Please click here to view Assemblyman Skartados' Opioid Forum video. 

New York State Assemblyman Frank Skartados (District 104) gathered residents and experts in medicine, law enforcement, statistics and public policy to discuss how the march of hundreds of annual deaths from the misuse of opioids can be halted in New York's mid-Hudson Valley and beyond. The forum took place Saturday, January 20th at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center in Newburgh, New York.

Among the panelists:

Dr. Carl Hart, Chair of Psychology at Columbia University, is a neuroscientist and author drawing upon three decades of research to facilitate just, compassionate and scientifically informed government responses to drug use.

Kassandra Frederique is New York State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Jeff Kaufman was a police officer and lawyer with the New York Police Department. An indigent defense attorney and high school teacher who taught at Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail complex, Kaufman works with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) to advance drug policy and criminal justice solutions that improve public safety.

Lauren Mandel is a Newburgh, N.Y. resident who has practiced nursing for decades. Her son Zane Mandel-Michalak died after taking an opioid in September 2017.

Vincent Trunzo is a Substance Abuse Counselor at Cornerstone Family Healthcare’s Center for Recovery in Newburgh, N.Y. He has made recommendations to the N.Y.S. Senate Joint Task Force on Opioid Addiction.

Frank Barone is a Syringe Exchange Program prevention specialist with Hudson Valley Community Services in Newburgh, N.Y. He helps people who use drugs reduce the harm that can accompany use.

Sgt. Julio A. Fernandez, a Civil Operations Specialist with the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, assists community organizations with the collection and analysis of data about drug and narcotic use in the mid-Hudson Valley.

Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) provided invaluable assistance in producing the forum.

The following organizations co-sponsored the event:

Cornerstone Family Healthcare https://www.cornerstonefamilyhealthca...

Hudson Valley Community Services

TEAM Newburgh Take Back the City

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region Drug Policy Alliance

Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)

KINOSERGE filmed the forum.

The Assemblyman's office edited the video. Read Assemblyman Skartados's Poughkeepsie Journal editorial announcing the event: And view coverage of the forum by The Times Herald-Record, Spectrum News, The Mid-Hudson Times and The Highlands Current:


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