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Baltimore City Health Commissioner Speaks at University of Maryland School of Medicine Addiction Conference

April 29, 2016

Leana Wen, MD, MSc, Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department

Event Has Focused On Addiction for Nearly Three Decades

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen and other experts recently addressed ways to decrease the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths at a conference on mental health and addiction.

The conference focused on better ways to treat opioid addiction and overdose, pain management for addicts; the effects of new marijuana laws, and the links between opioid addiction and gambling.

The 28th annual Tuerk Conference on Mental Health & Addiction Treatment took place April 13 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It was sponsored jointly by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Maryland. The conference is open to the media, the public and to healthcare professionals.

“In addition to addressing mental health and addiction disorders, this conference addressed the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic within the state and beyond,” said Professor Bankole A. Johnson, DSc, MD, MBChB, MPhil, FRCPsych, DFAPA, FACFEI, the Dr. Irving J. Taylor Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, UM SOM. “Ranging from addicted persons to recovering persons to healthcare providers, a highlight of this conference was to discuss collaborative treatment options and how we each play a role in personalized mental health and addiction treatment care.”


Speakers included:

  • Leana Wen, MD, MSc, Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department

  • William G. Borchert, writer and producer of My Name is Bill, a film depicting interviews
    with Lois Wilson, the wife of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

  • Mel Pohl, MD, Medical Director, Las Vegas Recovery Center

  • Michael Botticelli, MEd, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Following these speakers, a series of workshops will be held. For specific times and more information,
please visit the website:

Workshop topics and moderators included:

    • Opioid Overdose Prevention: Updates and Naloxone Training
      Leana Wen, Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department

    • Empowering Families: A Panel of Family Members
      Dick Prodey, MS, MEd, retired Director of Counseling at Loyola Blakefield and Coordinator of
      the Alcoholism Program at The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital

      Christopher Welsh, MD, Addiction Psychiatrist, Faculty Member, University of Maryland
      School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry


  • Updates from the Behavioral Health Administration and the ASO (Beacon Health Options)

  • Surviving in a Fee-for-Service World
    Kim Erskine, MS, owner, Medical Billing Services

    Mark Santangelo, JD, President/CEO of The Kolmac Clinic
  • Bill Wilson, the 11th Step and Transcendental Meditation
    Lincoln Norton, BA, National Director of Expansion for the Maharishi Foundation and a teacher
    at the San Antonio Transcendental Meditation (TM) Center

  • The Latest Gambling Trends: Fantasy Sports and Online Gaming
    Jeff Beck, LPC, CCGC, JD, CART, MCTC, ABD, Clinical Director, Maryland Center of
    Excellence on Problem Gambling
    , University of Maryland School of Medicine

  • Medical Cannabis in Maryland
    Delegate Dan Morhaim, MD, member of Maryland House of Delegates, District 11

  • What is the Role of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in Recovery?
    Marc Galanter, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at New York University and author of
    What is Alcoholics Anonymous? A Path from Addiction to Recovery, to be published May 2016

  • More About Pain and Addiction
    Mel Pohl, MD, Medical Director, Las Vegas Recovery Center

  • Nurturing the Healer
    Wanda Binns, LCSW-C, EAP Manager, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore

Reflections on Bill and Lois
William G. Borchert, author and screenwriter nominated for an Emmy for the highly acclaimed Warner
Brothers film, My Name Is Bill W, based upon the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

The University of Maryland School of Medicine, chartered in 1807 and as the first public medical school in the United States, continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 12-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 45 academic departments, centers, programs and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists, along with more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world.


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