A Webinar in the NIC of Time

Insights from the Front Lines: What’s Working
(and Not Working) in the Battle against Opioids

Monday, March 5, 12:00 - 1:15 p.m. EST

We've posted the audio and slide decks from this event.  To access those materials, please fill out the form below. Thank you!


Numerous efforts are being mounted across the U.S. to combat the opioid/heroin epidemic; some are in their early stages, while others are relatively advanced and seeing successes. Two common denominators among nearly all of them are that 1). interoperability and information-sharing are keys to making progress and 2). they operate within their own borders, so lessons learned in one state aren’t necessarily being applied – or even known – by any other. This webinar, sponsored by the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC) and IBM, offered an opportunity for sharing and gaining knowledge across jurisdictions.

Our three presenters have been leaders in shaping the opioid response in Louisiana, where broad efforts are just gearing up; Virginia, which has moved forward but is still drawing its roadmap; and New Jersey, where the innovative Fusion Center has advanced so far that it is viewed as a possible national model. The presenters described their individual initiatives; discussed what has and hasn’t worked, provided actionable insights that are applicable across borders, and answered questions from attendees.

  • Esteban Gershanik, MD discussed the nascent efforts of Louisiana, after big lessons learned in Massachusetts
  • Bill Hazel, Jr., MD reviewed Virginia’s efforts, which are farther along than Lousiana, but still developing
  • Juan Colon discussed the work of the NJ fusion center, which is advanced and maybe even a model
Daniel Stein, Co-PI of NIC and President of Stewards of Change Institute, led the webinar and its moderator was Mary-Sara Jones, who leads state and local Human Services for IBM. 

This webinar also provided a glimpse of NIC’s first major event, “A Symposium in the NIC of Time: Advancing Information-Sharing in California and Beyond." 



Special Guests:
Mary-Sara Jones
HHS Industry Lead
State & Local Govt.
IBM Government
Esteban Gershanik, MD
Chief Information Officer, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Bill Hazel, MD
Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives
and Policy, George Mason University
Daniel Stein
Co-PI, NIC and President, SOC Institute

Juan Colon
Major-Retired, NJ State Police, Office of the Attorney General Office of Drug Addiction Control

If you have questions on the webinar, please contact Michael Kerr with NIC/SOC Institute.