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2021 Annual Meeting

The Consortium will host its ninth annual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 28. Annual meetings provide an opportunity to report on the progress of our partners and work groups, facilitate connections between coalitions and communities, and share important information with stakeholders.

The 2021 Annual Meeting will be online. For convenience, the event has been divided into two sessions. Meeting participants can register for one or both sessions.

For more information, download the agenda.

General Session — 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The general session will feature Attorney General Phil Weiser, who will provide an update on the national opioid settlement funds, and Prowers County Commissioner Wendy Buxton-Andrade, who will discuss county and regional preparations. We will also celebrate our successes, honor community leaders, and highlight our future efforts.

This session will also feature an update on 2021’s work from Professor Robert Valuck, director of the CU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, and a preview of future work from Consortium Director José Esquibel.

10 to 10:30 a.m. Annual Recap (Rob Valuck)
Overview of the year, progress made and COVID impact
Highlights and accomplishments from each work group
Appreciation of the work groups, co-chairs, and Consortium staff
10:30 to 11 a.m. Appreciation & Awards (Rob Valuck)
Exceptional Leader:
Lesley Brooks, MD, Provider Education Work Group co-chair
Chris Stock, PharmD, Harm Reduction Work Group co-chair
Suzi Stolte, Affected  Families and Friends Work Group co-chair
Karen Hill, Affected Families and Friends Work Group co-chair
Lindsey Myers, Heroin Response Work Group co-chair
Jody Gingery, RN, M.Ed Exceptional Service Award:
Steve Wright, MD
Charlotte Ledonne, RN, BSN, MA, LPC
11 to 11:30 a.m. National Opioid Settlement Funding in Colorado
Attorney General Phil Weiser
Heidi Williams, Director of Opioid Response
11:30 to 11:50 a.m. County and Regional Preparations for Opioid Settlement Funds
Commissioner Wendy Buxton-Andrade, Prowers County
Chair, Health and Human Services Steering Committee, Colorado Counties, Inc.
11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Moving Forward: Highlights of upcoming Consortium Efforts (José Esquibel)
Work Groups and Consortium Funding Projects
12:15 p.m. Adjourn

Concurrent Sessions — 8:15 to 9:45 a.m.

The annual meeting begins with a welcome and introduction before breaking into the following sessions:

  • Advancing the Profession of Colorado’s Peer Support Workforce
  • Establishing Syringe Access Programs in Rural Colorado
  • Healing More and Harming Less: Becoming a Trauma and Resilience-informed System
  • Benzodiazepine-Induced Brain Injury: The Hidden Prescription Epidemic
  • PDMP Integration
Advancing the Profession of Colorado’s Peer Support Workforce
Presenters: Victor King, Peer Navigator Supervisor, Mental Health Partners
Rachel Fowler, Founder and Director, Recover Simply
Moderator: Jennifer Place, MA, LPC, LAC
Session Description: Recent developments in Colorado, including state statute and funding, has served to enhance the use of trained peers in various settings. Participants will learn about some successes in utilizing peer support professionals and about the current status of workforce development opportunities for peer support professionals. There will be open discussion about what else can be done in Colorado to further advance the profession of the peer support workforce, including increasing the number of supervisors who are peers and occupying other positions of professional and organizational leadership.
Establishing Syringe Access Programs in Rural Colorado
Presenters:  Judy Solano, Co-Founder & CEO, Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association
Ryan Fowler, HIV/HCV Resource Center of New Hampshire
Kira Gressman, MD Candidate, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Sarah Baranes, MD Candidate, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Megan Canon, Biomedical Intervention Coordinator, CO Dept of Public Health & Environment
Moderator: Jessica Eaddy, MSW
Session Description: Panelists will discuss how to start a rural syringe access program (SAP). SCHRA’s CEO will describe how their model began with street outreach and grew into a comprehensive center offering harm reduction services, infectious disease testing, co-located MAT, and recovery peer services. New Hampshire’s HIV/HCV Resource Center will describe how they started a grassroots peer-to-peer secondary distribution syringe exchange in rural New Hampshire, which transitioned to a mobile SAP during the pandemic. CDPHE’s Biomedical Intervention Coordinator will describe the various sources of state and federal funding available to start and maintain a SAP in Colorado.
Healing More and Harming Less: Becoming a Trauma- and Resilience-Informed System
Presenters: Maria Schimpf, MA, MT-BC, Director of Denver Health RISE and Co-Leader of Center for Addiction Medicine’s Inclusive and Compassionate Care Workgroup
Josh Blum, MD, Medical Director of Addiction Services at Denver Health’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Services and Co-Leader of the Center for Addiction Medicine Continuum of Care Workgroup
Moderator: Gina Olberding, MBA
Session Description: A Trauma- and Resilience-Informed System (TRIS), is a systems change framework intentionally utilized to create an organizational culture which improves healthcare services for individuals affected by trauma while addressing the impact of trauma on the workforce. This workshop will introduce TRIS, discuss why to implement trauma- and resilience-informed culture change in the healthcare setting, and provide resources/tools for participants interested in starting the TRIS journey.
Benzodiazepine-Induced Brain Injury: The Hidden Prescription Epidemic
Presenters: Alexis Ritvo, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Program Director, Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Benzodiazepine Action Work Group co-chair
D.E. Foster, Host, Benzo Free Podcast; Benzodiazepine Action Work Group co-chair
Nicole Lamberson, PA, Medical Advisory Board, Benzodiazepine Information Coalition
John Staight, person with lived experience, member, Benzodiazepine Action Work Group
Moderator: Jamie Feld, MPH
Session Description: There is a growing crisis of patient harm resulting from prescribed benzodiazepines, a class of medications traditionally indicated for anxiety, sleep, and anesthesia. While benzodiazepines have some benefit, they are often prescribed in the absence of adequate research and for far longer than the recommended time limitation of two to four weeks. This session looks at the benzodiazepine crisis from the perspectives of medical professionals, affected patients, and community organizers. The goal of this session is to increase knowledge about safer prescribing and deprescribing of benzodiazepines.
Colorado PDMP Registration and Use, integration and Q&A
Presenters: Dmitry Kunin, State Board of Pharmacy
Justin Wipf, State Board of Pharmacy
Moderator: Tyler Payne
Session Description: This session will include discussions regarding:- PDMP training resources and tutorial documents concerning registration and use of the PDMP for prescribers, pharmacists and delegate users and unsolicited reports sent by the Colorado PDMP
– PDMP integration with EHRs, EMRs and pharmacy management systems
– Q&A concerning the Colorado PDMP