Local groups hosting forum on the opioid epidemic

Michiana residents are invited to a public forum on The Opioid Epidemic in Michiana on the IU South Bend campus to promote issue awareness and community engagement. The forum is hosted by the American Democracy Project and Master of Public Affairs Student Association.

It will be held April 10 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. at 1001 Wiekamp Hall on Mishawaka Avenue

The event will be moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, IU South Bend Political Science Professor, who directs IU South Bend’s American Democracy Project and hosts the weekly TV program Politically Speaking.

The forum will begin with a panel discussion with a diverse range of experts from the fields of medicine, counseling, legal services, social work, patient advocacy, and law enforcement.

Panelists include:

  • Alicia Brown - Recover, Fresh Attitudes for New Success (FANS)
  • Ken Cotter- Saint Joseph County Prosecutor
  • Kelley Gaffney – Research Coordinator, Indiana Don’t Punish Pain Rally Organization
  • William Horton- Division Manager, Indiana Department of Child Services (and adjunct professor of social work)
  • Brooke Marshall - Addiction Therapist, Oaklawn Psychiatric Center
  • Hon. Judge Miller- Superior Court Judge
  • Rodger Pinto- Army Veteran and President, Student Veterans of America, IU South Bend
  • Dr. Rachel Schuster (OD) - Family Medicine Practitioner, Suboxone Clinic Committee, E. Blair Warner Clinic
  • Robin Vita- Director of Education, Saint Joseph County Health Department

Opening and closing comments will be made by researcher John Gallagher (Ph.D.), Associate Professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work and Addictions Therapist at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center and Bashor Children’s Home.

After the panel discussion and question and answer session, you can enjoy light refreshments while browsing the resource tables.

Following the break, there will be 20 minute break out sessions with expert panelists.

6:00 PM Panel Discussion with Q&A
7:30 PM Light Refreshments, Browse Resource Tables
7:45 PM Break Out Sessions with Expert Panelists (20 minutes each; pick 2)

Resource tables available throughout the event include:

  • Partnership for Education and Prevention of Substance Abuse (PEPSA)
  • Indiana Department of Child Services
  • Indiana University School of Social Work
  • Indiana Don’t Punish Pain Rally
  • Choices Recovery
  • Fresh Attitudes for New Success (FANS)
  • North Central Indiana Area of Narcotics Anonymous
  • Oaklawn Psychiatric Center
  • Oxford House (transitional living houses for people in long-term recovery from substance abuse)
  • St. Joseph County Health Department
  • Student Veterans of America

The forum is free and open to the public. Click here for more information

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