Opioid Town Hall Meeting with National and Local Panels
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Burlington has begun to make significant and hopeful progress in our fight against this epidemic: In 2018, opioid-related overdose fatalities declined by 50 percent in Chittenden County, even as they continued to rise in the rest of the state. While we are heartened by this news, we know that our work is far from done.
In the first part of the meeting, Mayor Weinberger talks with three of the country's leading experts on this topic:
- Gil Kerlikowske, who served as America's "Drug Czar" under President Obama from 2009-2014, and then as the head of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol from 2013-2016; few people have more experience with the opioid crisis nationally, as well as its intersection with law enforcement and border concerns.
- Fred Ryan, former Chief of Police of Arlington, Massachusetts and a nationally-recognized leader in how small and mid-sized police departments can play a role in addiction and recovery initiatives.
- Dr. Josh Sharfstein, a national expert whose extensive resume includes current positions as Vice Dean and Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. Dr. Sharfstein is also co-author of the forthcoming book, "The Opioid Epidemic: What Everyone Needs to Know."
In the second part of the meeting, the Mayor and national guests are joined by a panel of local partners to talk about Burlington's response to the crisis and what's ahead:
- Dr. Mark Levine, Vermont Commissioner of Health
- Sarah George, Chittenden County State’s Attorney
- Maureen Leahy, Director of the University of Vermont Medical Group
- Grace Keller, Program Coordinator of Safe Recovery
- Brandon del Pozo, Burlington Chief of Police
- Christine Johnson, Executive Director of the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance
A Q&A with attendees follows.