For Immediate Release: May 4, 2022
TUNE IN 1:00 PM EDT: Faith and science leaders address harm reduction in fourth virtual event in the “Bridging Faith and Science” series
The fourth virtual event, held in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative’s Overdose Response Network, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The Centre for Responsible Leadership, marks a full year of action-oriented convenings aimed to reduce stigma, save lives, and empower faith leaders to act on the overdose crisis
The meeting includes opening remarks from Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, and a panel discussion moderated by Tom Coderre, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, featuring panelists Professor Susan Sherman, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Reverend Edwin C. Sanders, Senior Servant and Founder of Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, Tennessee
Watch today’s event today at 1:00 p.m. EDT on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School website here: https://publichealth.jhu.edu/events/bridging-faith–and–science-to-combat-the-overdose-crisis-series
New York, NY – Today, faith and science leaders come together again for the fourth virtual event series, “Bridging Faith and Science to Combat the Overdose Crisis,” co-hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) Overdose Response Network, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The Centre for Responsible Leadership, This quarterly discussion will focus on harm reduction, strategies to reduce substance use disorders and how to reverse a dangerous trend of increasing overdose deaths.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the U.S. overdose crisis, with an estimated 100,000 lives lost to overdose in 2021, a 28.5 percent increase over last year. In these virtual meetings, national leaders from science and faith communities join forces to provide critical support to communities impacted by substance use disorders to shatter stigma, educate about prevention, provide resources and help save a few lives.
The primary goal of harm reduction is to save lives and protect the health of both people who use drugs and their communities. Harm reduction acknowledges that drugs are widely available in our society and that traditional law enforcement approaches or complete abstinence do not decrease demand, use, or negative health consequences of substance use.
Some of the best-known harm reduction tools include: free syringe service programs, overdose prevention sites, Fentanyl tests, Naloxone kits and action objectives like education on safer substance use, health and social support groups and many others.
The panelists – Susan Sherman, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Reverend Edwin C. Sanders, founder of Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville – both have a history with harm reduction. Sherman has years of experience improving health in marginalized communities, particularly sex workers and people who use drugs. And since 1984, Rev. Sanders and the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church has led outreach ministries around substance use, advocacy for children, sexual violence and harm reduction; and starting in 1992, Metropolitan began helping people affected by HIV/AIDS with the First Response Center.
The Overdose Response Network is part of CGI’s mission to bring together a community of doers from across a broad section of society, not only to discuss our world’s most pressing challenges, but also to commit publicly to take specific, practical, measurable actions to address them. This quarterly series will culminate in an in-person convening later this year and a pledge to action to address the overdose crisis, signed by prominent faith leaders and scientists.
“Bridging Faith and Science to Combat the Overdose Crisis” virtual series
Today, Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 1 p.m. EDT
Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation;
Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
Dr. Cheryl Fishbein, Member, Leadership Council, The Centre for Responsible Leadership;
Tom Coderre, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use;
Dr. Susan Sherman, Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
The Rev. Edwin Sanders, Senior Servant and Founder of Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
The first event in the series began May 4, 2021, which can be found here; the second event is here, and the third event is here. Past faith and science leaders a part of the convenings include Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Commissioner of New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports; Rabbi Arthur Schnier, Senior Rabbi, New York City’s Park East Synagogue Founder and President, Appeal of Conscience Foundation; Patrick Kennedy, Lead Author of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and Founder of the Kennedy Forum; Sister Simone Campbell, a Roman Catholic Sister of Social Service, religious leader, attorney, and author with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change; Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent; Bishop Vashti McKenzie, African Methodist Episcopal Church; Dr. David Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States; Founder and Senior Adviser, Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician, public health professor at George Washington University, and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
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About the Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.
As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.
We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.
About the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Founded in 1916 as part of the Johns Hopkins University, the Bloomberg School of Public Health is the world’s oldest and largest independent school of public health. Every day, the Bloomberg School works to keep millions safe from illness and injury by pioneering new research, deploying its knowledge and expertise in the field, and educating tomorrow’s scientists and practitioners in the global defense of human life. You can follow the Bloomberg School’s work on substance abuse disorder here and by subscribing to their newsletter.
About The Centre for Responsible Leadership
The Centre for Responsible Leadership is dedicated to assembling global thought leaders to find sustainable solutions to the major challenges plaguing our world today and drive their rapid adoption. The world needs leadership now, and we must all do our part. Join us – https://www.thecrl.org