Wilkes University

2021 Pennsylvania Pain and Addiction Summit

Interprofessional Approach to Substance Use Disorder Certificate

A certification program is being offered in conjunction with this year's summit. Continuing education hours are offered to certain professional who take obtain this certification.

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Collaboration for Change

Join the leaders at the forefront of the addiction crisis in our region for the Pennsylvania Pain and Addiction Summit.  The Summit will be held virtually on April 23, 2021.  

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew will be our Keynote Speaker

We’re excited to share the news that Dr. Drew will be the 2021 PA Pain and Addiction Summit Keynote speaker! Dr. Drew Pinsky is well-known on both television and radio as a trusted expert on many of the medical issues of today.


“Overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels, now making drug overdoses the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50,” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Locally, overdose deaths in Luzerne County have increased every year, with an all-time high of 156 in 2018. This scourge of drug addiction shows no sign of abating any time soon.


The theme of the 2021 Pennsylvania Pain and Addiction Summit is “Collaboration for Change,” with the emphasis on the holistic treatment of the patient. During this full-day conference, medical, legal, and law enforcement professionals will discuss the current state of the opioid crisis, share methodology and inter-professional approaches to deal with critical issues, and identify opportunities to approach the treatment of pain and substance abuse. Education hours will be provided.

    • DATE: Friday, April 23, 2021
    • LOCATION: Online via Zoom
    • COST: $75 whole day (6 hours of CE), $40 half day (3 hours of CE)
      Register for the 2021 Summit by visiting https://wilkes.augusoft.net/
    • Full Day:$TBA ($TBA if registered before 3/20/20)
    • Morning Session: $TBA (does not include lunch)
    • Afternoon Session: $TBA (does not include lunch)
Luzerne County Medical Society logo


  • 8-9 a.m. – Panel Discussion
    • Collaboration in Prevention and Treatment moderated by Mindy Cronk, project manager of VIA’s Battling Opioids.
    • Panel speakers:
      • Allison LaRussa, Ethos counselor, Just Believe Recovery Center
      • Andrew Cornetta, prevention specialist, Lackawanna College
      • John Jezick, community recovery specialist, Treatment Trends.
  • 9-9:15 a.m. — Break
  • 9:15-10:15 a.m. – Breakout Sessions
    • Where are the Children? - Michelle O’Brien, attorney
    • The Role of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Oversight and Enforcement over DEA-Registered Health Care Providers - James Schiffer, attorney; Carlos Aquino, former member of DEA task force
  • 10:15-10:30 a.m. – Break
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Breakout Sessions
    • Medical Marijuana: Pa. Policies and Procedures - Barbara Sciandra, pharmacist; Jenna Carmichael, pharmacist; Brian Entler, Geisinger M.D. class of ‘21; Garrison Davis, respiratory care practitioner
    • Academic Detailing: Collaboration for Change for the Opioid Crisis - Dominick Trombetta, pharmacist; Katarina Frank, physician
    • Domestic Violence and Addiction - Tammy Rodgers, social worker
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Lunch and Keynote Speaker
    • The Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here and What Do We Do Now? - Dr. Drew Pinsky, known nationally as “Dr. Drew,” ubiquitous on both television and radio as a trusted expert on many of the health issues of today.
  • 12:30-12:45 p.m. – Break
  • 12:45-1:45 p.m. - Breakout Sessions
    • Preparing Front-Line Practitioners for Delivery of SBIRT - Janet Astle, pharmacist; Jane Cavanaugh, Ph.D.
    • Going, Going, Gone, the theft of identity and script pad by an addicted coworker - Thomas Wagner, nurse
    • Time Out for a Team-Based Approach Leads to Improved Outcomes: The TOTAL Approach - panel moderated by Tanya Uritsky, clinical pharmacy specialist in pain stewardship
      • Panel Speakers:
        • Brighid Gleeson, nurse
        • Geoffrey Taylor, physician
        • Justin Harris, pharmacist
        • Rachel Boris, social worker
        • Nicole O’Donnell, certified recovery specialist
        • Tracy Andrews, nurse practitioner
  • 1:45-2 p.m. - Break
  • 2-3 p.m. - Breakout Sessions
    • Adderall and Methamphetamine: Is There a Link? - Karen Arscott, D.O.; Donna Eget, D.O.
    • It takes a Village: Addressing the Needs of Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Opioid Use Disorder - Maria Kolcharno, social worker
    • A Call for a Team-Based Approach to Increase Buprenorphine Accessibility in the Community Pharmacy - Daniel Ventricelli, pharmacist
  • 3-4 p.m. - Closing Speaker - Sheryl St. Germain, author 50 Miles

Conference Speakers

DR. DREW PINSKY, KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Known nationally as “Dr. Drew,” has been ubiquitous both on television and radio for the entirety of his multi-faceted career. His work as a doctor of internal medicine/addiction specialist and prolific broadcaster has imbued him with the rare ability to examine any issues relating to cultural and political trends, social issues, religion, sex, and health, to name a few. Dr. Drew is the host of two new streaming shows: the 30-minute A Daily Dose of Drew, and Ask Dr. Drew, a two-hour show in which he fields questions about relationships, addiction, trauma and more. He also hosts the hit MTV reality television series Teen Mom OG, as well as all of the Teen Mom 2 reunion specials. Dr. Drew shares his wisdom, opinions and humor on a variety of podcasts, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America (Harper-Collins), and Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again (Harper-Collins).

SHERYL ST. GERMAIN, CLOSING SPEAKER: Sheryl St. Germain is a poet and essayist whose work has received numerous awards. Sheryl directs the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and is co- founder of the Words Without Walls program. She has published three memoirs,  Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman  (University of Utah Press),  Navigating Disaster:  Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair (Louisiana Literature Press), and, most recently, Fifty Miles, Etruscan Press, 2020.  50 Miles is a memoir in linked essays that addresses addiction and alcoholism. The book traces the life of the author’s son, Gray, a talented but troubled young man, and his death from a drug overdose at thirty, as well as the author’s own recovery from substance abuse.


Sponsorship opportunities TBA

Questions? Please contact Margaret M. Petty at margaret.petty@wilkes.edu or call 570-408-4460.

A list of area hotels can be found at: wilkes.edu/placestostay

Up to 6 hours of continuing education credit available for these professionals:

Six hours Substantive CLE credit will be awarded by the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association (#53). The Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association is an Accredited Continuing Legal Education provider.

Wilkes University is a preapproved provider of continuing education for professional counselors through the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.

Luzerne County Dental Society-Pa is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 10/1/2018 to 9/30/2021. Provider ID#219119

The Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Participants who attend the full program and complete an evaluation form for this knowledge-based activity will be awarded a statement of credit at the conclusion of the program for .6 CEUs (6 hours). ACPE#0097-0000-20-017-L08-P.

Physical Therapists
An application has been submitted to the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy for 6 hours.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and Luzerne County Medical Society. The Pennsylvania Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Pennsylvania Medical Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physician should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
Wilkes University is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the PA State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Nurses who attend will receive a certificate for 6 hours at the conclusion of the programs, 6 of which qualify for pharmacology.

Social Workers
Wilkes University is a pre-approved provider of continuing education for programs for social workers and clinical social workers as an accredited university. Social Workers who attend will receive a certificate for 6 hours at the conclusion of the program.