LEBANON, NH – The major issues facing families and children impacted by the nation’s opioid crisis – and solutions to those issues – will be the topic of an all-day forum presented by Dartmouth-Hitchcock on Friday, Oct. 5, in Concord, NH.

U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, will deliver the keynote address at the forum, “Our Families, Our Children, Our Future,” to be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. The forum is open to the public. Representatives from community, family, and children’s organizations; elected officials; school leaders; and others who are actively engaged in finding solutions to the opioid crisis are expected to attend.

This is the first forum in Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Solutions to Opioid Addiction & Recovery (SOAR) Opioid Collaborative Series, a series that will focus on critical issues surrounding the opioid crisis in New Hampshire. Through the series Dartmouth-Hitchcock, along with a broad group of community partners, regional health care organizations, and individuals, will lead important discussions share information and inform the public about evidence-based and innovative solutions and programs that are happening locally, regionally and nationally.

The October 5 forum is hosted by Dartmouth-Hitchcock, with sponsorship by Northeast Delta Dental, Hypertherm’s Hope Foundation, New Futures, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire PBS, and the AdCare Educational Institute of New England.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO and President Joanne Conroy, MD, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu will offer opening remarks and frame the day’s discussion, which includes a series of panel discussions and Dr. Adams’ lunchtime keynote address. A broad range of speakers, including top clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and representatives of community groups, have been invited to present at the forum.

“The people of New Hampshire are looking to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for help in finding effective solutions to this crisis. Everyone who serves our communities – health care providers, educators and researchers, social service organizations, elected officials, and others – recognize what’s at stake” said Conroy. “I believe that the SOAR Collaborative Series is a next step in a strong statewide effort to pull together the wide-range of work that’s already being done. By utilizing and strengthening the existing resources that are in place to address the epidemic, we can focus on collaborating with our partners to find additional interventions and solutions.”

Morning sessions will focus on clinical and community support for affected families, children, and communities. Presentations will include “The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on New Hampshire Families, Communities, and Child Welfare Systems,” “Nurturing Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)-Affected Infants and Moms,” “Addressing the Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children and Youth Traumatized by OUD,” and “Supporting Recovering Families and Children Over Time.”

At noon there will be a working lunch with remarks from NH Union Leader correspondent Shawne Wickham, who since last spring has been chronicling the many faces and stories of the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire in her ongoing series, “Beyond the Stigma”, and journalist and film producer Sarah Holt of the PBS program “NOVA,” who has just completed production on a new program about the science of addiction that will premiere nationally October 17 on PBS.

Dr. Adams’ keynote address will begin just after 1 p.m. As Surgeon General, Dr. Adams oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,500 health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world. Dr. Adams is committed to maintaining strong relationships with the public health community and forging new partnerships with non-traditional partners, including business and law enforcement.

He has pledged to lead with science, facilitate locally led solutions to the nation’s most difficult health problems, and deliver higher quality healthcare at lower cost through patient and community engagement and better prevention.

Following Dr. Adams’ address, afternoon sessions will address public policies and support for families, children, and communities affected by the opioid crisis. Topics include “The Federal View: Federal Policies and Funding to Support Affected Children, Youth, and Families,” and “The State View: How New Hampshire Systems Are Working to Meet the Rising Needs of Families and Children.” Confirmed speakers include: DHHS Commissioner Jeff Meyers, Executive Director of NH High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Jay Fallon, NH Drug czar Dave Mara and City of Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig.

Advanced registration for the forum is required. Registration is $45 and includes continental breakfast and buffet lunch. For more information about the forum, visit https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/classes_events/opioid-forum.html