Press Release

#SubHealth Announces Roundtable Discussion Sharing Personal Stories from the Opioid Crisis


WASHINGTON, DC – The Health Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), announced a roundtable discussion for Thursday, April 19, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The roundtable discussion is entitled, “Personal Stories from the Opioid Crisis.”

The roundtable will follow three legislative hearings to examine the opioid crisis and possible legislative solutions. In February, #SubHealth reviewed eight bills pertaining to the Controlled Substances Act that will improve patient safety and bolster enforcement tools. In March, #SubHealth held a two-day hearing examining 25 prevention and public health solutions (read a recap of day one here and a recap of day two here). Last week, #SubHealth reviewed coverage and payment issues within Medicare and Medicaid.

The roundtable discussion will feature a first-hand look at many issues within the opioid crisis, including the rise of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, and patient brokering. Both issues have been the subject of hearings and investigations by #SubOversight.

Confirmed participants include:

  • Kathy O’Keefe, Executive Director, Winning the Fight, whose son Brett, passed away from a heroin overdose in 2010.
  • Gary Mendell, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Shatterproof, who lost his son Brian in 2011 to suicide after 13 months substance-free.
  • Mary Winnefeld, Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic (S.A.F.E. Project US), mother of Jonathan, who just passed away in 2017 from a fentanyl-laden batch of heroin just days after he started college.
  • Devon Hott, Director of Operations, Recovery Care Partner, and who has been in recovery for more than three years.
  • Aimee Manzoni D’Arpino, Massachusetts State Chair, Addiction Policy Forum, who lost her son Emmett to substance use disorder in 2016.
  • Michael Gray, father of Amanda, who suffered from acute mental illness and passed away after a fentanyl overdose in 2018.
  • Lisa Daniels, mother of Jamie, who fell victim to the nefarious practice of patient brokering and passed away in 2016 from a fentanyl-laced heroin overdose.
  • Gail Smith, Prevention Plus of Burlington County and the Kenny Smith Freedom Foundation, who lost her son Kenny to overdose after he was exploited by a fraudulent recovery residence.

“As we consider this complex issue, we have heard from a number of patient activists. Unfortunately, many American families have lost loved ones to the opioid crisis. It is time to share their stories,” said #SubHealth Chairman Burgess. “We look forward to Thursday’s roundtable and the opportunity to listen and learn from these critical partners in the fight against the opioid epidemic.”

More information, including a list of participants and prepared remarks for the roundtable will be available here as they are posted.



Press Release