2018 Moderators

Sarah Bacon
PhD, Lead Behavioral Scientist, Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Team
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Sarah Bacon is the Program Director for Prevention for States and the Data-Driven Prevention Initiative, two state-based opioid overdose prevention initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is a practice-oriented prevention scientist with experience spanning the fields of law enforcement, academia and public health. Across these disciplines and different domains, the common thread is her commitment to using data and science to make communities safer. She began her career as a parole officer in Atlanta, where she learned about the nuances of simultaneously addressing the needs of offenders, the needs of communities, and the requirements of state systems, policy and the law. She took this experience with her to graduate school at the University of Maryland in College Park, where she earned her doctorate degree in criminology. Bacon began her time at CDC in 2010, in the Division of Violence Prevention, where she was the lead scientist for the National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, a strategic initiative for implementing and evaluating violence prevention strategies in high-burden communities. While much of her work focuses on evaluation, Bacon is also fully immersed in implementation science and has significant hands-on experience with the implementation realities that often challenge our scientific agendas. She moved to the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention in 2015 to work on opioid overdose prevention. 
Grant Baldwin
PhD, MPH, Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Grant Baldwin is the Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (DUIP) at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has served in this capacity since September 2008. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for persons ages one to 44 years. DUIP is dedicated to reducing the number and severity of unintentional injuries through science-based programs and applied research. CDC is focused on preventing injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle-related crashes, older adult falls, Rx drug overdoses and traumatic brain injuries. Baldwin joined the CDC Injury Center in November 2006 as acting Deputy Director. In this role, he assisted the NCIPC Director in providing overall leadership and direction for the center. He began his career at CDC in September 1996. Baldwin received his doctorate in health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2003. He also received a Master of Public Health in behavioral sciences and health education from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in 1996. He currently is Adjunct Associate Professor at Emory in the School of Public Health and teaches two courses: Social Behavior and Public Health and Community Needs Assessment. Baldwin is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Michael Barnes
JD, Chairman
Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence
Michael C. Barnes, JD, is a Founder and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence. He also is a practicing attorney and the managing partner at DCBA Law & Policy in Washington, D.C. Barnes has been a member of the Advisory Board for the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit since 2012, has authored more than 10 scholarly articles, and presents frequently at conferences nationwide. He provides analysis for TV networks including CNBC, CNN, FOX Business, FOX News, and MSNBC. Barnes previously served as Confidential Counsel in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Mark Birdwhistell
MPA, Vice President for Administration and External Affairs
University of Kentucky HealthCare
Mark D. Birdwhistell serves as the Vice President for Administration and External Affairs for the University of Kentucky HealthCare. In this capacity, he provides executive leadership in administration and strategic direction across the clinical enterprise, collaborating effectively with physicians and other leadership of the healthcare team. Birdwhistell is also responsible for the development and oversight of UK HealthCare, clinical outreach and development initiatives, including clinical co-management approaches. He provides direction and oversight to marketing and public relations initiatives and represents UK HealthCare at the local, state and national levels as a national speaker on healthcare policy and Medicaid reform efforts. Birdwhistell has spent the better part of 40 years working in a number of roles in healthcare administration. From 2003-2007, he served as the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health & Family Services under Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher and he has previously served as Chief Executive Officer of CHA Health and Director of the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services. Most recently, he served as a policy adviser to Gov. Matt Bevin during the drafting of a Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver designed to innovate and transform Kentucky’s Medicaid program. Birdwhistell holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown College. He resided in Richmond, Kentucky, with his wife, Martha.
Daniel Blaney-Koen
JD, Senior Legislative Attorney
American Medical Association
Daniel Blaney-Koen, JD, is a senior legislative attorney with the American Medical Association Advocacy Resource Center (ARC). The ARC attorneys focus on working with state and specialty medical societies on state legislative, regulatory and policy advocacy. In addition to his work in the ARC, Blaney-Koen has held several roles at the AMA, including serving as a public information officer, policy analyst and speechwriter. Currently, he focuses on state legislation and policy concerning the nation’s opioid epidemic, with particular emphasis on overdose prevention and treatment. He also covers other pharmaceutical issues as well as insurance market reforms. Prior to joining the AMA in 1999, Blaney-Koen earned his Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Colorado State University, and his bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona. He earned his law degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Blaney-Koen, his wife, two young sons and daughter live in Chicago. Blaney-Koen is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Anne Burns
RPh, Vice President, Professional Affairs
American Pharmacists Association
Anne L. Burns, RPh, is Vice President, Professional Affairs, at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). She is responsible for the association’s strategic initiatives focused on advancing pharmacists’ patient care services in team-based care delivery models, as well as health care quality, pharmacy practice accreditation and credentialing. She also works on APhA’s medication therapy management, medication safety, Rx drug abuse and health information technology initiatives in addition to other key pharmacy practice issues. She has served on many medication therapy management and quality-related advisory councils. Burns joined APhA’s Education Department in 1997, and transitioned to the Professional Affairs Department in 1999 to focus on pharmacists’ patient care services and community pharmacy residency program accreditation. Prior to joining APhA, she served on the faculty at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Pharmacy. She is a graduate of OSU and completed the Wharton Executive Management Program for Pharmacy Leaders. Burns is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Kelly Clark
MD, MBA, DFAPA, DFASAM, Chief Medical Officer, Clean Slate Centers
President, American Society of Addiction Medicine
Dr. Kelly Clark has focused her career on issues of addictive disease, evidence-informed behavioral healthcare and payment reform. She is Chief Medical Officer of CleanSlate Centers, a multi-state medical group currently treating over 7,000 patients with opioid addiction in office based settings in eight states. Clark is the President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and has served as expert to the National Safety Council, the U.S. Comptroller General and the U.S. Attorney General’s office in Kentucky, where she is past President of the Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine, and she led the workgroup on Health Systems and Reimbursement at Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Buprenorphine Summit. Clark continues her work as a founding member of the Advisory Board of the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit.
John Dreyzehner
MD, MPH, FACOEM, Commissioner
Tennessee Department of Health
John J. Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM, joined Gov. Bill Haslam’s cabinet Sept. 19, 2011, as the 12th Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, having more than 20 years of service in clinical and public health leadership at the federal, state and local levels. He began his medical service in 1989 as a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon. Following honorable discharge as a Major, he spent several years practicing occupational medicine, joining the Virginia Department of Health in 2002. He also concurrently practiced addiction medicine for several years while working on substance abuse prevention in his public health role. Dreyzehner graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and earned his Master of Public Health at the University of Utah, where he also completed his residency in occupational medicine. He and his wife Jana, a child psychiatrist, have two sons. Dreyzehner is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Robert DuPont
MD, President
Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.
For over 40 years, Dr. Robert L. DuPont  has been a leader in drug abuse prevention and treatment. He was the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1973-1978) and the second White House Drug Chief (1973-1977). From 1968-1970, he was Director of Community Services for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. From 1970-1973, he served as Administrator of the District of Columbia Narcotics Treatment Administration. In 1978, he became the founding President of the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. He has been Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine since 1980. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. DuPont's signature role throughout his career has been to focus on the public health goal of reducing the use of illegal drugs.
John Eadie
MPA, Coordinator, Public Health and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Project
National Emerging Threat Initiative, A National HIDTA Initiative
John Eadie is the Public Health and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Project Coordinator for the National Emerging Threat Initiative, a National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative. He previously served as Director of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University (2010-15). For 44 years, Eadie has served in management, executive and consulting capacities in the field of public health. As Director of the Division of Public Health Protection in the New York State Department of Health (1985-95), he directed the state’s pharmaceutical diversion program, including the PDMP. He co-founded both the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs and the National Association of State Controlled Substances Authorities, served as President for both organizations and held other posts. Since leaving New York state service in 2001, Eadie has served as a consultant on PDMPs, including serving as the Administrative Reviewer for the Massachusetts PDMP. He has published multiple articles, made numerous presentations and served in many different arenas as an expert. Eadie is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Doug Edwards
MBA, Director
Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare
Doug Edwards is Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare, which produces the National Conference on Addiction Disorders, the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, the Summits for Clinical Excellence, and other conferences for behavioral healthcare professionals and allied stakeholders. He previously was the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of both Addiction Professional and Behavioral Healthcare magazines. Edwards has been serving the mental health and addiction treatment community for more than 17 years. Noted for his behavioral healthcare market expertise, Edwards presents at conferences and moderates expert panel discussions around the country. He earned his master's degree in business administration from Franklin University and his bachelor's degree from The University of Akron.
Gary Enos
MS, Editor
Addiction Professional
Gary Enos has been editor of Addiction Professional since the publication’s inception in 2003. He has covered clinical, business and policy issues as an editor and reporter in the addiction and mental health fields since 1994. Enos also has moderated panels at numerous events for the Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare, including the annual National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD). Prior to his work in behavioral health, he was a reporter covering state and local government issues for Crain Communications’ City & State newspaper, and a government reporter at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Enos is a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Amy G. Griffin
JD, Corporate Counsel
Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance
Amy G. Griffin, Esq., has served as Corporate Counsel with Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) since 2002. Prior to joining KEMI, she practiced with Reinhardt, Morgan and Isaacs in Lexington in the areas of toxic tort and corporate defense litigation and Franklin, Gordon and Hobgood in Madisonville concentrating on medical malpractice defense. Griffin earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mississippi and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. In addition to various responsibilities at KEMI, she oversees and manages litigation of medical fee disputes regarding chronic opioid use in injured workers.
Nancy Hale
MA, President and Chief Executive Officer
Operation UNITE
Following 34 years as a teacher, career counselor and administrative coordinator, Nancy Hale retired from public education in 2012 and joined Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) as Co-Program Director for the UNITE Service Corps (AmeriCorps) Program. In February 2015, she was named UNITE’s third President and CEO. Very involved in her community, Hale has served as an Executive Board Member and volunteer with the Rockcastle County (Ky.) UNITE Coalition for the last 11 years, with the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association for 26 years, as well as a current board member and twice-elected President of the Kentucky Association of Professional Educators. As a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Pi Chapter, Hale was named Kentucky Volunteer of the Year four times. She received the Golden Apple Achiever Award from Ashland Oil, Inc. in 2000 as one of Kentucky's outstanding educators. In 2001, she was chosen as the Kentucky YMCA Champion and was the first inductee into the Kentucky YMCA Youth Advisor Hall of Fame in 2010. She and her husband, John, also an educator and principal for 43 years, are the parents of two grown sons and have two granddaughters and a grandson. Hale is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
David Hamby
National Coordinator
National Emerging Threats Initiative, A National HIDTA Initiative
David Hamby was appointed National Coordinator of the National Emerging Threats Initiative (NETI), a National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Initiative, in January 2017. Before his current appointment, he was the Deputy Coordinator of NETI, previously known as the National Methamphetamine and Pharmaceuticals Initiative (NMPI)/Atlanta-Carolinas HIDTA. A member of the National HIDTA program since March 2008, Hamby serves as principle emerging threats advisor to the HIDTA program as well as state and local entities. He oversees specialized training, current trends, analytical support, best practices, innovative programs, and strategic planning for the program’s national approach to combat emerging drug threats. Hamby retired from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Chattanooga as Captain after a distinguished 30-year career in law enforcement, serving 18 years in the field of narcotics enforcement. Hamby served five years as Director of the SE Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force. He has received numerous awards and citations, including the Appreciation Award as Project Coordinator in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing (CISD) for law enforcement officers in the State of Mississippi. Hamby is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Greg Hamlin
Director of Claims
Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance
Greg Hamlin joined Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) in March of 2014 and currently serves as the Director of Claims. In his current role, Hamlin focuses on directing the daily operations of KEMI’s Claims Department. This involves ensuring claims best practices are adhered to, excellent claims service is provided, and losses are mitigated protecting KEMI’s policy holders. Prior to joining KEMI, Hamlin supervised Liberty Mutual’s Commercial Liability business line with claim teams based in Boston and Cincinnati. Before that, he supervised the Agency Market Workers Compensation claims team for Liberty Mutual’s Cincinnati-based Ohio Casualty brand. Hamlin began his career in insurance with Liberty Mutual in Indianapolis in 2005 as a National Market Workers’ Compensation Claims Case Manager. Hamlin holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University (2005) and is currently pursuing a CPCU designation.
Jim Huizenga
MD, Chief Clinical Officer
Appriss Health
Jim Huizenga, MD, has a professional career that spans multiple disciplines, including service as a United States Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot, military flight surgeon, emergency physician, software engineer and entrepreneur. His current focus is on the application of data science and cognitive ergonomics as they relate to substance use disorder. He is the Chief Clinical Officer of Appriss Health. Huizenga received his medical degree in 2000 from the University of Michigan and completed his residency in emergency medicine with the combined USAF and Wright State School of Medicine program in Dayton, Ohio. After serving in the military, he joined a private emergency medicine group in Dayton, where he continues to practice clinically. Huizenga has been involved in software development since 1994 and has served in the roles of programmer, architecture design and project manager. His experience includes the design and deployment of analytic and computational tools for the legal and healthcare professions. Huizenga melded his software and clinical experience when he oversaw the design and deployment of NarxCare, which required the collaboration of clinicians, administrators, government officials and developers. Huizenga continues to focus his clinical and software expertise on the opioid epidemic facing the country.
Christopher Jones
PharmD, MPH, Director, National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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.
Jan Losby
PhD, MSW, Team Lead, Prescription Drug Overdose Health Systems Team
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Jan Losby, PhD, MSW, is the Team Lead for the Prescription Drug Overdose Health Systems Team in Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. This team is responsible for implementing the CDC prescribing guideline in clinical settings, conducting applied health systems research, and providing scientific support to state public health departments. Prior to joining CDC, Dr. Losby managed the evaluation arm of a nonprofit evaluation organization where she designed and conducted evaluations of social service and public health programs in welfare reform, asset development, refugee services, mental health, substance abuse and employment.
J. Kevin Massey
Health Administrator
Correct Care Solutions Director
J. Kevin Massey is the Health Administrator for Correct Care Solutions, which is a leading, national provider of correctional health services in the United States. He leads an integrated clinical team of more than 100 professionals who deliver inpatient dental, medical, mental health and nursing; serving over 1,300 patients located at the New Orleans Jail and Hunt Mental Health Facility. Previously, Massey was the Director of Strategic Business Development and Clinical Innovation for the Weitzman Institute at the Community Health Center, Inc., which provides outpatient primary care serving over 150,000 underserved patients and tests promising innovations in primary care delivery. He has served as the Director of Injury Prevention for the State of Delaware, Department of Health, responsible for engaging state and national leaders, to improve health policy, clinical practice and executing broad-based prevention/population health programs. Prior leadership roles include: Chief Operating Officer at the Kent Community Health Center, a $20M outpatient primary care health center, and Interim Director of Marketing/Community Engagement for United Healthcare, Delaware Medicaid Managed Care Plan. Massey has served on the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board since 2013, and he has co-published and presents at Rx and heroin abuse conferences nationwide.
Tina Messer
MA, Manager, Department of Specialty Courts
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
Tina Messer is a Manager for Specialty Courts of Kentucky. She started out working with the drug court program as a case manager and was soon promoted to program supervisor, then regional supervisor and regional specialist. Messer has held nearly every position in drug court, which makes her well versed in all aspects of direct services to drug court and veteran’s treatment court participants. Messer hods a bachelor's degree in psychology from Eastern Kentucky University and master's degree in women’s and gender studies from the University of Louisville. Messer has been very involved in community events. She served on the Louisville Crime Commission, was the president of Network-Women in State Government, and was an organizer for the former first lady of Kentucky’s Shop and Share event that raised much needed goods for domestic violence shelters.
Julie Miller
Editor in Chief
Behavioral Healthcare Executive and Addiction Professional
As Editor in Chief of Behavioral Healthcare Executive and Addiction Professional, Julie Miller leads the team in news reporting and trend analysis for the two publication brands. Additionally, she develops programs for live events across the country and online, bringing the expertise of behavioral health thought leaders to the forefront. She has gained a variety experiences in her business-to-business publishing career over the past 20 years. A graduate of the University of Akron, Miller has not only covered the U.S. healthcare market, she has gained insight into international models through invitation-only executive missions in France and Ireland. Miller has also demonstrated editorial excellence and journalistic achievements, earning more than a dozen national and regional awards, including the prestigious Michael Q. Ford Journalism Award from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. She is also a member of the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
Elizabeth Nichols
MS, Manager, Department of Specialty Courts
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
Elizabeth Nichols has served as a Manager for the Kentucky Department of Specialty Courts since 2012. She graduated with her masters’ degree from Eastern Kentucky University in criminal justice and police studies. She received her undergraduate diploma in political science and criminology from Western Kentucky University. Nichols is a NADCP member, Kentucky ASAP board member and alumnus of Kentucky Leadership Shelby.
Rita Noonan
PhD, Branch Chief, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rita K. Noonan, PhD, is a sociologist and Branch Chief in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Noonan and her staff oversee the $125 million Overdose Prevention in States (OPIS) initiative, a combination of prevention, intervention and public health surveillance programs to reduce opioid-related overdose across the United States. She works closely with several High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs), managing the public health component of Office of National Drug Control Policy's Heroin Response Strategy, which links public health and public safety across 22 states. She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship and a MacArthur Fellowship. She received her doctorate degree from Indiana University.
Gary Ozanich
PhD, Director of Health Informatics, Associate Director of Research
Health Innovation Center, Northern Kentucky University
Gary Ozanich is Director of the Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Graduate Program in Health Informatics, and Associate Director of Research for NKU’s Health Innovation Center. He recently stepped down as the National Co-Chair of the Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Workgroup for the Health Information Systems Society (HIMSS) and was past National Chair of the HIMSS HIE Committee. He has conducted extensive funded research and consulting projects on the application of interoperability and data exchange to support care coordination and population health. This includes data integration through clinical decision support tools as they relate to workflow, outcomes, clinical inertia and patient engagement. Opioid-focused projects include integration of clinical, administrative and unstructured data for predictive analytics, and the study of barriers to care for chemically dependent pregnant women. Relative to other academic positions, he was Associate Director of the Institute of Tele-Information at Columbia University, and has been on the faculties of Michigan State University and University at Buffalo. He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
Chauncey Parker
JD, Director
New York/New Jersey HIDTA
Chauncey Parker, JD, serves as the Director of the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a federally-funded program that invests in public safety and public health partnerships designed to reduce drug abuse and its consequences. He also serves as Executive Assistant District Attorney for Crime Strategies in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. A veteran of more than 27 years in criminal justice, Parker began his career in the District Attorney’s Office in 1986, where he served for five years. He next served for 10 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 2002, Gov. George Pataki appointed him to serve as the Director of Criminal Justice for New York State, where for five years he oversaw all state criminal justice agencies. Parker is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Karen Perry
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force
Following the loss of her oldest son, Richard, to a drug overdose, Karen H. Perry co-founded Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force. She has served in a voluntary capacity as Executive Director since its inception in 2004. Perry’s major initiatives include the co-development and implementation of the NOPE Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, as well as the Program Training Curriculum. Other initiatives created and led by Perry include the NOPE’s Annual National Candle Light Vigil, NOPE Treatment Fund and the NOPE Support Group. In addition to her commitments to NOPE, Perry serves on numerous organizational boards and councils. She has been recognized for her achievements in the substance abuse field on the local and national levels. Additionally, she has been a leading advocate for numerous legislative initiatives on the state and federal levels in the area of substance abuse. Perry holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rosemont College. Perry is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Richard Sanders
MSCJ, Commissioner
Kentucky State Police
Rick Sanders, who has more than 40 years of distinguished service in law enforcement, was appointed Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police on April 1, 2016. He previously served nine years as Chief of the Jeffersontown (Kentucky) Police Department following his retirement as Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Washington, D.C. While serving as Resident Agent in Charge of the Louisville Resident Office, Sanders assisted in the development of Appalachia HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), and currently serves on its board of directors. He has also served as Chairman of HIDTAs in Indiana and Chicago. Through his work with HIDTA, Sanders established the “Top 21” anti-gang initiative that targeted the worst criminals in drug and violent offenses. In 2014, he was appointed President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police. Sanders received his bachelor’s degree in police administration and a master’s degree in justice administration from the University of Louisville. He is an accomplished fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since September 2016.
Carla Saunders
DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, Advance Practice Coordinator, Pediatrix Medical Group
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital
Carla Saunders has served as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner since 1990. In 2010 she gathered a multidisciplinary team in response to the alarming rise of babies being admitted to the NICU with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). They developed a standardized and holistic approach to the treatment of infants suffering from withdrawal created by maternal opiate exposure. The work done by her team is receiving local, state, national and international attention. Saunders has received multiple awards for her leadership and advocacy, including: Advanced Practitioner of the Year for the Atlantic Region of Pediatrix Medical Group (2010), one of Great American Country’s Great American Heroes (2012), and the Margaret Steinbach Leadership Award for Pediatrix Medical Group (2013). She has testified before the Tennessee State Senate on behalf of Children’s Hospital Alliance of Tennessee in support of the Safe Harbor Act promoting prenatal care and substance abuse treatment in pregnant women. Saunders is an advisory board member for Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care, Tennessee Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, TDOH Chronic Pain Guidelines task force and NAS Research Committee. Saunders is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Puja Seth
PhD, Lead, Overdose Epidemiology and Surveillance Team
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Puja Seth is the Team Lead for the Overdose Epidemiology and Surveillance Team in the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (DUIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her team is responsible for the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program. She has served in this capacity since February 2016 and has been at CDC since 2009. Prior to joining DUIP, Seth worked internationally and domestically on programmatic and research efforts on HIV testing and HIV service delivery, prevention with HIV-positive persons, program evaluation, national-level HIV data and data quality issues, capacity building, and providing technical assistance to states and countries. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Seth has her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia and her master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has over 55 publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and government reports, and she has given over 85 presentations.
CeCe Spitznas
PhD, Senior Science Policy Advisor
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Dr. Cece Spitznas, PhD, is Senior Science Policy Advisor in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the Executive Office of the President. From 2000-2012 Spitznas was a program official at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where her research portfolio concerned developing and testing new screening, brief interventions and treatments for people with substance use disorders, including pregnant women, and developing provider training. She received her clinical and research training in psychology at the University of New Mexico and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. She worked as a research professor at UAB conducting research on relapse and treatment for crack cocaine use in homeless cocaine users prior to joining the NIH.
Jackie Steele, Jr.
JD, Commonwealth Attorney
Kentucky 27th Judicial Circuit
Jackie Steele earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2001. He practiced civil law prior to accepting a full-time position as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney and, in 2008, was appointed Commonwealth Attorney for the 27th Judicial Circuit. He has handled hundreds of felony cases ranging from theft, embezzlement, rape, drug trafficking and murder. Steele was named “Outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney” in 2011. In addition, he has been recognized by Drug Court staff for his exceptional support to the Drug Court program, the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association for outstanding support and commitment to drug enforcement efforts in the state and for going above and beyond to support legislative efforts, and received the “Sword of Justice Award” from the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys’ Association for ceaseless dedication to the pursuit of justice. Steele is Past-President of the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys’ Association, a member of the Laurel County and Kentucky Bar Associations, the 27th Judicial Circuit Drug Court Team, and the Laurel and Knox County Child Abuse Response Teams. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since January 2012.
Dale Stephenson
PhD, CIH, Dean, College of Health Professions
Northern Kentucky University
In January 2018, Dr. Dale Stephenson began his tenure as Dean of the College of Health Professions at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). Stephenson earned a doctoral degree in environmental health from Colorado State University in 1991 and an undergraduate degree in geology from Metropolitan State University in 1984. Prior to coming to NKU, he was employed for 15 years by Boise State University, where he served as Program Coordinator of undergraduate environmental and occupational health, Chair of the Department of Community and Environmental Health, and ultimately Director of the School of Allied Health Sciences. His research specialization is occupational health, specifically as it relates to assessment and control of airborne exposure to toxic agents. Stephenson is married, has two grown sons, is passionate for the game of squash, and enjoys to hunt and fish in the mountains and streams of Idaho – and now Kentucky!
David Tapp
JD, MS, Judge
28th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky
Judge David A. Tapp serves as a Circuit Judge in the 28th Judicial Circuit of the Kentucky Court of Justice, a position which he has held for 12 years. He previously served as a limited jurisdiction judge. Tapp has devoted a substantial portion of his judicial career to the development of effective substance abuse and community treatment programs. He is responsible for Kentucky’s successful implementation of a high-risk probation supervision program modeled on Hawaii’s HOPE probation and was responsible for implementing Kentucky’s first use of medically assisted treatment within the Commonwealth’s drug courts. In 2015, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) awarded Tapp’s drug court with the Community Transformation Award. In 2011, he received the All Rise award from the NADCP for his efforts involving funding issues for substance abuse courts. Currently, Tapp chairs Kentucky’s Circuit Judges Education Committee and serves as a member of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council and the U.S. Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He is a frequent speaker and author on a wide variety of justice-related issues and formerly was an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. Tapp received his Juris Doctor in 1993 from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, a master's degree in criminal justice administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu in 1991, and a bachelor's degree from Morehead State University in 1983. Tapp is a member of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit Advisory Board.
Tom Valentino
Senior Editor
Addiction Professional and Behavioral Healthcare Executive
Tom Valentino has more than 13 years of experience in the newspaper and communications industries. In his two years with the Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare, he has covered major news and trends most relevant to the work of mental health and addiction treatment providers. Prior to joining the Institute, Valentino covered sports and breaking news in addition to leading a department as Business Editor of a suburban daily newspaper. He has extensive B2B and B2C marketing and public relations experience, creating content for print, digital and multimedia platforms, and hosts a weekly podcast in his spare time. Valentino is a graduate of the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a specialization in news writing and editing.