Lawrence M. Walsh
The 2016 HERO-HELPS-Southwest Coalition Community Summit slated for April 29 at the Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center in Romeoville, will feature speakers from several Illinois agencies relating to the new Heroin Crisis Act.
“This is the state’s most comprehensive law relating to the issue of heroin and prescription drug overdose,” said Paul Lauridsen, event chairman. “We are honored to have these experts from the state agencies to help us understand this new law.”
State Representative Lou Lang (D-16), the sponsor for House Bill 0001 which ultimately became the Heroin Crisis Act, will give an overview of the new law.
Topics and invited speakers include Mark Huston, bureau chief from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, who will address Medicaid requirements; Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Department of Public Health, who will talk about overdose reporting requirements; Jessica Gerdes, a registered nurse with the State Board of Education, who will outline school awareness and overdose prevention policy; Ann Dowling, director of the Department of Insurance, who will talk about changes in insurance requirements; and Maria Bruni, director of the Department of Human Services, who will discuss the prescription drug monitoring, medication disposal, and the over the counter dispense of naloxone.
Kelly O’Brien of the Kennedy Forum will moderate the speaker panel which will include time for audience questions and answers .
“The forum will be filled with important information for parents, teachers, healthcare providers, law enforcement, insurance providers, and many others,” Lauridsen said. “There is so much detail in this law and our speakers will help all of us understand what it means for each of us.”
This is the fifth year of this event which has brought attention to the issue of heroin and prescription drug abuse across Will County, the state of Illinois, and the entire nation.
Free continuing education units are provided for many professions including educators; physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, social work and professional counselors; and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support professionals.