The Opioid Crisis in America: A Conversation with the US Surgeon General
Thursday, January 25, 2018
72 East Concord Street
The 20th Surgeon General of the United States, VADM Jerome M. Adams, and Massachusetts Commissioner of Health Dr. Monica Bharel will speak at a public event titled “The Opioid Crisis in America: A Conversation with the US Surgeon General” at Boston University School of Public Health. During the event, Dr. Adams will address the US Department of Health and Human Services’ current priorities and what the department and the current administration will be doing to combat the opioid epidemic. Dr. Bharel will provide comments on the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts and steps that the state has taken to address the public health issue. Following their remarks, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson will moderate a discussion between the two and take questions from the audience. Seating is limited. Please register to confirm your participation. The event is free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored with Boston University Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy.
VADM Jerome M. Adams, Surgeon General of the United States
Dr. Adams was also an associate professor of clinical anesthesia at Indiana University School of Medicine and a staff anesthesiologist at Eskenazi Health, where he was chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. He has served in leadership positions at a number of professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Indiana State Medical Association, and the Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists. He is the immediate past chair of the Professional Diversity Committee for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
As health commissioner, Dr. Adams presided over Indiana’s efforts to deal with the state’s unprecedented HIV outbreak. In this capacity, he worked directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as with state and local health officials and community leaders, and brought the widest range of resources, policies, and care available to stem the epidemic affecting that community.
He also helped with the successful launch of Indiana’s state-based, consumer-driven alternative to Medicaid expansion and worked with the state legislature to secure more than $10 million to combat infant mortality in high-risk areas of the state.
Dr. Adams’ motto as Surgeon General is “better health through better partnerships.” As Surgeon General, Dr. Adams is committed to maintaining strong relationships with the public health community and forging new partnerships with non-traditional partners, including business and law enforcement.
He has pledged to lead with science, facilitate locally led solutions to the nation’s most difficult health problems, and deliver higher-quality healthcare at lower cost through patient and community engagement and better prevention.
As Surgeon General, Dr. Adams oversees the operations of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 600 locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world.
Monica Bharel (MED’94, CAS’94), Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Dr. Bharel comes to DPH widely recognized for her dedication to health care for underserved and vulnerable populations, including ensuring that state and national health care reform efforts enhance the care for homeless individuals, without inadvertently widening health care disparities.
She previously served as the chief medical officer of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, the largest nonprofit health care organization for homeless individuals in the country. Under her leadership, the organization provided health care to more than 12,500 homeless men, women, and children in the Greater Boston area at more than 70 different sites.
In the public service sector, Dr. Bharel was a gubernatorial appointment to the Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration Task Force under the Massachusetts healthcare payment reform initiative. She has also participated on the Massachusetts Medicaid payment reform policy committee and Primary Care Payment Reform Initiative operations committee. Additionally, she served on the National Quality Forum expert panel on Risk Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status.
Dr. Bharel has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health. She was previously at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center. She has practiced general internal medicine for 20 years in neighborhood health centers, city hospitals, the Veterans Administration, university hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.
She received her Master of Public Health degree through the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, with a concentration in health care policy and management. She received her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital/Boston Medical Center.
Jonathan Woodson, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and Director, Boston University Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy.
Dr. Woodson served from 2010 to 2016 as assistant secretary of defense for health affairs in the United States Department of Defense (DoD). He was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all health and force health protection related issues, and ensured the effective execution of the DoD medical mission. He exercised authority, direction, and control over the Defense Health Agency, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and the Tricare Health Plan—responsible for servicing 9.5 million beneficiaries. His organization provided and maintained medical readiness for the medical services, including during military operations, those held in control of the military services, and those entitled to Tricare.