Acenda Institute of Health Innovation Announce Shifting Perspectives: Tackling the Opioid Epidemic as Public Health Issue; Virtual Event to be Held Oct. 6

Acenda Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) will lead a roundtable discussion with experts in the areas of public policy, public health, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services addressing the need to truly treat the ongoing opioid epidemic as the Public Health Crisis that it is and has been for many years.

This virtual event will take place on Thursday, October 6 at 10 am

Following the panelist’s remarks, we will invite our live audience to join in on the discussion where our experts will field questions posed by participants.

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest data concerning fatal overdoses in the US, almost 12 people die every hour in our country.

The CDC also reports that opioids were involved in more than 68,000 deaths in 2020, 8.5 times the number of opioid-involved deaths in 1999. This webinar is more important than ever as we work together to find a collective solution.


Event moderator James Curtin, Chief Business and Government Relations Officer at Acenda Integrated Health shares, “We’re excited to have convened such a panel of experts that will discuss strategies and priorities to address the ongoing devastating opioid epidemic through a public health lens.”

The panelist will include:

  • Michael Santillo, LCADCChief Executive Officer, John Brooks Recovery Center
  • Melissa Fox, MHA, FACMPE, FACHEChief Operating Officer Acenda Integrated Health
  • Beth ConnollyAssistant Director of the Office of Public Health, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP / OPH)
  • Nancy MooreDirector of the Ocean County Recovery Center, HOPE Sheds Light.

“I don’t think we’re going to get out of this problem [the Opioid Epidemic] by simply providing more treatment beds. We need a much more comprehensive, much more strategic approach. We have to provide an integrated continuum of care that includes a full array of primary care, behavioral health, and community-based recovery support services, with easy access to medication-assisted treatment, “says Michael Santillo, LCADA, Chief Executive Officer at John Brooks Recovery Center.

We encourage everyone to join our free virtual event at 10:00 am to 11:00 am, Thursday, October 6, by registering at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IEw8BBZOSHSfaiQRZnESOA and take part in important conversations led by industry experts who will propose public health-based solutions to this issue that affects communities everywhere.

Visit the event webpage for more information.

Launched in 2021 by Acenda Integrated Health, AIHI integrates insights from across Health & Human Services to advance the behavioral health sectors in the areas of Innovation, Population Health, Policy & Advocacy and Research.

About Acenda Integrated Health

Acenda Integrated Health is a nonprofit organization dedicated to industry-leading prevention, treatment, and wellness services compassionately delivered to ensure that every individual, family, and community achieves their greatest potential.

Acenda is at the forefront of community-based services, providing over 100 health and social service programs at 60+ locations throughout a 12-county region in New Jersey.

For more information, visit acendahealth.org.

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