2019 Leadership Series: Opioid Epidemic and its Impact in the Workplace
Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that that an average of 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. In addition to the devastating toll that the opioids crisis has taken on families, New Jersey businesses are continually challenged to support employees at risk of substance use disorder while ensuring their workforce and operations remain productive.
Experts will explore these and other elements of New Jersey’s opioid crisis as the Greater Atlantic City Chamber in partnership with New Jersey Department of Health, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, AtlantiCare, Enlightened Solutions, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, and the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office will host The Opioid Epidemic and Its Impact in the Workplace.
The keynote address from will be provided by New Jersey Health Department Commissioner, Dr. Shereef Elnahal.
The forum will take place at 10 AM on June 18 at Linwood Country Club.
- Suzanne Kunis, Director of Behavioral Health Solutions, Horizon BCBSNJ
- Eric Scheffler, Sheriff, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office
- Robert Snyder, Chief Operating Officer, Enlightened Solutions
- Bradford Borbin, MD, FASAM, DABAM, DABPM, Medical Director, Addiction Services AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
10 AM to 10:30 AM: Registration
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM: Panel Discussion
11:30 AM to 11:45 AM: Keynote Address by Dr. Elnahal
11:45 AM: Lunch
BIOS OF PARTICIPANTS
Dr. Shereef Elnahal, New Jersey’s 21st Health Commissioner
Dr. Elnahal joined the Department on January 25, 2018 and quickly established a new vision for the Department with specific goals: Eradicating the opioid epidemic; decreasing maternal mortality and improving access to women’s health care; reducing disparities in public health outcomes, increasing access to health coverage and mental health care; expanding the medicinal marijuana program; and expanding telehealth and interoperability.
Women’s health is a key priority for Dr. Elnahal. Early in the Murphy Administration, the Governor signed legislation and had the Department restore $7.5 million for family planning. Dr. Elnahal also directed the re-alignment of funding for a new Healthy Women-Healthy Families Initiative, focused on increasing healthy births and decreasing black infant mortality in communities with the highest black infant mortality rates.
Dr. Elnahal has also overseen significant reforms in the medicinal marijuana program, which has reduced patient and caregiver registration fees, allowed dispensaries to add satellite locations and added mobile access so that patients, caregivers and physicians can register, make payments and upload documents on their Smart phones and tablets.
Prior to his nomination, Dr. Elnahal worked as a physician executive in the largest health care system in the country—the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Quality, Safety, and Value, he managed a workforce of hundreds, and a budget of more than $180 million.
He was appointed to the VA by former President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow in 2015. During his time there, he spearheaded unprecedented efforts around transparency in access and performance, as well as standardizing best practices that prevent opioid dependency, improve women’s healthcare, and enhance access to care for veterans.
He grew up in Atlantic County and is the son of Egyptian doctors who immigrated to New Jersey. He graduated summa cum laude from Johns Hopkins and earned both his medical degree and MBA with distinction from Harvard University.
Suzanne M. Kunis, Director – Behavioral Health Solutions
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Suzanne Kunis is Director of Behavioral Health Solutions for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. She brings over 30 years of experience in the health care industry with a significant focus on behavioral health. Suzanne is a registered nurse and moved from care delivery to health care management early in her career.
In March 2017, Suzanne joined Horizon BCBSNJ to lead the development of the long-term strategy for integrating medical and behavioral health services. She is responsible for the development of new behavioral health capabilities, programs and services. She also oversees the implementation of behavioral health value-based arrangements in the provider community. The opioid crisis in New Jersey and the continued battle to eliminate mental health stigma are priority items on her agenda.
Prior to joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Suzanne served for 22 years as Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health Services for Magellan Health Services. She was the business owner for Magellan’s health plan (Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid) and employer client relationships. She was responsible for oversight and management of nationwide service delivery including member services, clinical operations, network development and management, quality, sales, EAP and finance. During her tenure with Magellan, Suzanne developed a deep understanding of the behavioral health care issues facing our country and the long overdue recognition of the impact of behavioral health issues on comorbid medical conditions.
Suzanne also served as Senior Vice President of Account Management and Implementations for ComplexCare Solutions (CCS). CCS provided in-home risk adjustment assessments and care management services for its health plan clients.
After graduating from Thomas Jefferson University, College of Allied Health Sciences in Philadelphia, Suzanne began her nursing career at the East Orange Veterans Administration Hospital. She then began a 12-year career journey with which was then Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey where she served many roles including Vice President of the Individual Market segment.
After 26-years, Suzanne has rejoined Horizon BCBSNJ to support the behavioral health integration.
Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler
Eric Scheffler, and Atlantic County native, was elected Sheriff of Atlantic County in November of 2017 and took office in January, 2018. Eric retired as a Lieutenant with the Atlantic City Police Department. During his tenure there, he served in both the Patrol and Training Divisions. His hard work and dedication led to his promotion to Shift Commander in the Patrol Division and to Commander of the Training Unit. During his career, his commitment to his own professional development led to Eric becoming a certified instructor in twenty-two different law enforcement training curriculums. He also personally created eleven law enforcement instructor courses. Nineteen police departments in New Jersey are currently using his programs, including the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Eric also worked as a paraprofessional at Mainland Regional High School where he mentored at-risk youth as well as intellectually and developmentally disabled students. He has also volunteered his time as a founding member of Mainland’s “One Life Committee”, tackling heroin and opioid addiction issues in our schools. In addition to his tireless commitment to this diverse population, Eric created an “Option-based” protocol empowering teachers and students to make decisions in the event of an active shooter/violent intruder event.
Immediately upon commencing his tenure as Atlantic County Sheriff, he began to redirect the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office mission to focus on professional development programs that empower and emphasize leadership development and enhanced organizational efficiency and effectiveness. At the foundation of his beliefs, is the idea of “Partnerships and problem solving” which stand as the pillars of a solid community oriented policing strategy. Sheriff Scheffler has begun forming those partnerships to problem solve with many community leadership groups to address our most pressing issues such as the heroin/opioid epidemic, homelessness, mental health, and violence plaguing our country. Sheriff Scheffler believes we are affected as a community by these issues regardless of political affiliation, socio-economic status, geography or race. He believes we are much stronger when we emphasize our commonalities as human beings and Americans, as opposed to arguing our beliefs based on opposing political ideologies.
The Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office is committed to creating change within our organization and providing our members with services and treatment guidance if they find themselves in a personal crisis. In any organization, its people are its greatest asset… and we intend to honor that mantra by providing a safe environment for our personnel to seek assistance.
Bradford Bobrin, MD, FASAM, DABAM, DABPM
Medical Director, Addiction Services, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, AtlantiCare Behavioral Health
Bradford Bobrin, M.D., FASAM, DABAM, DABPM, is medical director of Addiction Services, AtlantiCare. In this role, he oversees inpatient and outpatient addiction services for the healthcare system. He also serves as medical director of the Certified Behavioral Health Clinic AtlantiCare administers in Hammonton, New Jersey.
Bobrin is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is a board member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He has served as vice president and treasurer of Temple Sinai Synagogue in Cinnaminson, NJ, and as vice president of the School Lane Charter School in Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Bobrin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He attained his Medical Doctor degree at Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He did his pediatric internship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and his psychiatry residency at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he served as chief resident. Bobrin did a fellowship in consultation psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Queens, New York.
Pat McKernan, Chief Operating Officer, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley
In the Delaware Valley, Volunteers of America provides services to individuals in need including the homeless, individuals with intellectual disabilities, people struggling with addiction or mental illness veterans and people returning home from the criminal justice system. Pat has been with Volunteers of America since 1996 and is responsible for all programs and services.
Pat has been a social worker since 1990. She is President of the Reentry Coalition of New Jersey where she has served in leadership roles for more than 10 years. Pat was appointed by Governor Christie to the Board of Social Work Examiners in 2014 and is a Board Member of PILOT Services, a non profit serving individuals with intellectual disabilities. She is a licensed Social Worker who received her Bachelor of Arts from Trenton State College and her Masters in Social Work and her Doctorate in Social Work from Rutgers University. Her website www.wanted4warrants.com is dedicated to exploring the impact of criminal justice debt on prisoner reentry.
Rob Snyder, co-founder and COO of Enlightened Solutions
Rob Snyder has been working in the field of addiction treatment for over 14 years. As a person in long-term recovery, Rob was inspired to pursue higher education to further his ability to help those seeking treatment for themselves and their families. Rob has since acquired his Masters in Human Services with a concentration in counseling, has become a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, a Certified Clinical Supervisor, and serves as an adjunct professor in addiction studies at Atlantic Cape Community College. Rob has spent his career working in nearly every role in addiction treatment, working with adults, families, and adolescents in residential as well as outpatient settings. This has uniquely qualified him to assemble a leadership team at Enlightened Solutions that has built a clinically and outcomes driven program utilizing a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach that is focused healing the whole person. Rob continues to stay active in his own recovery, supporting community programs and advocating for those struggling with addiction on a daily basis.
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