MedStar Health Hosting Substance Abuse Panel to Help Prevent Overdose Deaths | MedStar Health

MedStar Health Hosting Substance Abuse Panel to Help Prevent Overdose Deaths

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Virtual panel discussion being held on International Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31

Columbia, MD – Deaths caused by opiate-related drug overdoses are on the rise again in Washington, D.C., and MedStar Health is working to raise awareness of critical tools that can be used to save lives.

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, MedStar Health experts will host a virtual panel discussion focused on quickly detecting and preventing overdose deaths. Representatives from emergency medicine, pharmacy, peer coaching, behavioral health, research, as well as patients in recovery will explore the current gravity of the problem, efforts by MedStar Health to address drug addiction and overdoses, and important resources available in the Washington, D.C., area.

The virtual panel is being coordinated alongside the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), which is promoting several local events highlighting the preventability of drug overdoses on International Overdose Awareness Day.

Title: A multi-layered approach to substance use disorder and overdose prevention: A perspective from MedStar Health

When: August 31st, 2021 at noon

Where: Virtual panel discussion hosted through Zoom


  • Sadaf Kazi, PhD, is Research Scientist at National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, MedStar Health Research Institute, and Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She conducts research on improving screening and treatment practices for substance use disorder in pregnant and postpartum women, tapering opioid medication for chronic pain, and safe medication administration. Detailed bio link
  • Diana Quinn is Senior Director of Community Health at MedStar Health. Ms. Quinn is dedicated to ensuring community members have access to healthcare and opportunities to participate in engaging health promotion activities.  She has been instrumental in implementing the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in the emergency department, Women’s Health and Outpatient centers support by Peer Recovery Coaches. Detailed bio link
  • Ean Bond is a Peer Recovery Coach at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. He is passionate about helping people with substance use disorder since he is in recovery himself. In this role he feels that it allows him to give back what was so freely given to him. He believes it is never too late to recover from substance use disorder and that there is always hope. Ean is married and has three children and a dog.
  • Maryann Amirshahi, PharmD, MD, MPH, PhD, is Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. In addition to implementing the SBIRT protocol at MedStar Washington Hospital Center as a practicing physician in the Emergency Department (ED), Dr. Amirshahi conducts research on prescription drug abuse, opioid stewardship, and addiction treatment in the ED. Detailed bio link
  • Bonnie Levin, PharmD, MBA, is Assistant Vice President for Pharmacy Services for MedStar Health.  She leads the pharmacy enterprise across MedStar’s ten hospitals, ten outpatient pharmacies, and ambulatory practices. Detailed bio link
  • Mihriye Mete, PhD, is Director of Behavioral Health Research at the MedStar Health Research Institute and Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She conducts research in using the SBIRT model to address increasing rates of opioid-related overdose and mortality among DC’s vulnerable and underserved populations. Detailed bio link