NEC to Host Regional Opioid Forum Featuring Sen. Markey, Gov. Baker, Gov Hassan

Forum to Focus on Innovative Approaches to Combatting Addiction and Regional Collaboration

Media Contact: Emily Heisig, 617-365-2647,

BOSTON (November 5, 2015) – The New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business association representing over 500 companies and organizations throughout the region, will host a regional forum on opioid addiction, “Tackling the Opioid Addiction Crisis: Innovative Approaches and Regional Collaboration,” in Boston on Monday, November 9, 2015. U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) and Governor Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are the featured speakers at the half-day conference. The forum will also feature two panel discussions highlighting private sector and public sector strategies to combat addiction. The conference will he held at the Seaport Hotel, located at One Seaport Lane in Boston, from 8:00 – 11:30 a.m. on November 9, and over 200 people are expected to attend. CLICK HERE FOR FULL AGENDA

“It seems that not a day goes by that we don’t pick up the newspaper or turn on the evening news to hear another story of the devastating effect the opioid addiction epidemic is having on our communities,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council. “The good news is, there are some very innovative strategies in place to prevent and appropriately treat addiction. Federal, state, and local governments have all taken action to combat addiction, and many businesses and organizations—including health care providers, pharmacies, insurers and other benefit administrators—are employing unique strategies to tackle this crisis. We’ll explore many of these approaches and discuss how we can improve regional collaboration throughout New England at our forum on November 9.”

In addition to remarks from Senator Markey, Governor Baker, and Governor Hassan, the forum will also feature two panel discussions. The first, moderated by Tufts Health Plan CEO James Roosevelt, will explore some of the innovative approaches being used in the private sector to prevent and respond to addiction. Panelists will include representatives of AIG, Beacon Health Options, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, CVS Health, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

The second panel will explore initiatives by state and federal government to combat the opioid crisis, and will be moderated by Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, now Of Counsel at Foley Hoag in Boston. Panelists will include: Dr. Monica Bharel, M.D. Massachusetts Commission of Public Health; Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D. Connecticut Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Rachel Kaprielian, Region 1 Administrator, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Maria Montanaro, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals.

The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region. The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange. For more information, please visit:




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