About The Program

Making the Connections Opioid

The ground-breaking 2016 Surgeon General’s Report “Facing Addiction” states that a public health approach to the opioid epidemic requires integrating substance use disorder services into the mainstream health care system, disrupting the largely separate system previously in place. Decades of research do not support the misconceptions that alcohol and drug problems are a character flaw or "willful rejection of social norms” but are a disease of the brain, that can be successfully treated with a comprehensive medical approach, just like other chronic conditions.

In Pennsylvania, and across the country, there is a significant dichotomy between science and practice. Policymakers now promote evidence-based treatments, especially medications, in addition to behavioral therapies, yet policies in place prevent access to treatment for millions of individuals.  How are these contradictions being addressed?  Do state policies work with the federal policies?  How do local policies work within the larger policies? Please join us as federal, state and city policymakers give us their perspectives on tackling this widespread concern.


Thursday, March 16, 2017 
5:30 to 7:00 p.m.


  • Andrew Peterson, PharmD, PhD'09, The John Wyeth Dean, Mayes College of Healthcare and Business Policy


  • Gail Groves Scott, MPH'16

Special Guest:

  • Brooke M. Feldman, BSW, Person in long-term recovery and Director of Recovery Support and Health Promotion, Achara Consulting


  • Lauren S. Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc, Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation, Pennsylvania Department of Health

  • Tom Farley, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Health, City of Philadelphia

Panel Discussion
Questions and Answers

About the Speakers

Special Guest

Brooke FeldmanBrooke M. Feldman, BSW
Person in long-term recovery and Director of Recovery Support and Health Promotion, Achara Consulting

After spending her adolescent years in and out of institutions and involved with the juvenile justice system, Feldman entered into long-term recovery from a substance use disorder at the age of 24 and now uses her experience to serve others, as an advocate in the recovery community. A native of Philadelphia, Feldman writes and blogs for recovery publications and for the Huffington Post. She provides strategic planning, consulting, and training to organizations and systems across the country in her role as the director of recovery support and health promotion initiatives for Achara Consulting, Inc.


Dr. Lauren HughesLauren S. Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc
Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation, Pennsylvania Department of Health

Lauren S. Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc, FAAFP, is a practicing family physician and Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to joining the Department, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan where she studied health services research. Dr. Hughes served as the national president of the American Medical Student Association for one year prior to completing her residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has volunteered through AmeriCorps in a federally qualified health center, worked for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, and studied medicine and health systems in Brazil, Sweden, Tanzania, and Botswana. Dr. Hughes has also been a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center, ABC News Medical Unit in New York City, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and The Commonwealth Fund. In 2015, she was named a regional finalist in the White House Fellows program, and in 2016, a recipient of the Women Leaders in Medicine Award from the American Medical Student Association and the Early Career Achievement Award from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. 

Thomase FarleyTom Farley, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Health, City of Philadelphia

Thomas Farley is commissioner of health for the City of Philadelphia. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Farley was commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. As health commissioner, Dr. Farley advocated for innovative public health policies, including making the city’s parks and beaches smoke-free, prohibiting price discounting of cigarettes, raising the legal sales age of tobacco to 21, capping the portion size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants at 16 ounces, and restricting the burning of air-polluting dirty fuels to heat buildings. He is coauthor of Prescription for a Healthy Nation (Beacon Press) with RAND Senior Scientist Deborah Cohen, and author of Saving Gotham: A billionaire mayor, activist doctors, and the fight for 8 million lives (W.W. Norton). 


Gail ScottGail Groves Scott MPH’16
Health Policy Fellow in Addiction Studies

Gail Groves Scott MPH’16 is a health policy fellow in addiction studies at Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Pharmacy at USciences where she is working on opportunities to increase educational programming in substance use disorders. Prior to changing careers to work in public health, Scott worked in communications and marketing, including 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry, where she became interested in the impact of stigma on access to healthcare, and the role of pharmaceutical companies in health education. Her research interests include opioid use disorders, access to evidence-based treatments, overdose prevention, and treatment policies in criminal justice settings.  She is a graduate of Mayes College, earning her MPH with a concentration in health policy in 2016, and is currently serving on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s task force to combat the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia.