Panel at Williams College Examines the Opioid Epidemic in Northwestern Massachusetts

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 30, 2018—Williams College will host a panel titled “The Opioid Epidemic in Our Midst: Searching for Solutions.” Guest panelists Dr. Alex Sabo, Wendy Penner, and Kenna Waterman will address questions about the current state of the opioid epidemic in northwestern Massachusetts. This panel will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in Paresky Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

The panel will explore key issues surrounding today’s opioid epidemic, including what the epidemic looks like in northwestern Massachusetts, the factors that contribute to the epidemic, and the ways in which the medical, mental health, and community-based organizations have responded to this crisis.

About the panelists

Alex Sabo, MD is a chair of the Department of Behavior Science and training director of the Adult Psychiatry Residency Program at Berkshire Medical Center. Sabo is also the co-author of recent root-cause analysis of prescription opioid overdoses and has been a practicing psychiatrist for more than 20 years.

Wendy Penner, Ph.D., is the director of Prevention and Wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, where she facilitates community efforts in substance use prevention, access to treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support.

Kenna Waterman is the founder and president of Josh Bresette Commit to Save a Life, a nonprofit community organization committed to raising funds for people in recovery from the opioid use.

This panel is held as part of the Williams Reads series for 2018-19, which this year features the book Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Williams Reads aims to foster new connections among students, staff, faculty, and community members by exploring diversity through a common reading experience. Developed by the Committee on Diversity and Community, Williams Reads is an initiative offered as an opportunity for us to explore a book together that will help us to celebrate and deepen our appreciation of diversity. Lectures will be held throughout the year sponsored by the Williams Reads Committee.

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