Opiate Crisis

Presented by Vermont PBS and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont

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The Opiate Crisis: Stories and Solutions is a state-wide event including two television film broadcasts, a live television panel discussion, and three in-person film screenings and robust discussions around the opiate crisis in Vermont. Each event included a live audience interacting with a panel representing the medical, social work, advocacy, enforcement, prevention and recovery communities. Together, we explore what we have learned over the last decade about opiate addiction, what has changed, what treatments and prevention are having real impact, and what we can do better.

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Panels and Discussions

Thank you to everyone who participated in our panel discussions exploring the opiate crisis in Vermont. Scroll down to view recordings from these panels at various locations in Vermont, along with the videos from the screenings.


Vermont PBS Studios | September 7, 2017
A live broadcast of a panel discussion, exploring the opiate crisis in Vermont.

56:49
Published:
Rating: NR
HOST: Fran Stoddard
Fran Stoddard is media producer and communications strategist who has been involved in educational and public relations media production and strategy for 30 years. A national award-winning producer/director of video programs, Fran served as producer/host of Vermont Public Television’s weekly "Profile," interview program for more than a decade. She has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Hunger Free Vermont, the Vermont Journalism Trust, Burlington City Arts, Vermont International Film Foundation, and Vermont Public Radio. Recently, she has produced works and consulted with clients including the Orton Family Foundation, High Meadows Fund, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, for video distribution on the web and at conferences. She also serves as a host, moderator and/or facilitator for events and national podcasts.
Bess OBrien
Bess O’Brien's latest film is All of Me a new film on eating disorders. The film is currently in release. Bess O'Brien is the director/producer of the documentary film The Hungry Heart based on the prescription drug crisis in Vermont and the compassionate work of Dr. Fred Holmes. The film won the American Society of Addiction Medicine 2015 Award for outstanding media, the PRISM AWARD from the Entertainment Industry Council in Hollywood and was honored by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin as the film that served as a catalyst for opiate addiction awareness in the state of Vermont. 
Raina Lowell
Raina Lowell is a mother, community outreach coordinator in northern Vermont, and author of the "How to Love a Drug Addict" blog. She appeared in the 2013 documentary film "The Hungry Heart". As part of her journey toward recovery, Raina received care at the Brattleboro Retreat. For those of us struggling with an alcohol or drug problem, the Retreat offers a wide range of addiction treatment options ranging from short-term hospitalization to outpatient counseling.
Fred Holmes
Fred Holmes, MD is a practicing Pediatrician in Saint Albans, VT. Dr. Holmes graduated from University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1967 and has been in practice for 50 years. He completed a residency at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Dr. Holmes also specializes in Adolescent Medicine. He currently practices at Mousetrap Pediatrics and is affiliated with Northwestern Medical Center. 
Steve Kline
Steve Kline is a parent of a daughter who passed as a result of addiction, and he and his family were featured in the film Here Today. Steve is part of Community Connections / Community Health Outreach at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, and on the board of the Kingdom Recovery Center, part of the Vermont Recovery Network. He and his wife Linda have lived in St. Johnsbury for 23 years. Steve is also on the DART (Drug Abuse Resistance Team), a grassroots group that has been in operation since 2000, and is recognized statewide for its efforts with substance use disorders. Steve has also been involved with the three Governor’s Opioid Summits, and in planning for the Upcoming IHC (Integrative Health Care) roundtable.
Brandon del Pozo
Brandon del Pozo was appointed Chief of Police of Burlington, Vermont in September, 2015. Prior to assuming leadership of Vermont’s largest municipal police force, he served for nineteen years in the New York City Police Department, where he retired at the rank of deputy inspector. While at the NYPD, he commanded the 6th and 50th Precincts, and served on the staff of the police commissioner and chief of department. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the NYPD’s intelligence liaison to the Arab Middle East and India, based out of Jordan’s capital city of Amman. Chief del Pozo is currently a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, and was the 2016 recipient of its Gary Hayes Memorial Award for Police Leadership. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Chief del Pozo has completed the coursework for a doctorate in political philosophy from the City of New York Graduate Center, to include receipt of the enroute master’s degree.

Related Films by Bess O'Brien

 To purchase DVD copies of The Hungry Heart and Here Today visit www.kingdomcounty.org
1:36:24
Published:
Expires: 09/07/18
Rating: NR
The Hungry Heart
Bess O’Brien’s The Hungry Heart provides an intimate look at the often hidden world of prescription drug addiction through the world of Vermont Pediatrician Fred Holmes who works with patients struggling with this disease.
56:03
Published:
Expires: 09/08/18
Rating: NR
Here Today
Bess O’Brien’s Here Today is a documentary film about heroin and the effects of addiction on families in VT's Northeast Kingdom. Although focusing on the poorest and most rural part of the state, Here Today explores stories of people from diverse economic backgrounds, including an upper-middle class family struggling with their heroin-addicted son and a working-class addict who has been off heroin for five years.

Panel Discussions following screening of Here Today

Hosted by Fran Stoddard - Fran is a media producer and communications strategist who has been involved in educational and public relations media production and strategy for 30 years. A national award-winning producer/director of video programs, Fran served as producer/host of Vermont Public Television’s weekly "Profile," interview program for more than a decade. She has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Hunger Free Vermont, the Vermont Journalism Trust, Burlington City Arts, Vermont International Film Foundation, and Vermont Public Radio. Recently, she has produced works and consulted with clients including the Orton Family Foundation, High Meadows Fund, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, for video distribution on the web and at conferences. She also serves as a host, moderator and/or facilitator for events and national podcasts.


Latchis Theatre, Brattleboro | September 12, 2017

Screening and panel discussion of 'Here Today', a documentary film by Bess O'Brien exploring heroin and the effects of addiction on families in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

1:11:59
Published:
Rating: NR

Geoffrey P. Kane, MD, MPH
Geoffrey is Chief of Addiction Services at the Brattleboro Retreat. Dr. Kane is a graduate of Boston College and Yale School of Medicine and trained at Montefiore Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is author of the book Inner-City Alcoholism and Addiction Medicine Updates, a blog on the website of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. For more than 40 years, he has focused on helping people understand and cope with addiction.

Suzie Walker

Suzie is the Executive Director of Turning Point of Windham County since 2009, a peer-recovery center in Brattleboro, VT. Serving in the recovery field is meaningful for Suzie personally, since she has been in long-term recovery from alcohol for nearly 20 years.

Ella Thorne-Thomsen

Ella is a Vermont Recovery Network Pathway Guide and Turning Point Recovery Coach. Ella has also been in recovery from heroin addiction for five years. As a Vermont Recovery Network Pathway Guide at Turning Point of Windham County, Ella is an ambassador for recovery from opiates, and a symbol of the potential for life after addiction. She does outreach work at treatment facilities across the state, in addition to working one-on-one with folks and facilitating groups of different types, and speaking about what it means to be in recovery.

Tom D. Anderson

Thomas is the Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Vermont.  As Commissioner of Public Safety, Tom oversees the Vermont State Police, Vermont Emergency Management, the Division of Fire Safety, the Vermont Crime Information Center, and the Vermont Forensic Laboratory.  Prior to joining Governor Scott’s team, Tom worked for over 25 years with the United States Department of Justice.  From 2006 to 2009, Tom was the Presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the District of Vermont. Before becoming United States Attorney, Tom was an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) and head of the narcotics unit.

 Rutland High School Lecture Hall | September 13, 2017

 Screening and panel discussion of 'Here Today', a documentary film by Bess O'Brien exploring heroin and the effects of addiction on families in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

1:03:58
Published:
Rating: NR

Dr. Julia Frew

Dr. Julia Frew is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.  She is the medical director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Moms in Recovery Program, which serves pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders.  Dr. Frew provides medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders as well as treatment of psychiatric disorders in pregnant and postpartum women. 

Jeff McKee

Jeffrey D. McKee, Psy.D. is the Vice President of Community & Behavioral Health Services at Rutland Regional Medical Center.  He has served as Director of Psychiatric Services since 2006. McKee is a licensed Psychologist who completed his Doctor of Psychology and Master of Science in Clinical Psychology at Indiana State University.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Castleton University. McKee is a native of Rutland.

Keith Tallon

Keith Talon is the District Manager of the Rutland Probation and Parole Office. He has worked in Corrections in Vermont in a variety of roles since 1993. In his current position, he works on reparation and restitution programs and manages the development of offender programs to include education and therapeutic initiatives to promote offender growth and public safety. Keith interacts with a significant number of civic and community groups to provide information concerning correctional services and to secure community involvement. Throughout the 90’s, Keith served on school boards in Reading VT and on the Governor’s Council of Children and Families Prevention.

Peter Mallary

Peter Mallary is a person in long-term recovery. He now serves as Vice- President in charge of Government Relations and Community Outreach for the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. He is also Director of Friends of Recovery-VT. He is a former Member of the House of Representatives. He has also had a long career as a writer and journalist. In recent years he has worked for Governor Peter Shumlin on special projects related to addiction and treatment, among other things helping to establish the Westridge treatment center in Rutland. He now serves on Governor Scott’s Opioid Coordination Council, working to develop strategies to combat the opioid crisis. On a number of boards — past and present — his current ones include serving as President of the Board of The Second Wind Foundation, which oversees the Upper Valley Turning Point in Wilder. He lives in Bradford.

Catamount Arts, St. Johnsbury |  September 14, 2017

 Screening and panel discussion of 'Here Today', a documentary film by Bess O'Brien exploring heroin and the effects of addiction on families in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

1:20:37
Published:
Rating: NR

Patti Fisher

Patti Fisher is a family medicine hospitalist and the medical director for case management and medical staff affairs at UVM Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Univ. of Texas and her undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame. Her previous role was 10 years as the medical director for the Community Health Centers in Burlington, VT where she learned to work with people with chronic pain and substance use disorders. At the medical center she has been an advocate for increasing access to addiction services including medication assisted treatment in primary care, for improving access to modalities to treat pain and for responsible opioid prescribing by providers.
 

Steve Kline

Steve Kline is a parent of a daughter who passed as a result of addiction, and he and his family were featured in the film Here Today. Steve is part of Community Connections / Community Health Outreach at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, and on the board of the Kingdom Recovery Center, part of the Vermont Recovery Network. He and his wife Linda have lived in St. Johnsbury for 23 years. Steve is also on the DART (Drug Abuse Resistance Team), a grassroots group that has been in operation since 2000, and is recognized statewide for its efforts with substance use disorders. Steve has also been involved with the three Governor’s Opioid Summits, and in planning for the Upcoming IHC (Integrative Health Care) roundtable.

Jason Goguen

Jason Goguen is the Regional Director of Operations for BAART Programs in Vermont. BAART is a national opioid use disorder treatment and rehabilitation program. Jason oversees day to day operations for all BAART Vermont Locations, most recently adding a fourth clinic in St. Albans. He has worked in the Substance Abuse/Mental Health field for over 20 years, working with adults, adolescents, and children in a variety of settings. Jason has served on the Board of Directors for the Kingdom Recovery Center in St. Johnsbury, and continue to work closely with community partners across Vermont to fight addiction.

Margaret Drew

Margaret Drew is the co-founder and coordinator of the Kingdom Recovery Center and the Aries House where she worked for seven years. Margaret is also a member of DART-the Drug Abuse Resistance Team. Margaret is in the film "Here today" and has been in recovery for sixteen years. She is a proud Mother of two wonderful adult children.

Resources

In Vermont, call 211 to access a statewide network of designated and specialized service agencies, or visit vermontcarepartners.org