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Libraries Respond to the Opioid Epidemic: About the Presenters

This guide includes presentations and resources from the Symposium, Communities in Crisis: Librarians Respond to the Opioid Epidemic. #masslibrariesrespond

A Library of Congress Approach to Understanding the Addicted Brain 


Dr. Scott Lukas is the Director of the McLean Imaging Center and the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory at McLean Hospital and a Professor of Psychiatry & Pharmacology at the Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Lukas received his PhD in pharmacology and toxicology in 1979 from the University of Maryland. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, he joined the NIDA Addiction Research Center before moving to McLean in 1984. Dr. Lukas’ research interests are the neurobiological basis of drug and alcohol addiction, including pharmacokinetics, polydrug abuse, sex differences, complementary/alternative medicine, and medication development. He uses actigraphy and various imaging technologies to measure changes in brain function that reflect consciousness, sleep, performance, mood states, and reward after drug administration or drug-related cues in adults and adolescents.  Dr. Lukas serves on the Library Committee for the McLean Hospital’s Mental Health Sciences Library.

Encounters and revelations:  A reporter's journey covering the opioid crisis


Felice J. Freyer is a health care reporter at the Boston Globe, where she focuses on addiction, mental health, and brain science. She has covered the opioid crisis since coming to the Globe in 2014, and in July completed a nine-part series on recovery from opioid addiction. In a 2016 series, she explored the lives of people in pain and their struggle to get relief amid fears about opioid painkillers. Before coming to the Globe, Freyer was the medical writer at the Providence Journal, where she was honored as "Master Reporter" by the New England Society of News Editors. A long-time advocate for open government, Freyer is vice president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and chair of the association's Right to Know Committee. She is also an affiliated faculty member in journalism at Emerson College.

Opioids and Work:  The Role of Workplace Injury and Pain in fueling the Opioid Epidemic in Massachusetts


Jodi Sugerman-Brozan is MassCOSH’s Executive Director. She brings more than 25 years of experience working for environmental and social justice in Boston. As Executive Director of MassCOSH, she oversees all aspects of their work to ensure that all workers can go to work, earn a fair wage, be treated with respect and dignity and go home to their families alive and well. She has led MassCOSH’s work to develop strategies to address the high rates of addiction and overdose for workers in Massachusetts, including coordination of their peer training pilot project this spring. Before joining MassCOSH in April 2017, she was the Executive Director of Bikes Not Bombs which uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change for five years, and before that played various roles at Alternatives for Community & Environment, an environmental justice organization located in Roxbury, Massachusetts for 15 years. Leadership development and community and youth organizing have been central to her work for decades. 

Skills to Respond to High Stress Situations


Dr. April Berry-Fletcher has over twenty years teaching at Boston University, Boston College, and Regis College in Nursing, Social Work and Psychology.  She is currently Associate Professor and Program Director for the newly established Social Work program at Lesley University. April is a highly-regarded speaker and consultant to local and national healthcare, mental health and child welfare organizations on topics that range from opioid addiction, the role of neuro-biology in violence prevention for health and human service providers, trauma-informed and integrative/mind-body mental health practices.  She attended the University of Chicago where she earned her Master’s degree in Social Work, Simmons College School of Social work for doctoral coursework, and earned her Doctorate in Education at Regis College. She is a licensed, independent clinical social worker (LICSW) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 


A moderated discussion on actionable next steps for library staff to better respond to the challenges of the opioid epidemic. 


Keith West is an expert in communication and discussion facilitation, especially around contentious issues.  He is the Head Debate Coach for Boston Latin School, an Adjunct Professor of Communication Arts at Framingham State, and regularly runs community discussion groups at libraries in Wilmington, Chelmsford, Westford and others.  Keith specializes in making complex issues accessible to a general audience and enabling people to discuss controversial issues in a respectful and constructive manner. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are among his favorite authors, and if you ask him he'll probably show you pictures of his adorable/ridiculous dogs.