Health Policy Institute | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Health Policy Institute | School of Law | SIU

Health Policy Institute

Since 1999, SIU's School of Law, School of Medicine, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, and Southern Illinois Healthcare have sponsored the annual Health Policy Institute. Attendees hear presentations from national experts and discuss current regulatory and public policy issues in health care.

SIU law students who are interested in health law and policy attend and assist with the Institute each year.

Nineteenth Annual
Southern Illinois Healthcare/Southern Illinois University Health Policy Institute

May 18, 2018

CLE 6.5 Hours

CME 7.0 Hours

CNE 7.0 Hours

Opening Pandora’s BottleLaw, Policy, and America’s Opioid Epidemic

Live Site:

SIU School of Law, Carbondale, IL

Interactive Simulcast Sites:

Illinois State Bar Association Chicago Office, Chicago, IL

SIU School of Medicine, Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation (MCLI) 2B, HD Smith Tiered Classroom, Springfield, IL 

Join us for a movie screening of Herion(e) prior to the HPI on May 17 see details here




The nation is embroiled in an epidemic that, while not contagious, impacts all sectors of society and devastates communities, especially rural communities. Opioid misuse, including abuse of prescription pain killers and heroin, led to more than 33,000 deaths nationwide in 2016 and nearly 2,000 deaths in Illinois during that same year. And these statistics, counted in lives, continue to rise at alarming rates.

National, state, and local governmental bodies fight to stem the tide of this rampant killer. Law enforcement officials, courts, attorneys, and social agencies are caught in the web of this very human disaster and its tragic consequences. Hospitals, physicians, and health care providers struggle daily to care for patients, between managing patient pain and restricting prescription opioids, while simultaneously averting actions that feed addiction and protecting their professional credentials from scrutiny.

To aid in identifying both the issues and the solutions, the 2018 Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH)-Southern Illinois University (SIU) Health Policy Institute seeks to provide an informative and engaging dialogue aimed at striking the right balance and bringing to bear effective solutions to the opioid epidemic impacting our country and our communities. 


 At the conclusion of this educational program, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the scope and impact of the opioid crisis;
  2. Identify competing needs that arise in the patient-care milieu, including unmet needs and stigmatization;
  3. Comprehend how various solutions from the legal, medical, and policy arenas feed into the overall strategy for managing the present crisis; and
  4. Participate more effectively in discussions related to the nation’s opioid epidemic and proposed solutions on the national, state, and local levels.

The speaker panel for the 19th Annual SIH-SIU Health Policy Institute (HPI) is both extremely robust and tremendously impressive.  Presenters for the day-long, continuing education program include the following experts: 

  • Professor Christine Porucznik, Ph.D., MSPH, who served as chair of the CDC’s Opioid Guideline Workgroup, will present on the guidelines produced through this governmental effort; 
  • Professor Valarie Blake, J.D., M.A., will set forth health insurers’ role in curbing the opioid epidemic; 
  • Michelle White, MPA, who is a principal court management consultant with the National Center for State Courts, will highlight the function of drug courts as key institutions in managing opioid abuse issues. 
  • Professor Elizabeth Chiarello, Ph.D., M.Ed., will share her research findings on the different ways that health care providers and law enforcement agents use prescription monitoring programs to combat opioid abuse; 
  • Edward Covington, M.D., who is a pain management specialist, will address the need to ensure that patient pain issues are actively treated in a safe and effective manner, amidst efforts to stem the opioid abuse crisis; 
  • Dennis Wichern, a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer, will highlight the DEA’s activities in the opioid arena as related to providers; 
  • Monique Anawis, M.D., J.D., will discuss Illinois’s opioid activities through the lens of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; and 
  • Illinois Inspector General Bradley Hart, J.D, whose focus is Medicaid and who is also an SIU Law graduate, will talk about opioid-related fraud and abuse issues impacting the state’s Medicaid program.

Co-sponsored by Southern Illinois Healthcare, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, Illinois State Medical Society, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, SIU School of Medicine - Center for Rural Health Social Service Development, and SIU School of Medicine - Office of Population, Science and Policy.

Breakfast sponsor - Meyer Capel | Lunch sponsor - Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard, PC

This program is supported, in part, by unrestricted educational grants from Southern Illinois Healthcare, the SIU School of Law, First Health Medical Provider Class represented by SL Chapman LLC, Illinois Department of Human Services, Meyer Capel, and Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C.

 News story relating to using medical cannabis for pain management instead of opioids here