GSI 2019 Health Care Forum - Addressing Opioid Use in the Workforce

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Event Description:

Spokane area employers are increasingly challenged by the impact of substance abuse among its workforce.  Join us to learn about opioid addiction awareness, prevention and treatment.  This event will provide guidance on how to develop a drug free workplace, spread awareness of the disease of addiction, and reduce the stigma associated with addiction. 


  • Amy Blondin, Washington Health Care Authority 
    • Amy Blondin is the chief communications officer for the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), which is the state’s largest health care purchaser. Amy and her team manage strategic communications, media relations, digital communications, marketing, language access, and graphic design. Before joining HCA, she worked as a public information officer in the state Senate.


  • Michael Church, Stamper Rubens
    • Michael Church is an employment law attorney with the law firm of Stamper Rubens, P.S.  Mike focuses his practice on defending employers in employee-initiated lawsuits, representing them in the enforcement of non-competes, and in litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Mike also works with clients on a variety of employment and human resource issues including personnel policies and employee handbooks. 


  • Dr. Bruce Edwards, Providence Health
    • Bruce Edwards, M.D., MPH, is an occupational medicine specialist at Providence Occupational Medicine. Dedicated to preventative medicine and the highest standards of care for the management of illness, injury, and disability related to the worplace. Dr. Edwards has been practicing medicine for more than 27 years.



  • Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane Health District 
    • Dr. Bob Lutz graduated from Villanova University with a BS in Biology and Temple Medical School, where he received his medical degree. He spent four years in the US Navy before completing a residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, FL. He subsequently completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he also received his Masters Degree in Public Health. He has worked as an urgent care physician and served on the Spokane Regional Board of Health for eight years prior to being appointed Health Officer for Spokane County.

  • Kelli Pearson, Pearson & Weary Clinics
    • Dr. Kelli Pearson-Weary has been a chiropractic physician in Spokane for 35 years. Kelli has been actively involved in the process of collaborative care with the medical community and has a passion for finding ways to put together teams from different disciplines to achieve what the patient needs. She regularly lectures inside and outsider her community, is part of the leadership at the Valley Chamber of Commerce and is actively involved in the Spokane County Opioid Task Force.  

  • Dr. James Polo, Regence Cambia Health Solutions 
    • Dr. James A. Polo, MD, MBA, is a board-certified Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist with extensive experience in health care leadership in both the public and private sectors.  He has also been a policy advisor and consultant on health care reform.  Currently, he serves as the Behavioral Health Medical Director for Cambia Health Solutions which manages all Regence and Asuris Health Plans.  He is also a member of several professional organizations and serves on multiple boards that advance the practice of mental health.

  • Dr. John Roll, WSU Health Sciences Spokane
    • Dr. John Roll earned a BA degree from the University of Montana, a MA degree from Saint Bonaventure University, and a PhD from Washington State University. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Pharmacology at the University of Vermont and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Abuse Research at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. He is currently Professor and Vice Dean for Research in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and the Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research at WSU.  He is the Founding Director of the WSU Program of Excellence in Addictions Research and is the Co-Director of the WSU Translational Addiction Research Center. Dr. Roll also founded the Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Center. 

  • Moderator: Michelle HegeDesautel Hege 
    • Michelle is CEO of DH, a Spokane headquartered advertising, branding and public relations firm.  A passionate communications strategist, Michelle has helped many organizations navigate reputational and marketing challenges and opportunities. She has led campaigns in the health care sector for state agencies, hospitals, health insurers, clinics and private foundations.  A master facilitator and expert in behavior change, Michelle has led teams focused on increasing immunization rates, enrolling low-income children in health care, improving oral health and preventing opioid abuse.