Suffolk Executive Bellone Announces Panelists To Participate in Forum on Substance Use Disorders, Opioid Epidemic

Over 300 Attendees Registered for First-of-its-Kind Forum on Long Island.

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Photo by: Suffolk County

Suffolk County, NY - February 1, 2019 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Rockefeller Institute of Government today announced a number of new panelists will be participating in the first-of-its-kind opioid forum next month on Long Island. The event, which is currently at maximum capacity with over 300 registered attendees, is bringing together leading experts in the field on substance use disorders and opioids to assess the next steps that should be taken to combat the opioid epidemic.
“The opioid epidemic on Long Island has ripped families apart, but in Suffolk County we are combating this epidemic through better outreach, more trainings, and smart law enforcement strategies,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “This forum will bring together all stakeholders to ensure Suffolk has a comprehensive plan in place to end this crisis on Long Island once and for all.”
“Researchers at the Rockefeller Institute have been talking to people on the frontlines of New York’s opioid crisis for more than a year, and two things are clear: they want their leaders to listen, and they want solutions that work,” said Rockefeller Institute President Jim Malatras. “I commend Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his leadership in gathering so many stakeholders together to answer the hard questions and outline a path forward.” 
The forum will be held on February 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, in Southampton, New York and is modeled off of Stories from Sullivan, which highlights how rural upstate New York communities are addressing the opioid crisis. Panelists will include medical providers, academic scholars, community advocates, faith leaders, state officials, local law enforcement and criminal justice advocates from across New York State.
The latest addition of speakers and panelists who will participate in two separate panels that focus on prevention, as well as treatment and recovery strategies, include: 
  • Robert Kent, Chief Counsel, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
  • Pamela Mizzi, Director, Long Island Prevention Resource Center
  • Dr. Ronald Masera, Superintendent of Schools, Remsenburg-Speonk Union Free School District
  • Lars Clemensen, Superintendent of Schools, Hampton Bays Union Free School District
  • Hon. Peter Harckham, Chair, NYS Senate Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee
  • Dr. Tomrul Tuzel, Medical Director, Behavioral Enhancement and Substance Abuse Medicine Treatment
  • Hon. Derrick Robinson, Suffolk County District Court Judge, Drug Court and Mental Health Court
  • Dr. Kristie Golden, Associate Director of Operations, Stony Brook University Hospital
  • Krystle Stoddard, SHERPA Program Manager, THRIVE Recovery Center
  • Dr. Gregson Pigott, Director, Suffolk County Office of Minority Health
Earlier this month, County Executive Bellone and the Rockefeller Institute of Government announced a diverse group of individuals to serve as speakers and panelists, including:
  • Dr. Jim Malatras, President, Rockefeller Institute of Government
  • Patricia Strach, Director for Policy and Research, Rockefeller Institute of Government
  • Hon. Timothy D. Sini, Suffolk County District Attorney
  • Dr. Leslie Marino, Assistant Professor, Columbia University
  • Stuart Cameron, Chief of Department, Suffolk County Police Department
  • Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, CEO, Family and Children’s Association
  • John Venza, Vice President of Residential Services, Outreach Development Corporation
  • Anthony Ferrandino, Counselor, Northport-East Northport Community Drug & Alcohol Task Force
The Rockefeller Institute of Government is a public policy think tank that conducts cutting-edge research and analysis to inform lasting solutions to the problems facing New York State and the nation. Through rigorous, objective, and accessible analysis and outreach, the Institute provides citizens and governments facts and tools they need to make informed public decisions.