Opening Scientific Plenary & Distinguished Scientist Lecture (2 CME)
Joseph Green A Beacon of Hope: There Are No Lost Causes As a spoken word artist, motivational speaker, and activist for the recovery community, Joseph Green uses poetry interwoven with storytelling to share his battle with addiction and subsequent recovery to deliver a message of inspiration to people who have chosen careers in prevention, intervention, and treatment. Using his own story, Joseph reconnects his audience to the source of their motivation, reminding them that, as important as it is to know what we are fighting against, it is more important to remember what we are fighting for Patrice Harris, MD, MA Sparking Change: The Providers' Role in Combatting the Opioid Crisis Prescription opioid misuse, overdose and death continues to be one of our nation's most complex and challenging public health threats. The American Medical Association and its partner organizations on the Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse are working to reverse the epidemic through physician leadership. These efforts include urging physicians to use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, enhancing physician education, increasing access to treatment for substance use disorders, promoting comprehensive pain care, including non-opioid and non-pharmacologic care, expanding access to the life-saving drug naloxone, and strengthening state Good Samaritan protections for bystanders who intervene to help overdose patients. As chair of the Task Force, and Board Chair at the AMA, Dr. Patrice Harris will examine key data and policy trends at state and national levels, discuss their effectiveness, and highlight specific efforts still needed to reverse the nation's opioid epidemic. Barbara Mason, PhD Shedding New Light on an Old Problem: Novel Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder Recent advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of alcohol use disorder can serve as the basis for the development of novel pharmacotherapies. Specifically, the activation of brain stress systems in early abstinence offers pharmacological targets that can be restored to a homeostatic range of functioning and thereby support recovery. Results from clinical trials of novel medications in this domain will be presented, with implications for clinical practice. Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA Facing Addiction: Shining a Spotlight on America's Most Pressing Public Health Issue In his 2016 breakthrough report, US Surgeon General Murthy showed the nation the ubiquitous reach of substance use and addiction in this country. Using staggering data, he defined the public health impact of substance misuse, but also illustrated the tremendous impact that resonates throughout every community. Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy will discuss what led to the release of this landmark publication, what the country's next steps will be, and why there is still reason to hope.
Joseph Green is a spoken word artist, educator, and motivational speaker. Over the past 10 years Joseph’s passion for youth development has led to him supporting young people in a multitude of facets. He the co-founder and former Program Manager of poetryN.O.W., an after school creative writing program that worked with students throughout the DC metropolitan area. After five years of successful programming, poetryN.O.W. was acquired by Split This Rock, a Washington DC based poetry and social justice organization, where Joseph now supervises youth programs in over 25 high schools. In his work with poetryN.O.W. and Split This Rock, Joseph has also crafted an extensive creative writing curriculum now used in classrooms throughout the country.
In his prevention work with high schooled aged youth, Joseph facilitates interactive workshops to create transformational original poems on the effects that substance abuse and addiction has had on their lives. By empowering students to speak truth to power, Joseph has provided opportunities for them to share their stories with policy makers at the White House for the US Office of National Drug Control Policy and the US Department of Education. In his role as Program Manager at the Mentor Foundation USA, Joseph led the effort to revamp the interactive drug prevention youth rally known as Shattering the Myths. As part of this initiative, he also served as host for the three day program that included a full day of writing workshops and leadership training.
2015 marked Joseph’s fifth return to Poetry Slam International’s national slam, this time as a representative of the DC Poetry Slam Team. He represented the Oneonta slam team in 2005 and 2006 as their Grand Slam Champion, Slam Richmond in 2009, and DC’s Beltway Poetry Slam team in 2011. He also represented DC in 2011 at the Individual Poetry Slam, ranking 16th in the world. As a solo artist, Joseph has performed, hosted, and featured at venues and schools throughout the United States, including the White House and Kennedy Center. He has over ten years experience as a professional spoken word artist and writer.
Joseph believes in the power of using lived experiences to catalyze positive personal change, and often pulls from his own unique set of experiences to engage groups of all ages and backgrounds. In 2012 he started the interactive performance series, Dive Every Day Project, with the intent of opening dialogue around the topic of substance use disorder, addiction, and recovery. The Dive Every Day Project pulls from a catalog of original work dealing directly with these issues, drawing from personal and family experiences. Dive Every Day serves to be a tool of inspiration and guidance for all who encounter it and is a testament to self-forgiveness, redemption, and the irreplaceable role of love in the human revolution.
Patrice A. Harris
Dr. Patrice Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, is chair of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Board of Trustees.
Active in organized medicine her entire career, Dr. Harris has held many leadership positions at both the national and state level. In addition to serving on the AMA’s Board of Trustees since 2011, Dr. Harris previously served as chair of the AMA’s Council on Legislation, and on the boards of the American Psychiatric Association and the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.
As past director of Health Services for Fulton County, Georgia, which includes Atlanta, Dr. Harris oversaw all county health-related programs and functions, and spearheaded the county’s efforts to integrate public health, behavioral health and primary care services.
Governing themes in Dr. Harris’ professional life are a passion to improve the lives of children and service to others, and she has worked for children both clinically and in the advocacy arena.
A key focus for Dr. Harris currently is developing solutions to end the nation’s opioid epidemic. She is chair of the AMA’s Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse, which brings together specialty and state medical societies and other health care associations to move swiftly to implement best practices to combat the opioid epidemic and save lives.
Barbara J. Mason, Ph.D. is the Pearson Family Professor, Director of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research, Director of the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Acting Chair of the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA. Dr. Mason's work in medication development for the treatment of alcohol use disorders has been recognized with a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Dean's Senior Clinical Research Award from the University of Miami School of Medicine, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Teacher-Scientist Award from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Mason conducted the seminal studies identifying nalmefene as having therapeutic potential for alcohol dependence; nalmefene (Selincro) has recently received regulatory approval for the treatment of alcohol dependence in the European Union. Dr. Mason also served as overall Principal Investigator for the US multicenter trial of acamprosate (Campral) for the treatment of alcohol dependence which was conducted in support of FDA approval. Dr. Mason has served on the National Advisory Councils of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Mason is an elected Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and has held multiple editorial positions, including serving as a current member of the editorial board for the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Mason holds the Pearson Family Chair, an endowed position in alcohol and addiction research at The Scripps Research Institute, and is currently conducting a program of NIH-funded research that includes human laboratory studies to screen medications for therapeutic potential for alcohol dependence and clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel medications for alcohol and cannabis dependence.
Vivek H. Murthy
Vice Admiral, MD, MBA
Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., was nominated by President Barack Obama in November 2013 and confirmed on December 15, 2014 as the 19th United States Surgeon General. As America’s Doctor, Dr. Murthy is responsible for communicating the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the nation. He also oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, comprised of approximately 6,700 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation.
Dr. Murthy has devoted himself to improving public health through the lens of service, clinical care, research, education, and entrepreneurship. The son of immigrants from India, Dr. Murthy discovered a love for the art of healing early in his childhood while spending time in his father’s medical clinic in Miami, Florida. After attending Miami Palmetto Senior High School, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Yale. He completed his residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he later joined the faculty as an internal medicine physician and instructor. As a clinician-educator, Dr. Murthy has cared for thousands of patients and trained hundreds of residents and medical students. He regards caring for patients as the greatest privilege of his life.
In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Murthy has two decades of experience and perspective improving health in communities across the country and around the world. He co-founded VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States, which he led for eight years. As its president, he established ten chapters with hundreds of volunteers in both countries and grew the organization’s education programs to reach more than 45,000 youth. Dr. Murthy also co-founded the Swasthya project (“health and wellbeing” in Sanskrit), a community health partnership in rural India, to train women to be health providers and educators. During his five-year tenure with the organization, he established seed funding and helped expand research and direct care programs that reached tens of thousands of rural residents.
As a research scientist, Dr. Murthy has conducted laboratory research on vaccine development and studied the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials. His research findings have been published in Science, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Murthy is also a healthcare entrepreneur and innovator. He co-founded and chaired a successful software technology company, TrialNetworks, which improves research collaboration and enhances the efficiency of clinical trials around the world. In seven years, Dr. Murthy and his team took the company from conception to an international enterprise that powers dozens of clinical trials for over 50,000 patients in more than 75 countries. Dr. Murthy has also served as the president of Doctors for America, a non-profit organization with more than 16,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states who work with patients and policymakers to build a high quality, affordable health system for all.
Seen by many as a proven leader who can use 21st century approaches and technology to modernize the role of Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy will focus his efforts on building cross-sector partnerships in communities to address the epidemics of obesity and tobacco-related disease, to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, to improve vaccination rates, and to make prevention and health promotion the backbone of our communities. Dr. Murthy firmly believes that our nation's greatest strength has always come from its people. Improving the health of our people means strengthening our communities and our country. That will be Dr. Murthy’s highest priority as Surgeon General.