Promising Approaches for America's Addiction Crisis

Over twenty speakers will provide real-life exampes of programs and policies that make a difference for persons with opioid use disorders during a day-long Dec. 5 policy academy at the 2018 CSG National Conference in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati. The day will culminate with an audience particpation exercise for attendees to select among 19 different strategies for treatment, harm reduction, reducing demand, and limiting supply by designating theoretical spending of $10 million to $100 million on those strategies.

Click here for the agenda. See agenda below for links to slide presentation PDFs. 

Click here for speaker bios.

Click here for sponsor acknowledgements. 



7 – 8 a.m.            Buffet Breakfast and Registration

8 – 8:15 a.m.       Welcome

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, CSG 2018 national chair


8:15 – 9 a.m.      Plenary Session: Challenges States Face in Their Battles Against Opioid Misuse

Sen. Robert Stivers, Rep. Dave Baker, Sen. Mary Caferro, Sen. Sara Howard, Sen. George Young, Sr.

Moderator: David Adkins, CSG CEO/executive director


9 – 9:45 a.m.      Session: Understanding the Brain Science of Addiction and the Evidence on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Dr. Corey Waller, principal, Health Management Associates and managing partner, Taproot Health Strategies

Dr. Shawn Ryan, president and chief medical officer, BrightView, and president, Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine SLIDES HERE

Moderator: Dr. Russell Travis


9:45 – 10 a.m.   Break

10 – 10:45 a.m. Case Study Breakouts (choose one of two)

#1 Treatment Instead of Jail

Heroin Overdose Prevention & Education (HOPE) Task Force, Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio, Richard Minerd, chief deputy sheriff, Franklin County SLIDES HERE

#2 Establishing Successful Links to Treatment

St. Elizabeth Hospital Bridge Program, Edgewood, Kentucky, Ashel Kruetzkamp, MSN, RN, nurse manager, Emergency Department, St. Elizabeth Hospital SLIDES HERE


11 – 11:45 a.m. Case Study Breakouts (choose one of two)

#1 Innovative Programs in Rural Environments to Address Recovery and Prevention

Circuit Judge Duane Slone, Dandridge, Tennessee

Moderator: Alabama Rep. April Weaver

#2 Using Technology to Identify Persons at Risk of Substance Misuse

Rob Cohen, president, Appriss Health SLIDES HERE

Jennifer Conrad, vice president, Behavioral Health, FEI Systems SLIDES HERE

Howard Shaps, senior medical director, WellCare Health Plans

Moderator: Kansas Sen. Vicki Schmidt


Noon – 1 p.m.    Luncheon Plenary: How One Restaurant Decides to Make a Difference

Rob Perez, DV8 restaurant owner, Lexington, Kentucky

Introductory Remarks: Dr. David Stern, professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center


1 – 1:45 p.m.     Panel Discussion: How Huntington, West Virginia, Responded to Its Opioid Crisis

Moderator: West Virginia Delegate Matt Rohrbach, M.D.

Panel: Huntington law enforcement officials, first responders and treatment providers


1:45 – 2 p.m.      Break

2 – 2:45 p.m.      Case Study Breakouts (choose one of two)

#1 Hiring Workers with Criminal Convictions

Megan Quattlebaum, director, CSG Justice Center SLIDES HERE

John Matter, chief counsel, Papa John’s Pizza restaurants

Rob Perez, DV8 restaurant owner, Lexington, Kentucky

#2 State Courts Taking on Opioids

Melynda Benjamin, Executive Officer Specialty Courts, Kentucky Court of Justice - Administrative Office of the Courts SLIDES HERE

Circuit Judge Duane Slone SLIDES HERE


3 – 3:45 p.m.       Case Study Breakouts (choose one of two)

#1 Introducing Alternatives to Opioids in the ER

 Amber Burkhart, manager, public policy, Colorado Hospital Association SLIDES HERE

Speaker Introduction: Colorado Sen. Nancy Todd

#2 Educating Tomorrow’s Physicians on Pain Treatment

Dr. David Stern, professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center


3:45 – 4:30 p.m.     Closing Plenary: The Impact of Opioid Use on the Next Generation

Dr. Kristin Ashford, professor and assistant dean, University of Kentucky College of Nursing SLIDES HERE

Introduction: Ellee Humphrey, RN, director of women’s and children’s services, St. Elizabeth Hospital


4:30 – 5 p.m.         Audience Participation Exercise: How Would You Allocate Resources to Combat America’s Addiction Crisis?




Kristin Ashford, Ph.D., Professor and Assistant Dean, University of Kentucky College of Nursing

Ashford’s research topics include preterm births, tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy, and perinatal opioid use disorder. She helped design the nurse navigator component of the Perinatal Assistance and Treatment Home, or PATHways program, a comprehensive approach to perinatal opioid use disorder at the university. She says that nurse facilitators are the “glue” that binds the intervention model, as they educate, navigate and advocate for pregnant women participating in the program.

Melynda Benjamin, Executive Officer Specialty Courts, Kentucky Court of Justice – Administrative Office of the Courts

Benjamin overseas the Specialty Court Programs of Kentucky encompassing adult drug court, veteran, DUI and mental health courts. Prior to this position she provided technical assistance to courts across the U.S. evaluating and training in best practice standards for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.  She previously practiced law as an assistant public defender in Northern Illinois serving primarily in treatment courts and was instrumental in developing the Kane County Specialty Court Division. Benjamin has developed training and lectured at national and state conferences regarding attorney ethics in treatment court programs.

Amber Burkhart, Manager of Public Policy, Colorado Hospital Association

Burkhart acts as a liaison to state regulatory agencies, the Colorado General Assembly and the broader health care community. She is responsible for analyzing complex regulatory and legislative health care issues impacting the Colorado Hospital Association’s 107 member hospitals and health systems. Prior to joining the association, Burkhart worked as a health policy analyst at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative where she conducted research on important state and national policy issues to inform organization decision-making. As a project coordinator for an association of community safety net clinics, she coordinated an annual week-long event.

Rob Cohen, President, Appriss Health

Appriss Health is a healthcare analytics and technology company focused on behavioral health, substance use disorder, and the opioid crisis.  As president, Rob has led the growth of Appriss Health to be a leader in prescription drug monitoring programs and point-of-care substance use disorder management platforms.  A healthcare executive with over 20 years of experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 corporations, Rob has deep experience in delivering services and technology to health plans, employers, providers, pharmacies, and government with expertise in value-based care, population health, and consumer directed healthcare. 

Jennifer Conrad, Vice President of Behavioral Health, FEI Systems

Conrad assists states and counties with planning for and implementing systems that include evidence-based tools, costs and standard outcomes. FEI strives to help government entities track, report and evaluate information related to behavioral health and social determinants of care, to identify issues impacting treatment and prevention as they happen, so that governments can attain better outcomes for their constituents. Conrad has held this position for 13 years.

Agatha Critchfield, M.D., Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Critchfield directs the Perinatal Assistance and Treatment Home, or PATHways program, a comprehensive approach to perinatal opioid use disorder, offering buprenorphine maintenance treatment for opioid use disorders and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), peer support and education, legal support, prenatal and postnatal health services for mother and baby, and health system navigation during delivery. She has been practicing medicine for 12 years.

Ashel A. Kruetzkamp, M.S.N., R.N., Nurse Manager, Emergency Department, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Edgewood, Kentucky

As nurse manager of the emergency department, Kruetzkamp has involved her staff in a research project that involves nurse-to-nurse hand off communication to improve patient continuity of care. She recognized her community’s heroin problem and began collecting data in 2010 to document the problem and its growth. She was one of the first healthcare professionals to join a community task force on heroin and now focuses on increasing awareness and educating nurses and the community on the impact of heroin.

Richard Minerd, Chief Deputy Sheriff, Franklin County, Ohio

Minerd began his law enforcement career in May 1991. He has experience supervising the Corrections Division, Communications Center, Patrol Bureau, Detective Bureau, Special Investigations Unit and SWAT team. He currently oversees the Criminal Investigations Division. He has served as a panelist for the Ohio Criminal Justice Services - Drug Trends Conference, where he spoke extensively about synthetic drugs. He is an adjunct professor at two Columbus universities.

Rob Perez, Owner, DV8 Kitchen, Lexington, Kentucky

Perez and his wife owned three restaurants in Lexington when they realized they had lost 13 employees to addiction over 10 years and half the cases were related to opioid drugs. In September 2017, they opened a restaurant that hires people in treatment for addiction, and partnering with local treatment facilities, the restaurant serves as a tool for rehabilitation.

Megan Quattlebaum, Director, CSG Justice Center

As one of her many duties as director of the CSG Justice Center, Quattlebaum oversees the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction, a search database of sanctions and restrictions that limit persons with criminal records from accessing employment and other opportunities. Before coming to the Justice Center in February 2018, she served as the program director of Yale Law School’s Justice Collaboratory. She also was a lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School. She has been in private practice law in New York City and served as a law clerk to a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.

Matt Rohrbach, M.D., State Delegate, West Virginia

Rohrbach was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2014. He says his motive was to fight against the drug epidemic in West Virginia. During 2013, four of his close friends lost children and grandchildren to overdose deaths. He has sponsored or co-sponsored eight bills dealing directly with the drug crisis. He is a gastroenterologist practicing in a large primary care group in Huntington.

Shawn Ryan, M.D., President and Chief Medical Officer, Brightview, President, Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine

Ryan is a founder of Brightview, an outpatient addiction medicine practice in several Ohio locations that uses medical treatment in conjunction with psychological and social services. He is responsible for strategic development, alignment of operations and medical practice, clinical and outcomes research, and maintaining focus on the mission and vision of the company. He is both a board certified addiction specialist and board certified emergency physician. He serves on many regional, state and national groups focused on turning the tide of the opioid epidemic. 

Dr. Howard Shaps, Senior Medical Director, Value Based Care, WellCare Health Plans

Shaps is responsible for overseeing the clinical direction of medical services and quality functions in the Kentucky market where he served as medical director for five years. He provided medical leadership for the effective care integration of pharmacy operations; utilization, care and disease management activities. Most recently, Shaps joined WellCare’s corporate team, based out of WellCare’s headquarters in Tampa, and is tasked with delivering quality care to WellCare’s members through policy development and the promotion of value-based care.

Duane Slone, Circuit Judge, Dandridge, Tennessee

Slone serves as circuit judge for four Tennessee counties. He was first elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2014. He operates a drug recovery program in his court. He and another drug court judge founded and supervise a halfway home for pregnant women and new mothers with opioid use disorder. He served as a drug prosecutor before he was elected judge. Slone shifted his approach on the bench after he and his wife adopted a baby born with withdrawal symptoms.

David Stern, M.D., Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center 

Stern came to the University of Tennessee in 2011 after a long career as a physician-scientist. He has a long stint doing medical research at Columbia University and moved to administration and worked as medical school dean at the Medical College of Georgia. In July 2005 he became the dean at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. His interest in training medical students in opioid prescription and treatment of opioid use disorder dates to his time as dean of two medical schools.

Robert Stivers, Kentucky Senate President, CSG 2018 National Chair

Stivers has represented the 25th Senate District in Kentucky since 1997. He served as the Republican majority leader from 2008 to 2012 and became president of the Kentucky Senate on the opening day of the 2013 legislative session on Jan. 8. He worked as assistant commonwealth attorney in Clay County from 1989 to 1993. He is an attorney in private practice in Manchester, Kentucky.

Russell Travis, M.D., Lexington, Kentucky

Travis is a neurosurgery specialist who has practiced for 52 years. He has been involved in health reform discussions at the state and national level for years. He was president of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure until earlier this year and was involved in the Board’s focus on the reduction of prescription drug abuse. He spearheaded creation of a continuing medical education course to address the opioid epidemic.

Corey Waller, M.D., Principal, Health Management Associates, Managing partner, Taproot Health Strategies

Waller is a nationally recognized addiction expert and an actively practicing addiction, pain and emergency medicine specialist. As a principal at Health Management Associates and chairman of the Legislative Advocacy Committee for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, he is directly responsible for consultation regarding treatment system development and education as well as all Washington, D.C.-related matters for the organization. In previous positions, Waller developed national training and technical assistance for the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs and was medical director and medical staff chief of pain medicine for a 12-hospital health system.