Ms. Rafita Ahlam is a health privacy associate for the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information and is a law clerk at the Legal Action Center (LAC). At LAC,
Ms. Ahlam provides legal counsel, training, and technical assistance to health care providers, government agencies, and schools on federal and state privacy law.
Ms. Ahlam completed her undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at Binghamton and received her juris doctor degree from Fordham School of Law.
At Fordham, she was on moot court and on the editorial board of the Fordham International Law Journal. During her third year of law school, Ms. Ahlam researched,
wrote, and published her student note on the privacy and security implications of the global encryption debate. In recognition of her demonstrated interest in privacy,
the International Association of Privacy Professionals selected Ms. Ahlam as the 2021 Westin Scholar Award recipient.
Ms. Michelle Akers is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Executive Director of the Southwestern Regional Day Report Center (SRDRC) in West Virginia. The SRDRC is
a regional behavioral health center that has the primary goal of providing treatment, case management, recovery support, education, and employment enhancement to individuals who are currently involved in the criminal justice system or are at risk of criminal justice involvement. Ms. Akers has worked in the treatment field for the past
26 years in Southwestern West Virginia. She also serves as a project administrator for the Fresh Start Program and Project Empower, and she is committed to reducing barriers to treatment and using community collaboration to identify and improve health disparities in the region.
Mr. Raul Almazar has many years of experience as a direct care provider, an administrator, an organizational and clinical consultant, a trainer, and a speaker. Prior to working as full-time consultant in 2009, he served as the Deputy Director for the State of Illinois Division of Mental Health. He is presently the Senior Public Policy Advisor at the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors’ Center for Innovation in Health Policy and Practice. He also serves as subject-matter expert for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Transformation Transfer Initiative. He served as senior consultant to SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Promoting Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraints Through Trauma Informed Practices. He provides consultation, training, and technical assistance to organizations and large systems and communities in the areas of leadership, workforce development, consumer empowerment, organizational planning, and changing organizational cultures to effect systemwide transformations. He has expertise working with youth and adult-serving institutional and community-based publicly and privately funded programs across service systems.
Dr. Tammy L. Anderson is a professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Her published works—Understanding Deviance: Connecting Classical and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge); Rave Culture: The Alteration and Decline of a Philadelphia Music Scene (Temple University Press);
Sex, Drugs, and Death (Routledge); and Neither Villain nor Victim: Empowerment and Agency among Women Substance Abusers (Rutgers University Press); and more
than 50 peer review papers and 20 other published papers—showcase her expertise in substance abuse, deviance, culture, gender, and social control. Dr. Anderson’s research has received more than $2 million in support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Association of State Controlled Substances Authorities, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Delaware. Presently, Dr. Anderson is serving as the principal investigator on an NIJ grant titled the “Delaware Opioid Metric Intelligence Project” (DOMIP). This project addresses the opioid epidemic and related health and social problems by providing opioid surveillance metrics to policymakers, practitioners, experts, and the public for education, intervention, and scientific contribution. DOMIP builds on Dr. Anderson’s partnerships with numerous Delaware state agencies, funded also by federal grants, to combat prescription drug abuse and related health and social problems.
Mr. Malik Ashhali received his master’s degree in social work from Winthrop University in South Carolina in 2012. He is currently the owner and Clinical Director of The Village Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc., an organization that provides substance abuse and mental health services, consultation services, trainings, and clinical supervisions. He has more than 17 years of experience working with adults grappling with substance use disorders (SUDs) as well as children and families struggling with mental illness and poverty. He specializes in narcotics addiction, with more than nine years of experience in medication assistance programs, providing enhanced services that address SUD, depression, and clients with dual diagnoses. He has presented trainings on addiction and poverty for the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies; cultural diversity training for the North Carolina Juvenile Services Association; and an empathy training for the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina.
Captain Colleen Beier is a jail captain for the Juneau County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Office. She has been with the sheriff’s office for 18 years. She started as a deputy in the jail for four years, was a deputy on patrol for eight years, a lieutenant for patrol for four years, and has been the jail captain since July 2019. The Juneau County Jail currently participates in three grants that deal with drug addiction, mental health, and the justice system: the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP); the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Drug Court; and the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN)/Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program. Captain Beier actively participates in all three of these grants. She directly oversees the jail’s COSSAP grant, which provides a jail therapist and a case manager for mental health treatment and drug-addicted persons. Captain Beier is a strong proponent of therapy for mental health, along with MAT, as a means to assist in the recovery from drug addiction. She has seen the positive changes in clients who receive therapy and MAT and finds that the Juneau County Jail is a place that is able to provide the first steps toward recovery through the grant funding provided by COSSAP.
Ms. Becky Berkebile is a senior program associate at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), where she serves as the Deputy Director of training and technical assistance (TTA) for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP). She oversees and coordinates all
TTA events, including grantee requests, affinity groups, grantee cohort calls, planning and hosting of informational webinars, and development of a peer-to-peer
mentoring initiative on jail-based treatment programs. Ms. Berkebile has more than a decade of experience in the criminal justice system with a focus on intelligence and writing data-driven policy. She has advised two attorneys general on pardon and commutation decisions and served multiple administrations in two states in crisis due to the opioid epidemic. Her work has brought local, state, and federal law enforcement and public health agencies together to collaborate and address the opioid epidemic with innovation and compassion, while focusing on the growing and changing trends that states experience. Ms. Berkebile’s ability to build coalitions and manage projects has led to her continued success as a leader in state government. She earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from The Pennsylvania State University.
Ms. Mariah Black-Watson is an analyst in Altarum’s Center for Behavioral Health. Ms. Black-Watson has a demonstrated history of working in the public health and nonprofit fields. She has experience in research activities including survey development, data collection, management, and analysis. Ms. Black-Watson earned her bachelor’s degree in human biology from Michigan State University in 2015 and her master of science degree in administration, with a focus on health services administration, from Central Michigan University in 2018.
Ms. Ashley Bolton is the Director of the Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Ms. Bolton leads many successful statewide programs, including the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), overdose surveillance, and overdose prevention efforts.
Dr. Darigg Brown is a researcher and manager in the Substance Use, Prevention, and Evaluation Research Program at RTI International. He conducts community-based research and evaluation in substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion.
As the current Chief of Police for Neah Bay, Washington, Public Safety, Chief Jasper Bruner is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the following departments:
Police, Corrections, Natural Resources Enforcement, Volunteer Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Animal Control, and Emergency Management. Chief Bruner’s career has spanned more than 21 years and has given him the opportunity to work with many great people and many different tribes from across the United States.
He is a firm believer in teamwork, working well with others, identifying and solving problems, and the betterment of Indian Country law enforcement. He also believes
that Indian Country law enforcement can serve as a great partner in community relations and public outreach. As part of his duties, he creates, maintains, and fosters effective relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, and their related entities in order to successfully collaborate on
cross-jurisdictional, cooperative operations and situational responses, as required.
Mr. Alex Buben is an epidemiologist and public health analyst at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International. He was a lead analyst for Georgia’s Social Indicator Study and has collaborated with health departments across multiple states to improve substance use surveillance and data integration.
Ms. Allison Burrell is the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) Program Manager with the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking
Area (HIDTA). She received her master’s degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and a bachelor of science degree in public health from Oregon State University.
Mr. Jason Butler is an enrolled member of the Ute Indian Tribe of Fort Duchesne, Utah, and is also part of the Mojave and Cherokee tribes. He currently resides in Pocatello, Idaho, with his wife and four children, who are all enrolled members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Mr. Butler first moved to Southeast Idaho with his wife in 2001. After moving to Arizona in 2003 to pursue his education, they returned to the area in 2008. Mr. Butler graduated from Idaho State University in 2012 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and earned his master of science degree in family and human development at Arizona State University in 2019. Mr. Butler is a certified peer recovery coach through the Idaho Board of Alcohol/Drug Counselor Certification. He is employed by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Tribal Health and Human Services Department. He spent the past three years as the Recovery Service Coordinator for the Four Directions Treatment Center and recently accepted the position of Community Health Representative Manager. Today, he is loving life and all that it has to offer. Mr. Butler is thankful to have found jobs that he loves and is extremely fond of the communities of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, the place that he has come to call home.
Ms. AnaBell Cadena is a program specialist for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Department of Family and Community Services’ Behavioral Health and Wellness Division. She has remained committed to serving the needs of children, families, and individuals for more than 25 years. Currently, she works supporting and executing federally funded grant initiatives for adults diagnosed with mental illness and substance use disorder and those experiencing homelessness. Ms. Cadena believes wraparound care and connecting individuals with practical information and resources can make a positive impact in someone’s life, changing it for the better.
For more information on the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Family and Community Services, visit: https://www.cabq.gov/family/services.
Assistant Deputy Superintendent Melinda Cady, an advanced clinical supervisor, has been with the Hampshire, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Office since March 2004. Her career in corrections has included a number of roles with classification, treatment, reentry, contracts, volunteers, and most recently, medication for opioid use disorder services.
Mr. Benjamin Campbell works with first responder agencies at the Center for Health and Justice at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) to help them implement services that deflect people with substance use disorders away from the front end of the justice system and into treatment and other community services.
Mr. Jac Charlier is the Executive Director of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities’ (TASC) Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) and the Executive Director and cofounder of the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC). Mr. Charlier is an internationally recognized cofounder and leader of the deflection movement and serves in a wide variety of roles related to deflection, from research to policy to practice. CHJ serves as the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) technical assistance provider for law enforcement deflection and first responder (fire, emergency medical services [EMS]) diversion. PTACC, composed of 53 organizations and growing, is the national voice for the field of deflection in all its forms—co-responder, community responder, and pre-arrest deflection. Prior to CHJ, Mr. Charlier served in the Illinois State Parole Division and was promoted through the ranks, from officer to District Commander to Deputy Chief of Northern Operations. As Deputy Chief, he started the division’s first domestic violence units and human trafficking response teams, as well as the first women’s gender-specific trained officers.
Mr. Charlier is a successful civic leader in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. He is a U.S. military veteran and a member of the American Legion. He is also an Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Outstanding Eagle Scout Medal. Mr. Charlier received his master of public administration degree from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at
The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana.
Ms. Jennifer Christie is a senior program associate at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP). She has extensive expertise in applying evidence-based practices
in criminal justice settings. She works with probation and parole agencies toward changing a punitive approach to a research-driven, supportive, and behavioral
change approach through collaboration, relationship building, and translating research into pragmatic solutions. Ms. Christie works to improve criminal justice services nationwide and has provided training and technical assistance to 18 states. She led the implementation of juvenile justice reform in Kansas, Kentucky, and Iowa and the implementation of adult probation and parole in Utah. Her work encompasses multiple agencies, where she has been involved in developing, advancing, and implementing policy changes that reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for both juveniles and adults involved in and leaving the justice system. Ms. Christie earned her master’s degree in criminology from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.
Ms. Roberta C. Churchill, a senior criminal justice associate with Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), has more than 25 years of experience working with
justice-involved people living with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, trauma, and multiple needs.
Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roberta-c-churchill-ma-lmhc-capecod143/
Mr. Kelly Dennis has worked in public health for more than 15 years. He joined the Ross County, Ohio, Health District in 2005, serving until 2012, and returning in 2017, serving to date. Mr. Dennis is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and has a bachelor of science degree in education life sciences. From 2005 to 2017, Mr. Dennis worked primarily in the environmental health field for several environmental health programs, conducting inspections and enforcements—including food safety, residential water and sewage programs, solid waste, and other environmental health programs for the health district. Beginning in 2017, Mr. Dennis began working on Ross County’s local community health assessments and health-improvement planning for the health district. The planning efforts opened opportunities for grant funding for various population health-improvement initiatives. These initiatives included tobacco cessation and prevention, creation of healthy communities, mobility management, and several opioid- and substance use disorder-focused grants such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) grant for improving cross-sector data collection and the BJA Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) grant for the peer recovery support/housing program and the naloxone distribution program. Currently, Mr. Dennis supervises the health district’s grant programs and staff with hopes of improving health outcomes for all of Ross County’s residents through program development, planning, and implementation. Mr. Dennis also serves as the Ross County Health District’s accreditation coordinator, ensuring that agency programs, policies, and services meet standards set forth under the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Mr. Robert DeVries is the Program Coordinator for the Mohave Substance Treatment, Education and Prevention Partnership in Kingman, Arizona. Previously, he served as Chief of Police of the Kingman, Arizona, Police Department, retiring in April 2020.
Dr. Lori Ducharme is a program official at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She oversees a portfolio of research and training grants that explore ways to increase the adoption and sustained use of evidence-based treatments, enhance the integration of addiction treatment in general medical settings, improve service access and utilization, and build organizational linkages between the criminal justice and public health systems. Dr. Ducharme currently serves as the Health Scientist Administrator for NIDA’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), which is a large Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL)-funded initiative designed to address the opioid crisis by improving treatment linkages for individuals in the justice system (www.JCOINctc.org). Previously, she led the development of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Alcohol Treatment Navigator®, an online resource offering a strategy to help individuals find evidence-based alcohol treatment services (https://alcoholtreatment.niaaa.nih.gov/).
Mr. Scott Duff is a retired special agent supervisor formerly with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He was responsible for the Meth Unit and the Cannabis Suppression Unit, as well as for supervision of the Technical Operations Unit and the Southwest Ohio Narcotics Unit. Mr. Duff also was the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Ohio Attorney General’s Heroin Initiative. Currently, he is the Director of the Fairfield County Overdose Response Team, a Quick Response Team located in Lancaster, Ohio. This team connects people suffering from substance use disorders to treatment and recovery in Fairfield County, in addition to providing families with recovery support options. The team also responds to overdose deaths.
Dr. Sarah Duhart Clarke is a public health analyst at RTI International who has worked in behavioral health research for nearly ten years. Her work focuses on people’s experiences in the justice system, drug use behaviors, and harm-reduction practice.
Mr. Steve Durham, a University of Louisville D. Brandeis School of Law graduate, a graduate of the first class of the American Jail Association’s Jail Executive Development Program, and a 2018 Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellow, has served as the Assistant Director of the Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Department of Corrections since 2015 with a focus on correctional professional development, communication, program sustainability, and legal matters. Mr. Durham began his justice-involved career representing men and women facing criminal charges, from street crimes to capital murder. After a decade of law practice, he began representing justice officials in civil rights litigation. Thereafter, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky chose him to serve as General Counsel for the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KYDOC), where he oversaw the delivery of legal services to corrections officers across 11 Kentucky prisons. In that role, Mr. Durham represented corrections professionals in significant cases in federal and state courtrooms across Kentucky, addressing conditions of confinement, classification, due process, First Amendment, search and seizure, deliberate indifference, use of force, and applications of immunity. As appellate counsel for KYDOC, he presented oral arguments to panels of judges in the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which resulted in numerous published court opinions. He was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court in a case involving the civil rights impact of moving a community custody inmate back to secure detention after an immigration hold was lodged against the inmate. Mr. Durham has been involved in the National Alliance on Mental Illness Family-to-Family program.
For more information on the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/corrections.
Mr. Ben Ekelund is currently the Director of Consulting and Training with the Center for Health and Justice at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC). In his current position, he oversees a number of projects educating officials within the criminal justice system on reforms to address the needs of individuals with behavioral health disorders in an effort to reduce recidivism. Prior to this, he was a project manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, developing resources and training for smaller law enforcement agencies in the areas of leadership, management, and community engagement. He served as an outreach coordinator for Project Safe Neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois, coordinating services for ex-offenders with the aim of reducing gun violence and recidivism. He has also worked as a linkage team coordinator for a community mental health center in Chicago, providing linkage case management to dually diagnosed patients being discharged from state psychiatric facilities. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Viterbo University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois Chicago.
Ms. Erin Etwaroo is a licensed professional counselor with more than 15 years of experience, particularly working with justice-involved individuals. She has provided technical assistance with Altarum for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP)/Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) grantees, implementing peer recovery support services since 2019.
Ms. Michele Farry holds a bachelor’s degree with a focus on addiction studies, public health, health information technology and entrepreneurship. She is the Regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Drug Addiction Recovery Team (DART) Manager serving Western Massachusetts, addressing the opioid overdose crisis and high-risk substance use impacts. She has contributed to the rapid expansion and development of DART by organizing community partners in regional cross-sector collaborations, identifying community needs, and implementing key initiatives. Ms. Farry also is the principal lead on the research, planning, and design for the HIE database. This database also serves as the case management system of DART, driven in part by the programmatic dashboarding needs of the DART program. With the opportunity to embrace these new emerging roles in the field of public health, Ms. Farry has excelled in providing care strategies that integrate multidisciplinary approaches of partnering with public safety, recovery coaching, and harm-reduction specialists, among others. She has a background in program and project development with for-profit business, nonprofits, needs assessment, patient rights, and product development. During her career, Ms. Farry has spent many years addressing health issues and chronic disease by striving to support people with complex health needs.
Ms. Hope Fiori provides technical assistance and strategy development at the Center for Health and Justice at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) for justice system agencies, with a primary focus on first responder diversion for individuals with behavioral health conditions, including substance use and mental health disorders.
Dr. Chantell Frazier is the Deputy Director of Altarum’s Center for Behavioral Health. She is a medical sociologist and an expert in women’s health; veterans’ and military health; patient experience; and health equity—particularly access and quality of care for women of color. In her evaluation work with the Veterans Health Administration, she developed metrics and criteria for measuring the effectiveness of suicide prevention and mental health services, including physicians’ opioid prescribing practices. Her work has been published in Health Affairs, The Journal of Patient Experience, AIDS and Behavior, and numerous government reports. Dr. Frazier earned a doctorate degree in sociology from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.
Ms. Melody Freeman, a Memphis, Tennessee, native, always knew she would be supporting institutions on the front lines of social issues, inequality, and upward mobility among minorities and disadvantaged individuals. She is a passionate, results-oriented servant with more than ten years of experience challenging systemic social injustice, moving policy into action, and creating cross-sector collaborations that help the most vulnerable. Ms. Freeman joined the Shelby County, Tennessee, Government in July 2019 to manage an opioid project under the Division of Community Services. In this role, Ms. Freeman manages organizations that enhance collaboration and strategic decision-making of regulatory entities, law enforcement agencies, and public health officials in the wake of the opioid epidemic in Shelby County.
Mr. D. Abraham Gardner has been working for Mason County, Washington, Community Services—Public Health for four years. He is currently a program coordinator, spearheading a coordinated effort to improve the behavioral health and recovery support system in Mason County.
Dr. Kimberly Gentry Sperber is the Director of the Center for Health and Human Services Research (CHHSR) at Talbert House. Her work has focused on evidence-based practice implementation for more than 20 years. She is a principal investigator for the Ohio Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) Project.
Lieutenant Sarko Gergerian is a founding member of the Winthrop, Massachusetts, Recovery Model. He is privileged to be an outreach, peer support, and health and
fitness officer at the Winthrop Police Department, where he has been working for more than ten years. Lieutenant Gergerian has a bachelor of science degree in philosophy and religion, with a minor in psychology, from Northeastern University. He earned his master of science degree in mental health counseling and psychological services from Salem State University. He practices psychotherapy with adults at night. His education, work, and life experiences have shaped the way he practices policing in his community.
For more information on the Winthrop Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery (CLEAR) Program, visit https://winthropclear.com/.
Mr. James Giglio is a senior project coordinator for the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR). His work supports the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center (PDMP TTAC). Mr. Giglio has more than 40 years of professional experience in the fields of public health and law enforcement at the state and national levels.
Dr. Joan Gillece has 40-plus years of experience working in the behavioral health field, specializing in systems transformation through the implementation of
trauma-informed responses and the prevention of seclusion and restraint. As the Director of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors’ (NASMHPD) Center for Innovation in Health Policy and Practice, she oversees contracts and provides training and technical assistance, helping transform systems
across various disciplines, including mental health, substance abuse, adult and juvenile justice, and homeless services through various federal, state, local, and private contracts. Fortunate to have the opportunity to advance many systems across the country through various contracts, she has overseen partnerships with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Center for Trauma Informed Care; the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime’s services to underserved populations; the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice; the Washington, DC, and New York Departments of Correction; the California Department of Behavioral Health; the Casey Family Programs; the Baltimore City, Maryland, Health Department; and many more. She champions the cause of full consumer integration in the development of culturally competent programs. Dr. Gillece is committed to strength-based support by implementing trauma-informed values with the overreaching theme of healing. Prior to joining NASMHPD in 2005, Dr. Gillece served as the Director of Special Populations for Maryland’s Mental Hygiene Administration.
Ms. Malinda Gowin is a data analyst in the Office of Behavioral Health Prevention and Federal Grants at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Her work focuses on adequate data collection used for planning and reporting.
Mr. Michael Graziano serves as the Project Director for the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information at Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI). He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College and is certified as a health care improvement advisor by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Mr. Graziano has more than 20 years of experience working in health care settings, including in hospital systems, behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment organizations, and city health departments. Preceding his work at CAI, Mr. Graziano served as vice president of strategic analysis and information management at a nonprofit organization in New York City. Prior to that, he was assistant director of quality improvement at a hospital system in New York City, where he oversaw implementation of quality and patient safety initiatives and supported regulatory compliance.
Assistant Chief Kevin Hall is a 29-year member of the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department. He has held the positions of patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant,
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) sergeant, investigative sergeant, patrol lieutenant, Field Services Bureau executive officer, patrol captain, and now assistant
chief. He has worked in various assignments within the department to include Operations Divisions South, Midtown, East, the Gang Unit, Physical Child Abuse Unit,
Internal Affairs, Homicide, and the Home Invasion/Kidnapping Unit. Assistant Chief Hall developed and implemented a comprehensive pre-arrest deflection program
in 2018 in Tucson for both misdemeanor and felony nonviolent charges associated with substance misuse. The collaborative program includes peer support specialist
co-responders embedded within the police department, active outreach, self-referral, and harm-reduction practices. He oversees the mental health, substance misuse,
and homeless outreach teams in the police department. Assistant Chief Hall has completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, as well as programs with the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety, and the School of Police Staff and Command. In addition, he completed the University of Arizona’s Eller Executive Education’s Southwest Leadership Program and the Foundations of Public Sector Leadership Program. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Riverside
and a master’s degree from Arizona State University.
Ms. Carina Havenstrite currently serves as the Program Manager of the Overdose Fatality Review Team at the Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, District Attorney’s Office. She and her husband also own a working alpaca farm, where they live with their children.
Ms. Melissa Heinen is a senior research associate for the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR). She is responsible for providing overdose fatality review training and technical assistance. She has more than 20 years of experience working in injury and violence epidemiology and prevention at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-heinen-94660929/
Ms. Jordana Hemberg is a public health analyst at RTI International. She conducts community-based research examining associations among substance use, criminal legal system involvement, and health care utilization within vulnerable populations.
Mr. Adam Henderson joined American Prison Data Systems in July 2018. His focus is on providing education to correctional facilities across the country. Mr. Henderson has many years of experience in the education space from both small and large publishers and educational tech companies. He brings with him a deep knowledge of adult education and pedagogical practices for programmatic success.
Ms. Haley Hershey is an epidemiologist for the Overdose Response Program at the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. Her efforts are focused on supporting prevention and treatment strategies in Middle Tennessee, using timely and accurate data analyses.
Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haley-hershey-mph-3b6926b0
MPHD drug overdose information: https://www.nashville.gov/departments/health/drug-overdose-information
Mr. Tim Jeffries serves as a Senior Policy Advisor for Drug Policy at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), coordinating all BJA drug policy-specific programming. Mr. Jeffries has provided drug policy services for the last 20 years at the Office of Justice Programs through the Drug Court and Residential Substance Abuse programs and now assists in the delivery of the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) site-based training and technical assistance program. Mr. Jeffries obtained his bachelor’s degree in psychology and obtained a master’s degree in social work.
Ms. Nicole Jenkins has worked in the criminal justice field for the last decade. Her work focuses on behavioral health interventions and rehabilitation for justice-involved individuals. Ms. Jenkins currently works for Cordata as the Ohio Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) Project Coordinator.
Dr. Kiersten Johnson is a behavioral health researcher at RTI International. Her research focuses on community-based health services, with an emphasis on program evaluation and treatment outcomes among at-risk populations.
Mr. William Kellibrew’s life is a testament to the resilience of trauma survivors. His personal story of childhood trauma has been shared with millions of people across the globe. In response to Mr. Kellibrew’s passion to address trauma and violence, he has been awarded the U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus’s Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Voice Award. He was also awarded the White House Champions of Change recognition by then-Vice President Joe Biden. Mr. Kellibrew has been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and on many media outlets in the United States and throughout the world.
Ms. Jennifer King is the Executive Director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, which supports several advocacy and recovery support initiatives, including the Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together. She has a master’s degree in communication from La Salle University in Pennsylvania and serves
as the Board Vice President of the Bucks-Mont Collaborative.
Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenking300/
Dr. Andrew R. Klein is a senior scientist for criminal justice at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP). His areas of expertise include substance abuse, criminal justice, domestic violence, court administration, and institutional and community corrections. For the past decade, Dr. Klein has directed training and technical assistance for prison and jail substance use disorder treatment programs across the nation and U.S. territories. In this position, he has championed medication-assisted treatment and utilization of Medicaid expansion resources for aftercare. Before joining AHP, Dr. Klein served as a Massachusetts chief probation officer in an adult and juvenile court, creating the first domestic violence court in the county as well as model restitution programming. He is the author of Alternative Sentencing, Intermediate Sanctions and Probation,
The Criminal Justice Response to Domestic Violence, and Abetting Batterers: What Police, Prosecutors, and Courts Aren’t Doing to Protect America’s Women. He obtained a doctorate degree from Northeastern University in law, policy, and society and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
Mr. Patrick Knue was employed with the Texas Department of Public Safety, serving for 28 years in the Narcotics Service as a crime analyst, a crime analyst supervisor, and a program manager; spending 18 years specializing in prescription abuse; and serving 9 years as a program manager of the Texas Prescription Program. He retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety in January 2012. Mr. Knue has been working as the Program Coordinator and is now the Director of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center (PDMP TTAC) through a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR). He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983.
Ms. Ali Lazarus is a community-based, harm-reductionist public health worker who focuses on syringe access and operates from a disability and racial justice framework. Ms. Lazarus is a volunteer for West Oakland, California, Punks With Lunch, where she assists program participants directly and manages social media channels. In addition, she serves as the Syringe Access Services Coordinator on GLIDE Foundation’s Harm Reduction team.
For more information on the West Oakland Punks With Lunch program, visit https://www.punkswithlunch.org/.
Ms. Tiffany Lombardo currently serves as the Associate Executive Director of Addiction Services for the Butler County, Ohio, Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services Board. She is a licensed independent social worker-supervisor and a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor-clinical supervisor in the state of Ohio and has worked in the field of behavioral health for more than 15 years. Ms. Lombardo received a master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago and is passionate about working with the most vulnerable populations, focusing on developing partnerships and collaborations to improve behavioral health systems.
Ms. Lombardo currently serves as President for the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Ms. Anita Lossiah is a policy analyst within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Executive Office, a Cherokee police commissioner, and a former tribal council representative. She brings 17 years of experience within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal government. Her work focuses on policy development, strategy,
and implementation within the top governmental priorities.
Ms. LoVina Louie is schitsu'umsh (Coeur d’ Alene Tribe), nselxcin, sny7xast (Okanogan/Lakes Colville Tribe), nimipu (Nez Perce). She is a descendant of
Chief Morris Antelope of the schitsu'umsh and Chief Manuel Louie of the Inkaneep Band in Oliver, British Columbia, Canada. She is a graduate of the
University of Idaho, where she received her bachelor’s degree in organizational sciences with an emphasis in community and tribal wellness. She was
recently featured on Lifetime Movie Network’s “50 Women in 50 States” and was a speaker at the TEDx Coeur d’Alene event. Ms. Louie is a board member
for the Native Wellness Institute and a national trainer and facilitator in youth leadership development, strategic planning, family constellations, community
healing, and wellness planning. She also has certifications from the Healthy Native Communities Fellowship and the Na’ah Illahee Fellowship. She has worked
with youth and adults in wellness and healing for more than 20 years throughout North America. Ms. Louie is the visionary behind the newly developed and
revolutionary exercise series “Powwow Sweat” and co-directed the American Indian Film Festival’s and Red Nation Film Festival’s award-winning music video
“We Shall Remain.” As a former Miss Indian World, she traveled to hundreds of tribal communities; this experience expanded her world view and her desire to
help all indigenous people. Ms. Louie is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and an amazing human being. Her passion and zest for
life is infectious.
Mr. Josh Love is an epidemiologist for the Metro Public Health Department Overdose Opioid/Overdose Response and Reduction Program of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Butler University and a master of public health degree from Indiana University. Mr. Love’s primary interests include advancing the intersection between public safety and public health to mitigate the drug overdose epidemic and identifying and integrating data systems for the rapid identification of and response to acute overdose events occurring in the community.
Ms. Karen Maline is a project manager with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). She manages IACP’s First Responder Partnerships Training and Technical Assistance Initiative and works with the Center for Health and Justice at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities to provide training and resources on
first responder diversion.
Mr. Greg Mason is the Division Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections’ Division of Addiction Recovery Services. He also is a traditional guardsman with the South Carolina Air National Guard and an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran.
Additional biography information: https://linkedin.com/in/greg-mason-ma-mba-b512b5109
Reverend Michelle Mathis is the Executive Director and cofounder of the Olive Branch Ministry, a faith-based harm reduction agency serving ten counties in the North Carolina Foothills/Piedmont area. She is the director of a tri-county overdose response team, as well as the director of Points of Hope, a justice-centered education and syringe access program. Reverend Mathis is Board President for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and serves in the National Faith in Harm Reduction Movement. She believes that honoring an individual’s journey, with compassion and love, is the key to a successful connection. While her faith is the motivation behind her work, extending hope and extending life is her mission.
Ms. Pamela A. Mautte, a certified prevention specialist, is the Director of BHcare, Alliance for Prevention and Wellness. Ms. Mautte has more than 20 years of experience in health, wellness, and prevention. Her dedication to the field of substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion prompted her to develop, obtain funding for, and implement specialized programs to reduce the risk of substance abuse and promote good mental health among various populations. In addition to developing programs, she builds and leads coalitions and task forces that address critical behavioral health issues. She also develops policies, implements organizational and community change models, and engages in legislative advocacy for critical prevention issues. Ms. Mautte has extensive education and training in several evidence-based curricula, has been featured in national drug educational videos, and has assisted in developing curriculum modules. Ms. Mautte has presented prevention/information/training sessions to professionals across the nation. She is respected for her expertise in the field and is an adjunct professor.
Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/pam-mautte/2/baa/a77
Ms. Sheila E. McCarthy is a senior program manager for the Technical Assistance Department at the Center for Court Innovation. In her position, she provides a wide range of on-site and remote expert assistance on implementation and enhancement of specialty court programs as well as teleservices initiatives across the country. Prior to joining the Technical Assistance team, Ms. McCarthy worked for the New York State Unified Court System for more than a decade in several capacities within family court. Her last position before joining the center was providing training and technical assistance on a statewide initiative aimed at improving the child welfare, family court, and chemical dependency systems. In addition to her macro-level work, Ms. McCarthy has experience directly serving clients, ranging from victims of sexual assault and domestic violence to criminal justice-involved individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Boston College and a master of social work degree from Columbia University School of Social Work.
Dr. Jonathan McGrath serves as a senior policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, in Washington, DC. He led the department’s needs assessment of forensic laboratories and medical examiners’/coroners’ offices and manages the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence program. Dr. McGrath collaborates with the Bureau of Justice Assistance on forensic science aspects of the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) and other forensic science programs. He also collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on projects that support the medical examiner/coroner communities, including establishment of the Federal Interagency Medicolegal Death Investigation Working Group. Prior to joining NIJ in 2015, he served as a forensic scientist and a program manager at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laboratories and Scientific Services in Houston, Texas, and Washington, DC, where he supported trade, forensic, and weapons of mass destruction operations programs.
Ms. Debra L. McLaughlin has more than 25 years of experience in the social policy field specializing in public-private partnership models and practices to effect social change in the areas of substance misuse, community development, after-school, early childhood education, and youth development. She has expertise in sustainability and strategic planning, project management, grant writing, meeting facilitation, and marketing. Since February 2017, she has served as the Coordinator for the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County, Massachusetts, and North Quabbin Region. Led by the Franklin County Register of Probate, the Franklin County Sheriff, and the Northwestern District Attorney, the Opioid Task Force—through its Executive Council and five active working committees—addresses housing, workforce development, health, public safety, education, prevention, treatment, and recovery issues. Ms. McLaughlin has held previous executive or senior management positions with Building Bright Futures, the Center for Arts at the Armory, the Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time, Boston’s After-School for All Partnership, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services, and the Franklin County Commission (now the Franklin Regional Council of Governments). A native of Southeastern Ohio,
Ms. McLaughlin graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in organizational communications from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Ms. Danielle Mimitz currently serves in the roles of Mental Health Clinical Supervisor for the Hampden County, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Department and Program Director for the CODAC Opioid Treatment Program (operating in the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department in collaboration with CODAC Behavioral Healthcare). She began with the department in 2014, when she interned with the Mental Health Department. Not long afterwards, she moved into the role of mental health counselor. Ms. Mimitz continued to progress, becoming a mental health clinician and ultimately the Mental Health Clinical Supervisor in 2020. In the meantime, as the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department began to operate an in-house opioid treatment program (OTP) in September 2019, Ms. Mimitz eagerly jumped aboard. Using her vast experience with patients who suffer from co-occurring and substance use disorders, she took on the role of OTP Program Director. Ms. Mimitz holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Springfield College (Massachusetts) and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
Ms. Kathy Mitchell is a Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention within the Office of Justice Programs.
Her work supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families. Through her extensive grant portfolio, she has worked on universal recidivism reduction principles and successful prevention and implementation strategies that have created alternative pathways for youth and effective and equitable juvenile justice systems. Ms. Mitchell received her certification in Federal Grants Management in 2013 and holds a bachelor's degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in education and instructional technology from the University of Maryland Global Campus, with a focus on international application for student learning and assessment.
Dr. Anjali Nandi is an instructor with the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College. She is also the Chief Probation Officer for the
20th Judicial District for the state of Colorado. Dr. Nandi has designed and delivered a variety of training seminars in the fields of behavior change, addictions, and corrections to state and local agencies throughout the country on topics as varied as implicit bias; implementation science; restorative practices; program evaluation; organizational development; skills for effective supervision; evidence-based practice; evidence-based sentencing for judges; impaired driving research; adult and juvenile assessment; group facilitation skills; curriculum building; vicarious trauma and staff wellness; cognitive skill-building; and basic and advanced motivational interviewing.
She has presented at numerous regional and national conferences around the country and aids agencies in developing implementation teams and moving towards becoming learning organizations. In addition, Dr. Nandi is a published author, having co-authored nine books.
Dr. Mallory O’Brien is trained as an epidemiologist and is currently serving as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the overdose fatality review (OFR) subject-matter expert and as a senior research advisor to the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice. She has extensive experience developing, leading, and training on incident reviews. Dr. O’Brien developed and piloted the Wisconsin OFR process and data collection tool. During her time with the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP), she led the OFR efforts. Dr. O’Brien is an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mallory-o-brien-26701a10/
Since 2016, Officer Jason Olson has led Dayton, Ohio’s Get Recovery Options Working (GROW) team, conducting follow-up with those experiencing overdose and connecting them to treatment and other resources. He is a certified mental health first aid instructor and serves on the Dayton Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team.
Ms. Paige Presler-Jur is a research public policy analyst at RTI International. She works to address challenges that communities encounter in criminal justice and public health contexts, including effective responses to illicit substance use and misuse.
Additional biography information: https://www.rti.org/expert/paige-presler-jur
Ms. Alexandra Punch is the Associate Director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University with ten years of experience in the field of public health. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University in 2012 and is currently pursuing her doctorate in law and public policy at Northeastern University. Her research interests are at the intersection of drug user health and public policy. She has dedicated her career to improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations, including her work as the director of drug user health for an HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization and as an epidemiologist for a local health department. Ms. Punch is the chair of the Subcommittee on Harm Reduction for the Onondaga County Drug Task Force and sits on the advising board for Central
New York’s State Opioid Response Grant.
Ms. Michelle Putnam has been with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Division of Overdose Prevention since January 2017 and has served as Team Lead for the Division’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Partnerships since 2018. Prior to joining NCIPC, she worked as a communications contractor with CDC’s Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy. She has also held policy positions at Georgia-based nonprofits, including Hemophilia of Georgia and Health Students Taking Action Together, Inc. (HealthSTAT), which she counts as very valuable boots-on-the-ground experience. Ms. Putnam earned her master of public health degree at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and her bachelor of arts degree at Georgia State University.
Ms. Pam Rainer is a senior program manager at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP). She has extensive experience managing federally funded projects in the areas of criminal justice, medication-assisted treatment, behavioral and community mental health, homelessness, recovery, trauma, and trauma-informed approaches. She is currently the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP), which includes developing comprehensive training and technical assistance strategies to respond to the substance use epidemic in jail-based treatment settings and community corrections. Before joining AHP, she served as regional president and board member of a statewide housing group and chaired several committees at the local planning level. She was formerly the mental health services director for a large human services organization in upstate New York, where she developed model programs, policies, and procedures. Ms. Rainer received her master of social work degree from the State University of New York at Albany.
Ms. Annette Redding has been a Certified Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist (CBHPSS) with Rimrock since 2018 and took over supervision of Rimrock’s peer support program in July 2020. Ms. Redding graduated from Felony Drug Court in 2016 and immediately began advocating within the recovery community. As the supervisor of Peer Support Services, she leads 14 CBHPSSs in integration of all Rimrock programs, including detox, inpatient, and outpatient services; treatment courts; and Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT). She has also led the implementation of peer support into the Billings, Montana, community through the Detention Center, the Psychiatric Center, the Department of Family Services, and local sober-living programs. Ms. Redding continues her advocacy as a member of the Board of Gratitude in Action, a local nonprofit supporting the recovery community. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in psychiatric rehabilitation at Montana State University in Billings.
Mr. John Robertson is the Chief Technology Officer of OmniCore USA and provides innovative thought leadership in the areas of enterprise architecture, business intelligence, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain solutions.
Dr. Jeri Ropero-Miller is the Senior Director within the Center for Forensic Sciences of the Applied Justice Research Division, RTI International. Prior to this, she was the Deputy Chief Toxicologist for the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She is certified as a Fellow Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. She has served as the principal investigator and published nationally and internationally on the topics of postmortem drug studies, emerging drug threats, hair drug studies, overdose fatalities, drug surveillance and intelligence, training and technical assistance, workforce development, and technology evaluation and adoption. Dr. Ropero-Miller is the current Project Director of the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence. She is the immediate past president (2021–2022) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a member of the Forensic Science Standards Board of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science.
Ms. Kathy Rowings is a senior research associate at the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR). She helps rural and urban communities across the country address the substance use crisis under Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) demonstration projects.
Additional biography information: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathy-rowings-8b028462/
Lieutenant Stacie Schaner has been with the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department since 2004. Currently, she serves as the Patrol Services Bureau Executive Officer and has command over the Mental Health Support Team, the Substance Use Resource Team, and the Homeless Outreach Team.
Ms. Stephanie Schmidt was raised on a farmstead in Davenport, North Dakota. Having spent her childhood familiarizing herself with hard labor and overcoming obstacles, she developed a passion to empower others. As a community advocate, she has vested herself in serving the needs of justice-involved individuals. Ms. Schmidt has more than ten years of experience working in the human service field, including public safety, homeless outreach, crisis intervention, and justice-involved advocacy. Throughout her efforts to make a difference, she has participated in various community outreach programs associated with homeless response systems, providing a continuum of care for individuals with severe mental illness, and substance abuse prevention. As a visionary in the human service field, Ms. Schmidt has aided in the development of the Behavioral Health Unit, known as the River Project, at Clay County, Minnesota, Correctional Facility. To better serve those in her community, she strives to improve herself through education and training. In 2013, Ms. Schmidt completed an associate degree in criminal justice at Minnesota State Community and Technical College and the Law Enforcement Skills program through Alexandria Technical & Community College. In 2017, she completed a bachelor’s degree in social work at Minnesota State University, and in 2021, she earned a master’s degree in human services and forensic behavioral health through Concordia University. For the past year, Ms. Schmidt has had the honor to assist in the development of the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program at St. Louis County, Minnesota, Corrections. As a MAT Navigator, she has been able to utilize her skills and promote public safety by streamlining access to recovery services for justice-involved individuals.
Ms. Coralee Schmitz has been with Rimrock in many roles since 2001 and has served in her current role as Chief Operations Officer since 2012. She holds master’s degrees in psychology and business administration and is licensed by the state of Montana as an addiction counselor. She also holds accreditation from NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, as a master’s-level addiction counselor. Ms. Schmitz is certified by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities as a surveyor. She is responsible for managing the general operations at Rimrock, to include a full continuum of substance use disorder and mental health services.
Mr. Levin Schwartz is the Assistant Deputy Superintendent and an implementation specialist for clinical and reentry services at the Franklin County, Massachusetts,
Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), which includes the FCSO’s Opioid Treatment Program.
Ms. Jacqueline Seitz is the Health Privacy Lead for the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information and the Senior Staff Attorney for Health Privacy at the Legal Action Center (LAC), where she provides legal counsel and technical assistance on various health privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 2. She also conducts trainings on federal and state health privacy laws to providers, government agencies, and individuals. Prior to joining the LAC, Ms. Seitz was an Excelsior Fellow at the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs. She graduated with distinction from the University of California at Berkeley and received her juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Dean’s Scholar.
Dr. Glenn Sterner III is an assistant professor of criminal justice at The Pennsylvania State University, Abington Campus, where he serves as the Coordinator of the university’s Criminal Justice Research Center’s Greater Philadelphia Office. As an expert on the opioid epidemic, he is an appointed member of the Opioid Overdose Task Force for the state of Pennsylvania. He is also a founding member of the Penn State Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction, and he co-chairs the Substance Use Stigma Reduction Collaborative. Dr. Sterner has been awarded more than $8.1 million in local, state, and federal grants to study and address opioid abuse networks, illegal opiate distribution, networks of legitimate opioid distributors and overdose deaths, hot spots of opioid availability, intelligence-based interventions in rural areas, and stigma associated with opioid and other substance use disorders. Dr. Sterner collaborates extensively with law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels in his work to address the opioid crisis and other substance use issues. He is dedicated to a collaborative criminal justice approach to addressing key issues associated with drug markets, sales, trafficking, and use, and he actively works across agencies and organizations to promote this ethos in his research and outreach endeavors.
Sergeant Ericka Stropka has been a member of the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department since 1999. Her former assignments have included patrol officer, bike officer, lead police officer, and detective. While assigned as a detective, she spent five years investigating crimes against vulnerable adults. She is currently assigned as a sergeant in the Community Outreach Resources and Engagement Section, working specifically on the Substance Use Resource Team. In addition, she assists as a supervisor with the Hostage Negotiations Unit and has ten years of previous experience as a negotiator. Sergeant Stropka is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor of science degree in communication studies with an emphasis in interpersonal relationships. She has been a lead instructor for a variety of communication classes taught at the basic and the post-basic officer training levels.
Ms. Susan Sturges is the Statewide Opioid Court Coordinator for the New York State Unified Court System. In this role, she oversees the development, policies, practices, and sustainment of all opioid courts throughout New York State. Ms. Sturges is the former project director of the Brooklyn, New York, Treatment Court, where she was responsible for managing the court’s operations, including the Driving While Intoxicated Court, the Veterans Court, the Co-Occurring Disorders track, and the Opioid Court. Ms. Sturges received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton and holds a master’s degree in forensic psychology and a master’s degree in public administration, both from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Ms. Sturges has conducted numerous workshops and presentations at the national and international levels. She has coauthored several articles examining the factors related to substance abuse and criminality among adolescents cross-culturally, with a specific focus on the impact of trauma.
Ms. J. Cherry Sullivan holds a master of public health degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the Program Coordinator of Hampshire Heroin/Opioid Prevention & Education, a coalition addressing the opioid overdose crisis in Western Massachusetts, based in the Northampton, Massachusetts, Health Department. In this role, she convenes community partners in regional, cross-sector collaboration to assess community needs, identify key strategic initiatives, and evaluate outcomes. She has experience as a research assistant with a focus on women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) veterans; as a college health educator; and in addressing chronic health issues for those with serious mental health challenges.
Dr. Linda Truitt is a senior social science analyst at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Truitt coordinates NIJ’s drugs and crime research portfolio across social, forensic, and technology science disciplines. Those research interests include drug trafficking, markets, and use, as well as drug-related violence and other crimes. Current drug priorities include fentanyl and other opioids, methamphetamine and other stimulants, marijuana, and polydrug use. She also manages NIJ’s criminal court research portfolio, in which current interests include veterans and other problem-solving courts, prosecution and defense, and pretrial and criminal court adjudication. Dr. Truitt’s prior positions include research associate at Abt Associates, Inc.; graduate student research assistant at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; research assistant at the New York City Criminal Justice Agency; and research intern at the New York State Office of Substance Abuse Services.
Dr. Ericka Turley is the Substance Use Disorder Services Manager at Jail Health Services with the King County, Washington, Public Health Department. Her team provides brief interventions, overdose safety planning, and warm handoffs to community substance use disorder providers.
In November 2018, Dr. Jamie Turpin started in the position of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) administrator for the Arkansas Department of Health. As the PDMP administrator, she is responsible for educating health care providers and other interested parties about the PDMP, assisting users of the PDMP with the website, facilitating PDMP Advisory Committee meetings, ensuring that the program is following state regulations and statutes pertaining to the PDMP, managing and applying for grant funding, and publishing various reports for the PDMP website. Dr. Turpin is an Arkansas native. She received a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2013 and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2006. Prior to working at the Arkansas Department of Health, she worked in a retail chain pharmacy for more than 12 years.
Ms. Karen Via works for WestCare Ohio, coordinating the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) grant and supervising certified peer supporters working with the Get Recovery Options Working (GROW) team. In addition to supporting COSSAP, she administers other successful peer-supported programs in the community.
Mr. Don Vogt is a senior project coordinator for the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR). He is responsible for providing prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) technical training and coordination. He has more than 40 years of public service and private industry experience in law enforcement, government policy, and PDMP administration.
Additional biography information: Don Vogt - Senior Project Coordinator - Institute for Intergovernmental Research | LinkedIn
Mr. Scott Wells serves as the Privacy Law Compliance Senior Associate for the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information at Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI). Before joining CAI, Mr. Wells worked for New York State’s appointed protection and advocacy organization, engaging in impact litigation on behalf of individuals living
with disabilities. Mr. Wells also served as a senior appellate attorney for the New York State Unified Court System, where he litigated scores of appeals. His work
included successfully arguing a landmark decision before the New York State Court of Appeals, which unanimously upheld the federal privacy protections under the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for individuals receiving court-ordered mental health treatment. Mr. Wells received his juris doctor degree
from the City University of New York School of Law in 2007 and is a cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Christopher Williams joined the Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic project with a background in paramedicine, event medicine, and harm reduction. He brings a forward-thinking, harm reduction-focused perspective to substance use discussions and initiatives in Northwest Colorado.
With more than 25 years of experience in the medical field, Ms. Keisha Williams has established herself as an esteemed nurse leader working primarily with the underserved population in the correctional environment. Starting as a per-diem nurse at the Hampden County, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Department, she has grown
within the Health Services Department, holding the integral roles of nurse educator and nursing supervisor at the Pre-Release Center prior to becoming the Director of Nursing. Having served in this role for more than four years, Ms. Williams oversees the nursing staff at each of the four Hampden County Sheriff’s Department housing facilities. She has been an instrumental component of many new program endeavors, most notably the augmentation of a full health services program for the Stonybrook Stabilization and Treatment Center (serving male Section 35 civil commitments), which opened fully in July 2018, as well as the implementation of the Opioid Treatment Program, which opened in September 2019. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Williams has exemplified servant leadership, a core value of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. Not only serving the patient population, but she has also been at the forefront of creating protocols for patients and staff members alike that promote health and safety throughout each facility. Ms. Williams holds a master of science in nursing degree from Elms College in Massachusetts.
Ms. Stefanie Wyatt’s professional career began in the area of early childhood education in 1991, attending college for child growth and development and obtaining her director’s certification. Ms. Wyatt remained in the early childhood education field for 16 years. As her children grew, she found herself needing to change. In 2004,
Ms. Wyatt was blessed with the opportunity to take a position with the Southern Ute Tribal Police Department as a community resource officer, where she provided interventions, community outreach, and education to the community and its youth. Ms. Wyatt was tasked with instructing Camp Courage, a part of the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, and she created a youth and family archery challenge. In 2006, Chief Judge Elaine Newton asked if she would be interested in working with juveniles sentenced to probation. Her career as a juvenile probation officer and adult wellness court case manager began. Chief Judge Newton enrolled
Ms. Wyatt into the first Tribal Probation Academy provided by Fox Valley Technical College in 2007. In 2008, she was offered another opportunity to evoke change within the community. A position with the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council and the Ignacio, Colorado, School District was created just for her. For four years, Ms. Wyatt developed programming and worked with families struggling with attendance issues and education, grades K–12, and the tribe’s Montessori Academy. In 2014, she returned to the Southern Ute Tribal Probation Department as a senior probation officer and wellness court case manager. In 2018, Ms. Wyatt became the Chief Probation Officer for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Since her return to tribal probation services, she has been able to work with tribal entities to provide a more trauma-informed approach to engaging with defendants sentenced to probation and the wellness court program.