In 2020, death related to illicit fentanyl, cocaine and heroin killed more people in the District than ever. Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a problem nationwide, including a public health crisis in the District. Factors driving the epidemic include a more potent drug supply, challenges in accessing evidence-based care, isolation due to the COVID pandemic, and longstanding structural inequities and disparities in care. Without question, more must be done to save lives. Physicians are one of the most trusted professions in America and must continue to demonstrate leadership in advocating for policies and action within the profession to help protect patients.
Join our panel as they discuss different perspectives on the epidemic, followed by a discussion on what District physicians can do to be leaders in saving lives.
Daniel Blaney-Koen, JD, is a senior legislative attorney with the American Medical Association Advocacy Resource Center (ARC). The ARC attorneys focus on working with state and specialty medical societies on state legislative, regulatory and policy advocacy. In addition to his work in the ARC, Daniel has held several roles at the AMA, including serving as a public information officer, policy analyst and speechwriter. Currently, Daniel focuses on state legislation and policy concerning the nation’s drug overdose epidemic, with particular emphasis on overdose prevention and treatment; treatment for patients with pain; and broad harm reduction efforts. Daniel also covers other pharmaceutical issues as well as insurance market reforms. Prior to joining the AMA in 1999, Daniel earned his Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Colorado State University, and his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Arizona. He earned his law degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Daniel, his wife, two sons and daughter live in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Edwin C. Chapman has practiced in Washington, DC for 40 over years specializing in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Over the past 20 years, he has investigated the complex mix of addiction, undertreated mental illness, infectious diseases (AIDS & Hepatitis C), criminal behavior, and chronic diseases in which patients have 20-25 year shorter life expectancies. Dr. Chapman received his B.S. in 1969 and M.D. in 1973 from Howard University College of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine as well as a fellowship in cardiology from historic Freedmen’s and Howard University Hospitals. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM, 1979), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM grandfathered to ABAM, 2009), a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He maintains active memberships in the National Medical Association (NMA), Medico Chirurgical Society of Washington, DC (MED CHI of DC), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia (MSDC).
Roger A. Mitchell, Jr., M.D. is the Chair of the Department of Pathology for The Howard University College of Medicine. Dr. Mitchell recently served as interim deputy mayor for public safety and justice, and chief medical examiner for the District of Columbia. In his new role, he will lead a department that is at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic response and will also oversee the Department of Pathology’s educational, research, clinical and administrative activities. During his tenure as D.C. chief medical examiner, Dr. Mitchell gained a strong insight of the social determinants that lead to the violence affecting our most vulnerable communities. He also partnered with Howard University Hospital’s Level One Trauma Center on key initiatives to help reduce violence among at-risk public-school students. He has a great interest in violence as a public health issue and has recently co-authored position papers, including “The Violence Epidemic in the African-American Community” for the National Medical Association (NMA) and “Definition, Investigation, Postmortem Examination and Reporting of Deaths in Custody” for the National Association of Medical Examiners. Dr. Mitchell earned his undergraduate degree from Howard University, his medical degree from the New Jersey Medical School, Newark, N.J., and he completed his AP/CP residency at George Washington University. He is board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology and a fellow with the National Association of Medical Examiners, where he serves as chair of the Strategic Planning Subcommittee and is the immediate past chair for the Deaths in Custody Subcommittee. Additionally, he recently served as the national co-chair for the NMA Working Group on Gun Violence and Police Use of Force.
Shelly Weizman, JD is the Acting Director of the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center. She works on a project portfolio focused on the overdose epidemic, addiction policies, barriers to treatment for substance use disorders, public health approaches to drug policies and how the law can promote access to treatment and support recovery. Weizman is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown and lectures extensively on the opioid crisis, mental health, human rights, health care finance and the role of government and advocacy in policy reform. She is on a team launching an interdisciplinary Master of Science in Addiction Policy & Practice at Georgetown and facilitates the Recovery Policy Collaborative, a national network of experts in health, human rights, and policy who have lived experience with addiction.