NGA Opioid Summit for New Administrations

Washington, DC | April 8-9, 2019


From April 8-9. NGA hosted the Opioid Summit for New Administrations in Washington, D.C. Public health and public safety officials from 33 states convened to discuss best practices for prevention, treatment and recovery, as well as funding and governance structures to support state efforts in combatting the opioid epidemic.

Day 1: April 8

Breakfast and Registration

Welcome and Overview

  • Hemi Tewarson, Director, NGA Health
  • Grant Baldwin, Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, CDC
  • Jeff McLeod, Director, NGAHomeland Security & Public Safety

Listening Session: State Priorities and Burning Questions

To help kick off the summit and provide a level set for attendees, a representative from each state with a new gubernatorial administration will address the following questions:

  • What is one opportunity you see for your state to make progress in addressing the epidemic? 
  • What do you want to learn from other states during this summit? 

Funding and Governance Structures for Effective Opioid Response

Funding and a strong, comprehensive opioid framework are important components in tackling the epidemic at the state level. Participants will discuss how they are leveraging funding opportunities and creating governance structures that drive cross-sector collaboration and turn policy into action.

  • Rebecca Boss, Director, Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals
  • Andy Jones, Policy Advisor to Governor Mike Dunleavy, Alaska
  • Sheila Sjolander, Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Health Services

Working Lunch: Governor Leadership and Lessons Learned  

As chief executives, governors are leading state efforts to end the opioid overdose epidemic. This session will highlight lessons learned from gubernatorial efforts to curb overdoses.

  • Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania
  • Scott Pattison, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, NGA

Breakout Sessions: Key Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Strategies

Participants will have the option of attending one of four breakout sessions.

Breakout 1: Primary Prevention and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are a range of traumatic events, including abuse and neglect, experienced during childhood and adolescence. ACEs are strongly associated with a wide range of health and social problems throughout the lifespan, including opioid use disorder (OUD). In this session, speakers will highlight best practices in prevention, early intervention, and support for children and youth experiencing trauma that show promise in mitigating risk for OUD. 

  • Michael Brumage, Co-Chairman, West Virginia ACEs Coalition, Cabin Creek Health Systems
  • Elyse Powell, Public Health Analyst, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Andrea Darr, Director, West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice, West Virginia State Police

Breakout 2: Increasing Access to Non-Pharmacologic Treatments for Pain

Improving pain management and prescribing practices are important components of efforts to prevent opioid misuse. This session will feature a discussion on non-opioid pain management, including opportunities for Medicaid to promote evidence-based, non-pharmacologic options for addressing pain.

  • Stephen Groff, Director, Delaware Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance
  • Ariel Smits, Medical Director, Health Evidence Review Commission, Oregon Health Authority

Breakout 3: On the Front Lines

During this session, presenters and participants will discuss the challenges and considerations for first responders, including police, fire, and emergency medical service professionals when responding to overdoses in their communities. This session will also highlight ways in which state officials can support first responders to ensure they are adequately equipped and trained.

  • Brandon del Pozo, Chief of Police of Burlington, Vermont
  • Robert Wronski, Chief, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • Diane Hainsworth, Director, Office of Emergency Medical Services, Delaware

Breakout 4: Expanding Access to Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) includes a combination of medication and behavioral therapies and is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorder to sustain recovery. This session will provide an overview of the core components of evidenced-based MAT, as well as state strategies for expanding access to MAT among Medicaid and justice-involved populations.

  • Yngvild Olsen, Medical Director, Institute for Behavior Resources/REACH Health Services
  • Beth Tanzman, Executive Director, Vermont Blueprint for Health
  • Michael Miskell, Senior Correctional Health Specialist, Office of Correctional Health, American Correctional Association

Turning Data into Action: Gathering Critical Data to Inform Policy and Program Priorities

Collecting and sharing key data can help state officials identify critical needs, direct resources, and drive policymaking to address the opioid epidemic. In this session, state leaders will highlight strategies for priority data collection and analysis, as well   as how they use data to facilitate innovative programs to reduce the number of overdose deaths.

  • Van Ingram, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy
  • Raphael Barishansky, Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Health

Day 2: April 9

Fentanyl and the Return of Stimulant Substances 

While the opioid overdose epidemic drives national and state headlines, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, and stimulant substances, namely cocaine and methamphetamine, are inflicting harm in a growing number of communities. This session will highlight the challenges that these substances present and the importance of considering these issues in state prevention and response efforts.

  • John Eadie, Public Health and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Project Coordinator, National Emerging Threats Initiative
  • Puja Seth, Overdose Epidemiology and Surveillance Lead, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, CDC

Breakout Session 1: Addressing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Maternal Opioid Use

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) impacts thousands of mothers and infants each year. This session will feature NAS surveillance system and other best practices around data coordination, as well as state initiatives geared towards children and mothers impacted by opioid use disorder.

  • Sharon Watkins, Director, Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Richard Massatti, State Opioid Treatment Authority, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Shara Tarule, OTP Nurse Practitioner, Chittenden Clinic

Breakout Session 2: Addressing the Infectious Disease Consequences of the Opioid Crisis

With the increase in opioid misuse, more people are at risk of blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis C that are easily transmitted through the sharing of contaminated drug paraphernalia such as syringes. This session will highlight best practices and lessons learned from state efforts to enhance public health surveillance and comprehensive harm reduction, including syringe services programs. 

  • Van Ingram, Executive Director, Kentucky Department of Drug Control and Policy
  • Kassy Keen, HIV/STD Prevention Manager, Utah Department of Health
  • Jacqueline Treanor, Associate Director, Medicaid Policy and Programs, New York State Department of Health

Breakout Session 3: Implementing Diversion Programs

Early detection and intervention initiatives provide law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts with the ability to limit an individual’s involvement with the criminal justice system and increase opportunities for treatment. This session will highlight evidence-based strategies to divert people from arrest or adjudication and connect those individuals to treatment and services.

  • Thomas Fallon, Commander, Hamilton County Ohio Heroin Task Force
  • Eugene Vittone, District Attorney, Washington County, Pennsylvania

Breakout Session 4: Supporting Recovery

This session will cover the key elements of recovery-oriented services and supports for people with OUD and other substances use disorders and the state role in facilitating access to them. The discussion will go beyond clinical needs to address essential elements of day-to-day recovery, with a special focus on peer support, supportive housing, and supported employment.

  • Rebecca Boss, Director, Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals
  • Lori Criss, Director, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Dialogue with Federal Partners

Panelists will discuss their agency’s priorities and ways they are partnering with states to address the opioid crisis. States will have a chance to raise questions and share their thoughts on opportunities to strengthen the state-federal partnership in responding to the epidemic.

  • Grant Baldwin, Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, CDC
  • Deepa Avula, Director, Office of Financial Resources, Chief of Staff, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Tara Kunkel, Senior Drug Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S Department of Justice
  • Deidre Gifford, Deputy Center Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Kemp Chester, Assistant Director, National Heroin Coordination Group, Office of National Drug Control Policy

Wrap Up & Adjourn