2016 Plenary Sessions

Monday, October 31, 2016
8:45 a.m.–10:15 a.m.
The Opioid Crisis–Urgent Need for Timely Action

Vickie L. Walters, LCSW-C, Executive Director, IBR/REACH Health Services, Baltimore, MD


  • Honorable Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, Annapolis, MD (Invited) 
  • Barbara J. Bazron, PhD, Executive Director, Behavioral Health Administration (BHA),Baltimore
  • Mark W. Parrino, MPA, President, American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, Inc. (AATOD), New York, NY
  • Peter Bruun, Founder, New Day Campaign, Towson, MD
  • Gilberto Gerra, MD, Chief, Drug Prevention and Health Branch, Division of Operations, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Vienna, Austria


The Opening Plenary Session will review AATOD’s projects and keynote efforts in Maryland and across the globe. Ms. Vickie Walters, LCSW-C, Conference Chairperson and Program Director, REACH Health Services at Institutes for Behavior Resources Inc. in Baltimore, will welcome conference attendees and provide an overview of this exciting conference. Ms. Walters will be followed by a very special welcome to Maryland by The Honorable Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland. Governor Hogan will discuss his heroin taskforce, key findings, and recommendations for addressing this epidemic. Dr. Barbara Bazron will discuss Naloxone and Legislative Partnerships in the city of Baltimore. Mr. Mark Parrino, AATOD President, will follow, providing an overview of the challenges, opportunities, and accomplishments of AATOD over the past 18 months and into the future. Peter Bruun, Founder, New Day Campaign, will discuss the engagements of individuals, treatment providers, families, and

communities through the arts, to start a discussion and decrease stigma. Gilberto Gerra, Deputy Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, will describe international struggles with opioid addiction and the ways it is being addressed.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

8:30 a.m.–10:15 a.m.
Saving Lives: Access to Improved Health & Recovery

Kimberly A. Johnson, PhD, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Rockville, MD


  • Leanna Wen, MD, Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Opioid Taskforce, Baltimore, MD
  • Elijah Cummings, JD, United States Congressman, Maryland’s 7th District, Baltimore, MD (Invited)
  • Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, Surgeon General, United States Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, DC (Invited) 


The Conference Theme, Saving Lives: Access to Improved Health and Recovery requires renewed focus on supported recovery, data-driven decision making, and planned outcomes. This themed plenary session features three leaders and champions of the recovery movement. Moderated by Dr. Kimberly A. Johnson, this plenary will focus on engaging communities and promoting recovery. Dr. Leanna Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, will provide an overview of Baltimore’s Opioid Taskforce and recommendations. The taskforce was convened to address the critical problem of opioid addiction in Baltimore. Its goal is to study the problem of heroin addiction and propose solutions for improving access to effective treatment and neighborhood compatibility. Congressman Elijah Cummins will share the scope of the drug abuse problems in Maryland, its effect on our community, and our response. Growing up in Baltimore, Congressman Cummins has witnessed the destructive nature of opioid and heroin addiction, which destroys lives and tears apart families and communities. The plenary will conclude with a keynote address from General Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General. The U.S. Surgeon General is preparing a first of-its-kind report, presenting the state of the science on substance use, addiction, and health. The report will highlight the best scientific evidence on treatment and recovery, and seek to erase the stigma surrounding addiction. During this plenary you will hear from different perspectives, each will show how engagement and recovery changes patients’ lives, strengthen families and supports communities.



Wednesday, November 2, 2016
11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
The Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic

Mark W. Parrino, MPA, President, American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, Inc. (AATOD), New York, NY


  • Michael Botticelli, MEd, Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Washington, DC
  • Loretta Lynch, JD, Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC (Invited)


The Closing Plenary Session will feature two major keynote addresses that cannot be missed for advocates, stakeholders, providers, and patients. As Director of National Drug Control Policy, Mr. Botticelli leads the Obama Administration’s drug policy efforts, which are based on a balanced public health and public safety approach. In response to the national opioid epidemic, Mr. Botticelli has coordinated actions across the Federal government to reduce prescription drug abuse, heroin use, and related overdoses. These include supporting community-based prevention efforts; expanding use of the naloxone by law enforcement; and increasing access to medication assisted treatment. Director Botticelli will discuss White House policies on National Drug Control. As US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch has pledged to help fight opioid abuse. During this session, Attorney General Lynch will provide insight on current efforts by the Criminal Justice System to save lives, reduce recidivism, and foster recovery for people with substance use disorder. Make sure that your plans make it possible for you to be at this important event!


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