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Springfield College Leader Tabbed for Opioid Panel

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve on one of three special commissions created under the landmark opioid legislation signed into law earlier this year.

Cooper and the other appointees to the commission were sworn in by the governor on Thursday at the State House. Cooper will serve on the special commission to study the incorporation of safe and effective pain treatment and prescribing practices into the professional training of students that may prescribe controlled substances.

This special commission is tasked with developing recommendations to ensure future prescribers have an understanding of certain fundamental issues relative to the opioid epidemic, including pain treatment, pain-treatment planning, safe prescribing practices, and prescription monitoring. The appointed commission will submit recommendations on or before Dec. 1.

“I’m honored to serve on this commission, representing our outstanding health care preparation programs at Springfield College,” said Cooper. “I’m excited about the diversity of the commission, which includes family members of those who have struggled with opioid use, current health care providers, other educators, and committed community members all wanting to be apart of solutions to the opioid crisis.”

Joining Cooper as appointees to the special commission are Todd Brown, vice chairman of the School of Pharmacy at Northeastern University; Nitigna Desai, MD, director of Addiction Psychiatry at Bedford Veteran Affairs Medical Center and director of Substance Abuse Service Line at New England Healthcare; Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, president and CEO of the Dimock Community Health Center; Brad Ulrich, regional vice president for The Walgreen’s Company; and Joan Vitello-Cicciu, dean of the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Nursing.

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