatment programs, as well as looking at alternative payment models.
Drug Testing in Clinical Practice: When, What, Who and How

Margaret Jarvis
MD, DFASAM, Director of the Division of Addiction Medicine
Neurosciences Institute at Geisinger Health System
Margaret Jarvis, MD, DFASAM, is the Director of the Division of Addiction Medicine in the Neurosciences Institute at Geisinger Health System. She began her work at Geisinger by being the Medical Director for Marworth Treatment center, which she has done from 1999 to the present. She has worked extensively with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, serving on the board of directors (currently as Vice President) and on many committees. She also chairs the Quality Improvement Council and, in that capacity, has overseen the creation of the recent publication, “Appropriate Use of Drug Testing in Clinical Addiction Medicine.”
Drug Testing in Clinical Practice: When, What, Who and How

Nancy Jennings
BSN, RN, Beyond Birth Nurse Navigator
University of Kentucky HealthCare
Nancy Jennings has more than 24 years of OB/GYN nursing experience. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky in 1986. Jennings currently serves as the lead Perinatal Recovery Facilitator for the PATHways Beyond Birth program at University of Kentucky HealthCare. The program provides women a treatment model to improve skills to actively manage their recovery and engage in attachment-based parenting, while also providing opportunities for continuing education and job training. These are all critical to long-term recovery and improving psychosocial and physical health.
Do the Next Right Thing: A Family-Centered and Multidisciplinary Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment among Perinatal Women

Christopher M. Jones
PharmD, MPH, Director, National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Member, National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board
Dr. Christopher M. Jones currently serves as the Director of the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Prior to joining SAMHSA, he served as Acting Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Data Policy and Director of the Division of Science Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Science and Data Policy is the HHS focal point for policy research, analysis, evaluation, and coordination of public health, science, and data policy activities, and provides authoritative advice and analytical support to HHS leadership on public health, science, and data policy issues and initiatives. Jones also has served as Senior Advisor in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) drug abuse and overdose activities, where he focused on strategic policy development and implementation, engaging national and state partners, and conducting research to improve policy and clinical practice. During his career, Jones has served as Senior Public Health Advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, led the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Communication team, and served on the Science Team in the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile. He received his bachelor's degree from Reinhart College, his doctorate degree in pharmacy from Mercer University, and his master's degree in public health from New York Medical College, and he is currently completing his doctorate degree in public health at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Jones has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on the topic of drug abuse and overdose. Jones is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Addressing the Opioid Crisis Begins at the Border

Jonathan Judge
MA, Program Director
Rise Above Colorado
Jonathan Judge is the Director of Youth Engagement at Rise Above Colorado. He brings significant curriculum design and program management experience to his role leading youth outreach efforts for the organization. As director for the International Towne program at Young Americans Center for Financial Education from 2003-2008, Judge led curriculum creation, as well as overall program management of a middle-school, hands-on education program in global economics. Moving on to become the Program Manager for the Colorado Meth Project, he developed and led the organization’s volunteer network, oversaw statewide outreach to schools and youth serving agencies, and led an initiative to design and pilot a nationally utilized meth prevention curriculum. Judge designs, implements and monitors the organization’s social media activity and leads large-scale community art projects across Colorado.
#IRiseAbove: Social Media and Engagement Strategies for Youth Substance Misuse Prevention

Kavitha Kailasam
MA, Director of Community Partnerships
Rise Above Colorado
Kavitha Kailasam is the Director of Community Partnerships and Capacity Building at Rise Above Colorado. She has worked in youth development programs for the last 12 years in a variety of capacities and locations, spanning the private and public sectors. At Rise Above Colorado, Kailasam is responsible for supporting community partners in implementing youth engagement and Rx drug misuse prevention strategies. Prior to joining Rise Above Colorado, she directed a youth violence and substance misuse prevention funding program for the State of Colorado. Kailasam received undergraduate and graduate degrees in international development from the University of Denver.
#IRiseAbove: Social Media and Engagement Strategies for Youth Substance Misuse Prevention

Joann Kang
JD, Lead for Policy and Partnerships, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Joann Kang serves as the Team Lead for Policy and Partnerships within Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Within this capacity, she oversees partnership engagement and policy activities related to the public health topics that fall within the division’s purview, including opioid overdose prevention. Prior to joining CDC, Joann practiced as a public interest lawyer and also worked as a policy analyst/lobbyist on children’s health issues for a nonprofit organization. Kang received her bachelor's degree in advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her law degree from Emory University School of Law.
Expanding Access to Treatment for Justice-Involved Populations: Lessons Learned from States

Stefan Kertesz
MD, MSc, Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Director of Homeless Patient-Aligned Care Team, Birmingham VA Medical Center
Dr. Stefan Kertesz serves at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and as Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Since 1996, he has focused his clinical care and research on the medical and addiction care of vulnerable populations, notably persons who are homeless. Starting at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in 1996, he transitioned to Birmingham in 2002, and currently runs the Homeless Patient-Aligned Care Team at Birmingham VA Medical Center. His research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Veterans Administration Health Services Research Merit program, has focused on natural history of illicit drug use, addiction treatment services and design of patient-centered care for homeless individuals. He serves on the Opioid Safety Initiative and the Opiate Advisory Team for the Birmingham VA Medical Center. In addition to briefing Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in January 2016, his popular commentaries on opioids have appeared in Slate.com, The Hill, STATNews and The Huffington Post. His recent work highlights the patient-level outcomes associated with incautious termination of opioid prescriptions. His views do not represent positions of any federal agency or the state of Alabama.
Surprising VA Data About Opioid Discontinuation, Overdose and Suicide: Clinical Implications

Michael G. Kindred
MD, Beyond Birth Medical Director, Surgeon and Addiction Medicine, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Dr. Michael G. Kindred's interest in addiction medicine started during his surgical residency when he observed that a large percentage of his trauma patients who presented with penetrating and blunt injuries were intoxicated. His interest continued as he developed an elective practice in general surgery, where he found that the majority of his patients had co-morbid substance use problems. In pursuing this career interest, he completed a fellowship in addiction medicine at the University of Kentucky and then transitioned to faculty. Currently, 90% of his effort is dedicated to treating patients with opioid use disorder using buprenorphine across multiple outpatient clinics. He also treats other primary substance use disorders, and manage complex addictions in the inpatient setting with follow up after discharge. His approach to managing substance use disorders is to implement evidence-based treatment strategies. He is also involved in the development of novel interventions. His strategy recognizes the biological and psychosocial aspects of addiction and therefore emphasizes interventions that incorporate those critical aspects of the disease.
Do the Next Right Thing: A Family-Centered and Multidisciplinary Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment among Perinatal Women

Andrew Kolodny
MD, Co-Director, Opioid Policy Research
Brandeis University
Andrew Kolodny, MD, is one of the nation's leading experts on the Rx opioid and heroin crisis devastating families and communities across the country. He is a the Co-Director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer for Phoenix House, a national nonprofit addiction treatment agency and Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. Kolodny has a long-standing interest in public health. He began his career working for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner. For New York City, he helped develop and implement multiple programs to improve the health of New Yorkers and save lives, including city-wide buprenorphine programs, naloxone overdose prevention programs and emergency room-based screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs for drug and alcohol misuse.
Changing Prescribing Practices to Prevent Opioid Addiction

Shruti Kulkarni
JD, Policy Director
Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence
Shruti Kulkarni is the Policy Director for the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD). She offers policy insight on the prevention of diversion, misuse, and abuse of controlled Rx medications and treatment of substance use disorders. In this capacity, she proposes and analyzes policies and legislation; drafts legislative language, testimony, white papers, and scholarly articles; and educates state and federal legislators and policymakers. Kulkarni has over a decade of experience in the healthcare industry, including government affairs and sales positions in the pharmaceutical industry, and at the Food and Drug Adminstration’s Office of Policy in the Office of the Commissioner. She also is an Associate Attorney at DCBA Law & Policy, a Washington, D.C., law firm that focuses on healthcare law and policy. Kulkarni obtained her Juris Doctor degree from George Mason University School of Law. She received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Saint Joseph’s University.
Gender Differences and Substance Abuse: Eliminate Discrimination, Improve Treatment and Save Lives

Hillary Kunins
MD, MPH, MS, Assistant Commissioner
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Dr. Hillary Kunins is an Assistant Commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she leads the Department's Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use - Prevention, Care and Treatment. She previously served as the Residency Director for the programs in Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. Kunins received her bachelor's degree in religion from Swarthmore College and her medical degree and master's degree in public health from Columbia University. She completed her residency training in the primary care internal medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center, followed by her Chief Residency. Following residency training, Kunins joined the Division of Substance Abuse at Einstein as the Medical Director of a substance abuse treatment clinic and also served as the Division's Director of Women's Health. In that role, she developed an innovative women's HIV prevention and reproductive health program. Kunins completed the CARE fellowship in substance abuse research and a master's degree in clinical research at AECOM/Montefiore in 2005. She has been the recipient of several grant awards, including an Einstein K12 Career Development Award in Substance Abuse and Health Disparities (2005-2007) and an HIV Prevention Program Grant from New York State AIDS Institute (2003-present).
Addressing Gaps in the Addiction Specialty Workforce

Regina LaBelle
JD, Public Affairs Strategist, LaBelle Strategies
Visiting Fellow, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy
Regina LaBelle, JD, is a Principal with LaBelle Strategies, advising governments and nonprofit organizations on effective strategies to address today's opioid epidemic. She also is a Visiting Fellow with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. A frequent commentator on the opioid issue, LaBelle has appeared on MSNBC and is a regular contributor to The Hill. Until January 2017, she 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. While at ONDCP, she co-authored and helped to implement the administration's plan to address the opioid epidemic. She represented ONDCP before Congress, at national conferences and with the media. Skilled at public speaking, writing and strategy development, her previous work as Legal Counsel to the Mayor of Seattle, as well as in the federal government, provides a unique perspective on today's public policy challenges. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and magna cum laude graduate of Boston College, LaBelle lives with her husband and son in Maryland.
Syringe Services Programs in Rural, At-Risk Areas: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects

Michael Landen
MD, MPH, State Epidemiologist
New Mexico Department of Health
Dr. Michael Landen is the State Epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health. His principal areas of professional interest include tribal epidemiology, substance abuse epidemiology and injury prevention. He has worked as a family physician and clinical director for the Indian Health Service in Arizona and New Mexico, and as a volunteer physician in Belize. In 1995, he began work as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. He has been with the New Mexico Department of Health since 1997. He served as a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Executive Board member from 2007-2010.
Implementation and Evaluation of New Mexico’s PDMP Mandate Legislation in Context