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Sharing Our Appreciation for Consortium Work Group Leaders

By José Esquibel, Consortium Director

The Colorado Consortium utilizes the principles of collective impact to implement a variety of strategies for mitigating and reversing the opioid crisis. This includes sharing a common agenda in addressing the opioid crisis, utilizing shared measurement on progress for bending the arc of the crisis, implementing mutually reinforcing activities, maintaining a system of continuous communication, and having backbone support consisting of expert staff.

The members of the Consortium represent a broad array of disciplines, as well as a range of community partners, non-profit organizations, statewide professional organizations, and local and state government agencies. Guiding the efforts of the Consortium since its inception in 2013 are the work groups, which were originally formed to help implement the strategies of the first statewide plan for the prevention of prescription drug abuse.

Every year, members of the work group set priorities for addressing the opioid crisis with regard to harm reduction, treatment, recovery, affected families and friends, provider education, the prescription drug monitoring program, data and research, criminal justice response, public awareness, and safe disposal.

Recently, the Consortium added the Benzodiazepine Work Group to coordinate efforts in addressing concerns about the impact of overprescribing of benzodiazepine and the Heroin Response Work Group made a transition to become the Criminal Justice Response Work Group. 

Each work group is led by co-chairs, individuals willing to provide leadership in the identification of strategies based on data and evidence-based practices, as well as by experiences from practitioners and from those working with individuals with an opioid use disorder (OUD) or impacted by a loved one with an OUD.

The accomplishments of the work groups are highlighted every year in the annual report of the Consortium. The 2020 Annual Report will be available in coming weeks and the previous year’s report can be read online.

The Consortium accomplishments would not be possible without the leadership of the work group co-chairs. Appreciation is extended to all current and past co-chairs with particular gratitude to the following individuals who gave a considerable amount of their time and expertise and recently resigned their leadership role:

  • Chris Stock, PharmD: Harm Reduction Work Group, 2017-2020
  • Jess Fear, SummitStone HealthPartners: Harm Reduction Work Group, 2019-2020
  • Karen Hill, JP Opioid Interaction Awareness Alliance: Affected Families and Friends Work Group, 2016-2020
  • Suzi Stolte, JP Opioid Interaction Awareness Alliance: Affected Families and Friends Work Group, 2016-2020
  • Greg Fabisiak, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Safe Disposal, 2013-2020
  • Barbara Gabella, MSPH, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Data and Research: 2013-2020
  • Alia Al-Tayyib, PHD, MSPH, Denver Public Health: Data and Research: 2017-2020
  • Tom Gorman, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area: Heroin Response, 2016-2020
  • Lindsey Myers, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Heroin Response, 2016-2020
  • Jennifer Loth Hill, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment: Recovery, 2019-2020
  • Michael Miller, Jefferson County Public Health: Recovery, 2019-2020

Membership in any one of the Consortium’s work groups is open to any interested individual. Visit the Consortium’s Work Group web page to learn more about each work group and  look for the Join a Work Group button to register your interest.