By Lisa Brown

New Approach Urged in Dealing with Opioid Epidemic

March 18th, 2016 in Featured

At SPH event, local police chiefs say care, not jail, needed

Gloucester police chief Leonard Campanello (left) and Arlington police chief Frederick Ryan speaking at Wednesday’s SPH seminar on the current opioid epidemic. Photo by Cydney Scott

Gloucester police chief Leonard Campanello (left) and Arlington police chief Frederick Ryan speaking at Wednesday’s SPH seminar on the current opioid epidemic. Photo by Cydney Scott

Last summer, Arlington, Mass., chief of police Frederick Ryan was briefed on a plan to arrest a major heroin supplier. “I asked some very simple questions,” he recalled. “Do we know the identities of those buying their heroin from this dealer? The answer was yes.

“The follow-up question was, what are we doing to get these people services?” he said. “The answer was: nothing.”

Ryan realized his department was about to create a public health crisis by suddenly leaving a known population of addicted people without their supply. This, he explained, was when he knew his police department needed to try a new approach.

He discussed that shift in thinking at Wednesday’s School of Public Health seminar The Opioid Epidemic: Why Cops Are Sending People with Addiction to Treatment Instead of Jail, the latest in the Dean’s Seminar Series on Contemporary Issues in Public Health.

Ryan joined another Massachusetts police chief, Leonard Campanello (MET’05), of Gloucester, whose department launched the Gloucester Angel Initiative last June. The program approaches addiction as a disease instead of a crime, and has influenced the Arlington police department and dozens of others. As well as garnering national headlines, it was the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes segment in December 2015.

Soon after, Campanello also founded the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative to support the Gloucester program and others like it.

With 88 police departments in 22 states now taking similar approaches, Campanello and Ryan “are the leaders of a rapidly growing movement,” said David Rosenbloom, an SPH professor and interim chair of health law, policy, and management, as he introduced the two.

Since the Angel Initiative began, Rosenbloom and colleagues from SPH and the School of Medicine have been working with the Gloucester department, monitoring the program to see if—and how well—it really works.

Rosenbloom began the seminar by handing the microphone off to colleague Davida Schiff (MED’12), a MED instructor and general pediatrics fellow, to present their research findings: from June 1, 2015, to February 15, 2016, 352 people walked into the Gloucester police department asking for treatment. They came from all over the state, and 80 percent had been in treatment before.

The BU researchers have begun following up with past participants in the program, said Schiff, adding that out of the 47 contacted so far, 35 (or 74 percent) are not currently using opioids. “The numbers don’t do it justice,” Schiff cautioned. “The stories of their time through their treatment, the arc of their treatment, with relapse, with struggles to stay clean, is more telling.”

With that in mind, Rosenbloom, Campanello, and Ryan talked about the seminar’s central question: Why would, or should, police departments take on this role in the face of the growing opioid epidemic?

For Campanello, the new approach came from listening to the community he had sworn to serve. “What the community was saying was, ‘We don’t want you arresting people with this disease anymore if you don’t have to.’ Seeing death in large numbers led to this change.”

Social media proved an effective way to communicate the department’s new approach. Campanello shared the plan on Facebook: “Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment (needles, etc.) or drugs and asks for help will NOT be charged. Instead we will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery.”

That post soon had 2.5 million hits and was shared 30,000 times in every state and in 61 countries. “When you have Uzbekistan reading the Facebook post of a little North Shore city,” Campanello told the audience, “you get a very, very clear picture of how important this issue is to so many people.”

Soon after, the Arlington police department began outreach to people known to be addicted to opioids. The department had a clinician available to help create treatment plans for them and their families.

The Gloucester and Arlington models are now being adopted around the country.

What makes these approaches different from earlier efforts to get people into treatment within the court system, Campanello said, has to do with stigma. “We’re very anticoercion, anti-incentive, for this disease,” he explained. If even the threat of losing child custody doesn’t work, he said, “how is a charge of possession of an illegal substance going to incentivize someone to give up their disease?”

Stigma is the major challenge here, Ryan concurred, even when it comes to implementing these kinds of programs. He described how for decades police have offered not to charge a drug user if they identified their dealer. “That’s discretion,” he said. “We now apply that very same discretion, ‘You go into treatment and I won’t charge you with a crime,’ and prosecutors are saying, ‘I’m not so sure you have the authority.’”

The other major challenge in dealing with the opioid epidemic, both agreed, is a broader system that is full of holes. “What is so cockamamy,” Rosenbloom asked, “so opaque, about getting help for the disease of addiction that people are flocking to police stations, where they could be arrested?”

Ryan’s answer: “We’re now dispatching a clinician to an overdose in the ER.” His department has seen people brought into the emergency room after overdosing, released, and then fatally overdosing just hours later, he said.

Police, as newcomers to the treatment field, are able to bring a level of optimism and creativity to the problem, Campanello added, along with the clout to help move someone through a complex and confusing system. “We ask very three-year-old-like questions,” he said, “which always begin with, ‘Why?’”

Throughout the event, both police chiefs returned again and again to the idea at the heart of their programs: police should serve their communities. With public opinion of police far less positive in recent years, “it remains the police department’s responsibility to rebuild that trust,” Campanello said.

“There’s no achievement in this whatsoever,” he added. “This is a responsibility. This is what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be helping people, especially people with a disease, and if that means thinking outside the box, then that too is a responsibility.”

This BU Today story was written by Michelle Samuels.

BU-CTSI Translational Research Symposium, March 28

March 16th, 2016 in Featured, Research

Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (BU-CTSI)
Fifth Annual Translational Research Symposium
In Memory of David C. Seldin, MD, PhD (1957-2015)

Monday, March 28

Charles River Campus , 775 Commonwealth Ave.,
George Sherman Union, Metcalf Hall

Keynote Speakers

Jeffrey W. Kelly, PhD
Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry
Chairman, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine
The Scripps Research Institute

Robert A. Stern, PhD
Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology
Director, Clinical Core, Alzheimer’s Disease and CTE Center
Boston University School of Medicine

Ann C. McKee, MD
Professor of Neurology & Pathology
Director, Neuropathology Core, Alzheimer’s Disease Center
Boston University School of Medicine

More information including a detailed agenda and registration

Questions? Contact:

Sponsored by: The Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute

The Politics of Access: The Impact of U.S. Government Policies on Pharmaceutical Markets and Public Health

March 16th, 2016 in Featured

Join Boston University School of Public Health students, colleagues, alumni, and affiliates for the BUSPH Pharmaceuticals Program’s 5th Annual Symposium,

The Politics of Access: The Impact of U.S. Government Policies on Pharmaceutical Markets and Public Health

The event will include a panel of professionals from across the board who are making an impact in the field of pharmaceutical access. An alumni luncheon before the program and concluding reception will provide attendees with the chance to reconnect, network, and learn from one another.

RSVP for the event via Eventbrite by 5 p.m. Friday, March 18. Professional Dress requested for all attendees. 

Keynote Address
BU Alumnus, Dr. Howard Koh
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School;
Former Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Panel includes

  • Robert Coughlin, President, MassBio
  • Pamela Gavin, COO, National Organization of Rare Disorders
  • Dr. David Jones, Assistant Professor, BU School of Public Health
  • Lora Pellegrini, President and CEO, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans
  • David Seltz, Executive Director, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

Moderated by Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, former President and CEO of Mass Life Sciences Center

For more information on each of our panelists, please visit the Pharmaceuticals Program website.  

Date: Friday, March 25, 2016
Time: Program 1- 5 p.m.
Networking reception 5- 6 p.m.
Location: BUSM Instructional Building, Hiebert Lounge


March 23 Cathy Shine Lecture 2016

March 16th, 2016 in Featured

Barely Covered: Underinsurance and Its Impact on Access to Care
Emily Friedman
Independent Health Policy and Ethics Analyst


March 23, 2016
Noon-1 p.m.
BUSM Instructional Building
Hiebert Lounge
Live-Streaming Available During Event

Emily Friedman is an independent writer, lecturer, photographer, and health policy and ethics analyst based in Chicago. She is contributing editor of Hospitals & Health Networks and contributing writer for the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Progress, and other periodicals. Friedman also writes a regular column for Hospitals & Health Networks Daily. She is most noted for her work in health policy, health care reform initiatives, rationing of health services, health care trends, insurance and coverage issues, the social ethics of health care, ethics issues for providers and leaders, care for the underserved, population health improvement, health care history, population demographics and their implications for health care, the lessons to be learned from international health care systems, and the relationship of society with its health care system.

Friedman has written more than 800 articles and editorials in the past 38 years. She is the editor of the books Making Choices: Ethics Issues for Health Care Professionals (American Hospital Publishing, 1986), Choices and Conflict: Explorations in Health Care Ethics (American Hospital Publishing, 1992), and An Unfinished Revolution: Women and Health Care in America (United Hospital Fund of New York, 1994). She authored The Aloha Way: Health Care Structure and Finance in Hawaii (Hawaii Medical Service Association, 1993) and The Right Thing: Ten Years of Ethics Columns from the Healthcare Forum Journal (Jossey-Bass, 1996). She has also written on health care for the World Book Encyclopedia Yearbook and the Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Among her current projects are a history of health care in the state of Minnesota; a long-term study on the rebuilding of the Cambodian health care system after its destruction in the 1970s; and an examination of attacks on hospitals, their staffs, and their patients around the world.

A prolific public speaker, she addresses audiences ranging from state legislators to allied health professionals to nursing and medical groups to community representatives to hospital and health system leaders and health care associations. She has also lectured at many universities, including Harvard, Princeton, the University of California–Berkeley, the University of California–San Diego, Ohio State, Yale, and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. In 1987-1988, she was the Rockefeller Fellow in Ethics at Dartmouth College. She also serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy, and Human Rights at SPH, which has repeatedly named her one of its highest-rated teachers She is a consultant on information dissemination to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

She has made numerous radio and television appearances, including on “ABC News Nightline” and National Public Radio shows.

She has won many awards and honors, including being named an honorary life member of the American Hospital Association, an honorary life member of the American Medical Association, a Fellow of Academy Health (formerly the Association for Health Services Research), and an honorary lifetime fellow of the American Academy of Medical Administrators. She has also received the Corning Award of the Society for Health Care Strategy and Market Development and the first Pioneer Award of the Colorado Hospital Association.

In addition, she has won many writing awards. In 2003, her column, “Making Choices,” in Health Forum Journal, won a National Award of Excellence from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (the largest competition in US business publishing), and the Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (the highest award that the Association grants).

In 2002, 2004, and again in 2006, the readers of Modern Healthcare named her as one of the 100 most powerful people in the health care field. In April 2005, the editors of Modern Healthcare chose her as one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare.” In January 2011, 2012, and again in 2014, she was named one of the “Top Five Speakers in Health Care” by

She is an avid photographer with several record album and CD covers to her credit. Her other hobbies include writing poetry, ethnic cooking, hiking, and support and preservation of traditional folk music and culture.

Friedman is originally from Los Angeles. In l968 she received a BA degree in English, with honors, from the University of California–Berkeley.


March 24 Grant Preparation Workshop

March 16th, 2016 in Announcements, Featured, Research

Grant Preparation Workshop – Part 1: Administrative Presentation

Medical Campus Investigators, graduate students and faculty members are invited to a grant preparation workshop on Thursday, March 24 to learn more about the process of submitting individual research grants (R01) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Presentations will be given by staff from the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Proposal Development. In  this session Dr. Carter Cornwall will also discuss the NIH study section review and a general structure to follow when writing your grant.

Part 1: Administrative Presentation

  • Thursday, March 24
  • 2-4 p.m.
  • BUSM Housman Building, R115

Grant Preparation Workshop – Part 2: Grant Critiques

The second part of this series includes a small group session, where investigators will present drafts of their actual grant applications for feedback from peers and faculty who have successfully been awarded grants and served on NIH study sections. This session will be especially helpful to those who plan to submit NIH grants for the June/July  submission cycle.

Part 2: Grant Critiques

  • Monday and Tuesday, May 9 and 10
  • Location and time to be determined

Interested investigators, graduate students and faculty members are invited to attend the March 24 session. For a more thorough critique of your grant in May, you must attend this first session. You are not obligated to participate in the critique if you attend the administrative portion.

If you have any questions, please contact Renna Lilly, Office of Proposal Development, at

Submit Works for BUMC Art Days

March 3rd, 2016 in Featured

Monday-Tuesday, April 4-5
Hiebert Lounge

All students, faculty and staff from all BUMC schools are encouraged to submit artwork of any medium to the 26th annual Boston University Medical Campus gallery for the arts, sponsored by the Provost’s office. “Art Days” was begun by then BUSM Dean and later BUMC Provost Chobanian to foster the support and growth of the creative arts at BUMC. It has been very successful and has shown work from students, faculty and staff and family members.  The exhibition is mounted by the Creative Arts Society.

To be placed on the “submit list” or if you have any questions please contact: Keith Tornheim, PhD,  638-8296,

On April 1, we will accept paintings, photos, poetry, sculpture, needlework, etc.  Pieces should be framed if possible.  Security will be provided.  Works will be returned April 6. Specific instructions will be sent at a later date to those who respond Dr. Tornheim.

3/22 BUMC Provost Research Seminar: Zika Virus

February 25th, 2016 in Featured

Tuesday, March 22, 3-5 p.m., Hiebert Lounge
Open to faculty, students and staff

Karen H. Antman, MD
BUSM Dean and BUMC Provost

Ronald B. Corley, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology, BUSM
Director, National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories

Basic Virology

Rachel Fearns, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology, BUSM
“Zika Virus Biology: Genetic and Phenotypic Differences Between Old World and New World Zika Virus Strains”

What We Know Clinically

Robin Ingalls, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine and Microbiology, BUSM
Topic: TBD

Athanasios I. Zavras, DDS, DMD, DScM
Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, GSDM
“Zika Virus Related Concerns in Dentistry (salivary transmission of the virus)”

Public Health Aspects

Davidson Hamer, MD
Professor, Global Health, BUSPH
Professor, Medicine, BUSM
“Travel-associated Zika Virus Infection: Preliminary GeoSentinel Network Results”

Donald M. Thea, MD, MSc
Professor, Department of Global Health, BUSPH
Director, Center for Global Health and Development, BUSPH
Director, MD/MPH Program
“Zika – Epidemiology, Transmission and Population Risk”

Presentations followed by panel discussion with additional experts.

March 7 Team Science Workshop

February 25th, 2016 in Announcements, Featured

“Ways to and Opportunities for Team Science at BU”

Junior Faculty are particularly invited to attend this luncheon meeting

  • Monday, March 7
  • Noon-1 p.m.
  • Evans Building, Wilkins Board Room, Room 108

Presenters: Drs. Katya Ravid, Francesca Seta, and David Center

Hosts: Clinical & Translational Science Institute (BU-CTSI) and Evans Center in collaboration with the office of Faculty Development

RSVP by Tuesday, March 1 to Robin MacDonald,


Feb. 22 International Humanitarian Missions—The Israeli Experience: Lessons Learned and Taught

February 17th, 2016 in Featured

Tarif Bader

Tarif Bader

Medical Campus students, faculty and staff are invited to a lunchtime lecture given by Colonel Doctor Tarif Bader, the Deputy Surgeon General of the Israel Defense Forces, who will speak about his experience leading the IDF’s mission to Nepal and Haiti, as well as his oversight in treating Syrian refugees. This presentation is part of a lecture series through Our Soldiers Speak, an organization that dispatches uniformed, active members of the IDF to speak overseas. The event will be moderated by Dr. Michael Grodin.

Feb. 22, Noon-1:30 p.m.
BUSM Instructional Building, Room L109
Lunch provided
Please note that a BU ID is required for admission.

This event is sponsored by The Maimonides Society; The Emergency Medicine Interest Group; Boston University Hillel House; Health and Human Rights Caucus; Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.

Hundreds Gather for BUSPH 40th Anniversary Celebration

February 16th, 2016 in Featured

Dean Sandro Galea (left) with alumnus Russell Lopez '03. Credit Christopher Huang

Dean Sandro Galea (left) with alumnus Russell Lopez ’03. Credit Christopher Huang

More than 400 faculty, alumni, students, and staff of the School of Public Health gathered February 4 at the Algonquin Club in Boston to celebrate the School’s 40th anniversary.

BU Provost Jean Morrison applauded the SPH community for its rich history of research and education, saying the School’s “success and lasting contributions have changed our approach to so many societal challenges.”

Dean Sandro Galea recognized his predecessor, Robert Meenan, and founders of the School and thanked faculty, staff, and alumni for helping to move SPH forward.

“We are here because we believe that public health should be a central player in creating a better world,” Galea said. “When the day gets long, and when things are not going so well, knowing that you’re part of something bigger than yourself is the best way to say, ‘I am moving forward because what I’m doing is worth it.’”

Joel Lamstein, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board and co-founder and president of John Snow, Inc., said SPH is well positioned to be a leader in elevating public health.

“If you think about it, public health has never really gotten its due, although it’s made major strides,” he said. With an increasing global focus on health, “this is the time for Boston University to be one of the leaders,” he said.

In a moment of levity, Lamstein referenced the Boston Globe’s ongoing home-delivery problems, saying, “You may not have always gotten the Boston Globe on Sunday—but you always got the Dean’s Note.”

A full schedule of events for the 40th anniversary celebration is available.

Submitted by BUSPH Communications.