Special Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference to focus on issues surrounding addiction

Opioid epidemic, marijuana, Affordable Care Act among pressing topics

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Professionals in Residence (PIR) program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Scaife Family Foundation will host a special conference June 20-21 in Minnesota for primary health care providers to learn more about the issues surrounding addiction.

Primary care doctors, who receive limited addiction training during an otherwise rigorous medical education, will gain knowledge and the tools needed to face the growing challenges posed by pressing issues like the painkiller epidemic and changing attitudes about marijuana and addiction in general. They will also learn more about how the Affordable Care Act affects primary and specialized care for addiction.

"It really is a passion for me to teach other physicians to recognize and better manage addiction," says Dr. Pamela Shultz, the medical director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City and the conference director. "This is an area that's often not taught well, if at all, in medical school and residency training. This is really a niche that needs to be filled, and with all the expertise at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, we have a lot to provide to other health care professionals."

The main two-day conference will be held Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. At an optional half-day pre-conference session on Thursday, June 19, in Center City, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the Collaborative for REMS Education (CO*RE) will present on the safe prescribing of opioid pain medications. To register and to learn more, go to Addiction Medicine for the Primary Care Provider Conference.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is the nation's leader in educating primary care providers about addiction, offering weeklong educational experiences at Hazelden in Minnesota and the Betty Ford Center in California. The conference this summer is an alternative for those who do not yet have the time for a weeklong commitment or who are wishing to supplement prior learning.

The conference is ideal for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, residents, fellows, psychiatrists and mental health professionals.

Addiction to heroin and prescription opioids-such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Dilaudid, Demerol or Sublimaze-ranks as the fastest growing addiction problem in the nation, with overdose now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Meanwhile, 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed ballot or legislative initiatives to allow medical marijuana, with two of those states also permitting marijuana for recreational use.

"These are noteworthy trends for primary care providers, who serve as the front line when it comes to helping patients identify substance use problems," Shultz said. "Primary care is a demanding setting because of the wide range of patient issues presented there. We are excited to share our specific expertise and work together to help reduce the negative impact of addiction."

Another important conference topic will be the Affordable Care Act, which in tandem with "parity" regulations established last year, greatly extends insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

Speakers for June 20-21 include these Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation leaders:

  • Dr. Marvin D. Seppala, Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr. Valerie Slaymaker, Vice President for Education, Quality and Research
  • Dr. Joseph Lee, Medical Director for Youth Services
  • Dr. Marc Myer, Health Care Professionals program director in Center City
  • Dr. Andy Mendenhall, Medical Director in Beaverton, Ore.
  • Dr. Fritz Jean-Noel, Psychiatrist in Center City
  • Dr. George Dawson, Psychiatrist in Center City
  • Dr. Robert Friedman, Attending Staff Physician in Center City
  • Mark Mishek, President and CEO

Additional speakers include:

  • Dr. Mel Pohl, medical director of Las Vegas Recovery Center
  • Dr. Keith Humphreys, psychiatry professor at Stanford University School of Medicine & career research scientist in the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • Dr. Mac Baird, professor and head of the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
  • Dr. Scott McNairy, addiction fellowships training director at the University of Minnesota and staff psychiatrist for addictive disorders at the Minneapolis VA
  • Dr. Robert Levy, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota

"Our hope is that this will become an annual Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference that expands to our other sites around the country," Shultz said.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Is early YouTube exposure causing emotional and behavioral issues in kids?