Overdose Lifeline — Indiana Public Health Conference to focus on ‘Saving Lives and Communities’ on Harm Reduction Day

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2018 Indiana Public Health Conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11, a day Gov. Eric Holcomb has declared Harm Reduction Day.

The conference, sponsored by Indiana University’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, provides an opportunity for people from diverse perspectives to work together to achieve a shared goal of addressing Indiana’s most pressing public health issues. This year’s theme is Saving Lives and Communities: Reducing Harm, Stigma, Overdoses and Death.

The conference, at the Indianapolis Marriott East, includes breakout sessions, posters, conversations between attendees of diverse disciplines and keynote addresses by Dr. Gabriel Wishik, medical director at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s flagship clinic, and Sam Tsemberis, president and CEO of the Pathways Housing First Institute.

Participants will include public health, health care, law enforcement and academic partners and community organizations engaged in harm-reduction work. Overdose Lifeline Inc. will conduct naloxone training for participants the morning of the conference. A team from the Tippecanoe County Health Department’s Gateway to Hope Syringe Service Program mobile unit will be present to answer questions. Drug Free Marion County will be on site in the morning to host a drug take-back event; participants can drop off unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications for safe disposal.

There will also be a pre-conference Harm Reduction and Syringe Service Program Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 10. Prior registration is required, and capacity is limited to 50 attendees.

Online registration is open through Oct. 8. Walk-in registration will be available on the day of the conference.

The conference was planned in partnership with the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, Purdue University Public Health graduate program, University of Indianapolis, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Madison County Health Department, Indiana State Department of Health, Marion County Health Department, Indiana Rural Health Association, Indiana Public Health Association, Overdose Lifeline, IU School of Medicine, Ball State University, Indiana Association of School Nurses and other partners.

Responding to the Addictions Crisis brings together Indiana University’s world-class faculty, as well as its business, nonprofit and government partners to create a comprehensive plan to reduce deaths from addiction, ease the burden of addiction on Hoosier communities, and improve health and economic outcomes. As part of IU’s Grand Challenges program, this collaborative, statewide initiative is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-led response to the opioid addiction crisis.

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