Keynote Speakers

Monique Tula is the Executive Director of Harm Reduction Coalition, a national advocacy and capacity-building organization that promotes the health and dignity of people affected by drug use. Previously, she was the Vice President of Programs with AIDS United where she oversaw the grant-making and technical assistance portfolios. With more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Ms. Tula has devoted her career to harm reduction advocacy and infrastructure development of community-based organizations.

Brandon Marshall, PhD is an an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health whose research focuses on substance use epidemiology, infectious diseases, and the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health of urban populations. Dr. Marshall is the Principal Investigator of multiple NIH-funded projects, including the Rhode Island Young Adult Prescription and Injection Drug Use Study (RAPIDS). As the Scientific Director of PreventOverdoseRI, Rhode Island's drug overdose surveillance and information dashboard, Dr. Marshall works closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health to track, measure, and evaluate efforts to address the state's opioid overdose epidemic. He is the inaugural recipient of the National Institute on Drug Abuse "Avenir" award, which supports TITAN, a research program using agent-based modeling to investigate HIV transmission dynamics among people who use drugs. Dr. Marshall is also involved in a number of other NIH and CIHR-funded cohort studies of people who inject drugs, street-involved youth, and men who have sex with men. He serves as an Associate Editor (Public Health & Epidemiology) of the International Journal of Drug Policy and has authored or co-authored over 140 peer-reviewed publications and two book chapters.

Sheila P Vakharia, PhD, MSW is a Researcher in the Office of Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance. In that role, she helps DPA staff and others understand a range of drug policy issues while also responding to new studies with critiques and analysis. She plans conferences and convenings on cutting edge issues in the area of drugs, drug research, and harm reduction. Additionally, she is responsible for cultivating relationships with researchers from a wide range of disciplines aligned with DPA’s policy interests and working to mobilize academics in service of DPA policy campaigns.


Medical Track Sessions

  • Providing Low Threshold Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder In Encampments, Lessons Learned From The Street
    Presenters: Andrew Chelius, David Harvey
  • HCV management for addiction providers
    Presenter: Stacey Trooskin
  • Implementation evaluation of a group-based MAT program in an FQHC: Perspective of staff and patients
    Presenters: Lara Weinstein, Robin Debates, Alexis Silverio
  • Increasing treatment for patients with opioid use disorder in the emergency department: the evolution of a peer-led model
    Presenters: Julie Dees, Davis Hermann, Nicole O'Donnell
  • Creating a Continuum of Harm Reduction Focused Housing to Meet the Needs of People who Use Drugs
    Presenters: Dale Tippet, Megan Abrams

Clinical Track Sessions

  • Innovations in Pharmacotherapy: Recovery Community Center - Office Based Opioid Treatment Programs
    Presenter: Robert D. Ashford
  • Methadone maintenance therapy: building on its proven past to enhance the future of harm reduction through creative, effective partnerships
    Presenters: Stuart Fisk, Chris Johnston, Jason Snyder
  • Housing First & Harm Reduction: Fundamental Rights Hand-in-Hand
    Presenters: Matt Tice, Jeff Jackson
  • What do we want? Therapy?  When do we want it? Now? On site therapy services in a harm reduction residential housing program
    Presenters: Dana Davis, Mary Hawk
  • Harm Reduction as a Treatment
    Presenters: Kevin Moore, Trisha Acri

Community Track Sessions

  • Healthy MOMs means healthy families: A community-based integrated program for pregnant and parenting women with OUD
    Presenters: Kielty Turner, Maria Montoro Edwards, Barbara Durkin
  • Promoting health and safety in the nightlife community through peer drug education
    Presenters: Jessica Lipkin, Rae Elkasabany
  • The Power of Stories for Stigma Elimination and Community Organizing
    Presenters: Madison Miller, Erin Bergner
  • Rx Awareness Campaign: Developing effective resources to increase awareness about the dangers of prescription opioids
    Presenters: LeShaundra Cordier, Brittany Curtis
  • How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee: How to run a 7 day a week drop-in center
    Presenters: Kerri Hartnett
  • Pennsylvania County-Level Vulnerability Assessment: Predicting HIV/Hepatitis C Outbreaks in Pennsylvania
    Presenters: Lauren Orkis
  • How to Make a HERO: Lessons Learned from an Academic-Grassroots Advocacy Building Partnership
    Presenters: Mary Hawk, Devin Reaves, Michael Mallon

Special Panel Guests (Day 1)

Kassandra Frederique is New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Frederique previously ran the day-to-day operations of the statewide campaign to end New York’s racially biased marijuana arrests, which cut the number of NYC marijuana arrests in half. Frederique also represented DPA as a member of Communities United for Police Reform, which focused on addressing Stop & Frisk and broader police reform/accountability measures bridging the gap between the War on Drugs and policing. In addition to working for policy solutions to reduce the harms associated with drug use, Frederique works with communities throughout the state to address and resolve the collateral consequences of the War on Drugs – state violence. As a co-author of Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy and as technical advisor to Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick’s The Ithaca Plan, Frederique cultivates and mobilizes powerful coalitions in communities devastated by drug misuse and drug criminalization to develop municipal strategies to foster healthier and safer communities.

Tom Hill, MSW, joined the National Council for Behavioral Health in March 2017 as Vice President of Practice Improvement. 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.

Margaret Jarvis, MD, DFASAM, is the chief of Addiction Medicine for the Geisinger Health System. She is board certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. She is now serving her 5th term on the ASAM Board of Directors, where she has also been a leader in quality improvement and currently chairs the ASAM Criteria Steering Committee.

Special Panel Guests (Day 2)

Secretaries Jen Smith (Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs), Meg Snead (Secretary of Policy and Planning), and Dr. Rachel Levine (Secretary of Health)

Secretary Smith was appointed Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs in March 2018. Prior to this, she served as Acting Secretary and before that as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP).

Meg Snead assumed the role of the governor’s secretary of policy and planning in December 2018. Most recently, Meg served as a deputy policy secretary liaising on all policy development between the Governor’s Office and the policy offices at the departments of Health, Human Services, Insurance, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging.

Secretary Levine is the Secretary of Health and a key advocate for MAT and other harm reduction strategies. She is an expert in pediatrics and psychiatry. While at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Dr. Levine led the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems.


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