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Opioid epidemic is topic of UB Mini Med School series

By ELLEN GOLDBAUM

Published March 4, 2016

“Since the mission of UB’s Mini Med School is to educate the public, this vital health issue is a natural fit.”
Roseanne Berger, director
Mini Med School

The UB Mini Med School, a public service, community education program of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will present a three-part series on “Confronting the Opioid Epidemic."

Presentations will be held from 6–8 p.m. March 15, 22 and 29 in Butler Auditorium in Farber Hall, South Campus. Open to the public, tickets are $5 for each night with free admission for high school, college and medical students with valid ID. More information and registration is available on the Mini Med School’s Web page. Net proceeds will be donated to “Kids Escaping Drugs.”

“The opioid epidemic is affecting our entire community,” says Roseanne Berger, director of the Mini Medical School and senior associate dean for graduate medical education. “Mobilizing an effective response requires a full-court press. Since the mission of UB’s Mini Med School is to educate the public, this vital health issue is a natural fit.

“Whether people have friends or family members whose lives have been disrupted by concern for a loved one, or whether people want to better understand a major problem affecting our community, this program is right for you,” she says.

Topics and speakers are:

  • March 15: “The History and Science of Opioid Addiction. David Herzberg, UB associate professor of history and author of “Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac;” Ken Leonard, director of UB’s Research Institute on Addictions; and Peter Thanos, RIA senior research scientist.
  • March 22: “Prevention and Treatment.” Michelle Rainka, clinical pharmacist in the Division of Neuropharmacology of DENT Institute of Neurology; Torin Finver, clinical instructor with the Department of Family Medicine, a physician with UBMD Family Medicine and director of UB’s fellowship in addictions medicine; Joseph Bart, a faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine and operations medical director for emergency medical services at UBMD Emergency Medicine; and Jared Masci, medical director of addiction services, Lakeshore Behavioral Health. Finver and Bart are faculty members in the UB medical school.
  • March 29: “Law Enforcement and Public Health Strategies.” Gale Burstein, Erie County health commissioner; Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty; John P. Flickinger, group supervisor, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Dan Rinaldo, drug intelligence officer, NYNJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas; and Cheryl Moore, Erie County Department of Health, who will demonstrate how to administer naloxone (Narcan).