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IU faculty members to speak at national opioid management summit



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Jennifer Walthall, Indiana University School of Medicine professor and secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, will offer keynote remarks during the inaugural Opioid Management Summit on Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C.  Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

An IU School of Medicine professor and an IU associate vice president will speak Tuesday during the inaugural Opioid Management Summit in Washington, D.C., according to an IU press release.

Jennifer Walthall, who is also the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration secretary, will offer keynote remarks. Faith Kirkham Hawkins, associate vice president for research development and strategic initiatives, will join a panel to discuss improving drug treatment programs for rural and vulnerable populations.

Walthall said in the release that using science, data and compassion can work to confront the opioid epidemic. 

"The complexity of the opioid crisis demands unprecedented levels of collaboration among lawmakers, agency leadership, and our partners in health systems and higher education," Walthall said in the release.

The summit brings together hospital and health systems' executives and political and community leaders to discuss initiatives aimed at managing the use of opioids, according to the release. Panelists will explore three different stages of care: prevention, responsible use and treatment.

Walthall and Hawkins both work on the IU Grand Challenges $50 million initiative, Responding to the Addictions Crisis. Walthall joined Gov. Eric Holcomb in October to announce the initiative, according to the release. Hawkins serves as the administrative lead.

Hawkins said in the release that with its clinical and research capabilities, IU can help lead research on this topic.

"We are uniquely positioned to contribute to the fight against the opioid epidemic," Hawkins said.

Laurel Demkovich

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