Baptist and MississippiCare Host First Mississippi Opioid Summit

Keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Loyd

Baptist Memorial Health Care Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine and MississippiCare hosted the state’s first opioid summit on Friday, April 5. More than 170 addiction medicine, social services and law enforcement professionals attended. The event, held at the Oxford Conference Center, promoted best practices among the recovery community to help address the opioid epidemic in Mississippi and throughout the U.S.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch opened the summit. Dr. Stephen Loyd, CMO at Cedar Recovery, gave the keynote address.

Sessions offered at the event for clinical workers, law enforcement and prevention and recovery specialists explained how to recognize and understand the role of health care providers in supporting individuals who use recreational drugs, identify stigma reduction and harm reduction principles, and understand patient-centered approaches to care and the importance of ongoing support and aftercare during recovery.

Brian Welton, CEO and administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, spoke at the summit. He said, “I am pleased Baptist Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine and MississippiCare have worked together to host the first Mississippi Opioid Summit in Oxford. This is an important issue for our community and the country, as opioid overdoses continue to increase year after year. Through our combined and concerted efforts, we can respond strategically and identify long-term solutions that can have positive results and help our communities heal.”

A speaker at the event, Joey Flowers, chief strategy officer for MississippiCare, said, “Working alongside the Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine to host this summit is pivotal to the work of MississippiCare. Addressing this epidemic is more effective when our medical community works together, and we are happy to align our resources to educate and equip as many people as possible in the recovery business.”

Sierra Butler, project manager for Baptist Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine, and Steven Maxwell, director at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Administrative Office, also spoke at the event.

Additional speakers included representatives from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and others working in the addiction medicine sector.

In 2022, Baptist Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine collaborated with MississippiCare to identify post-acute, follow-up care for patients with opioid use and/or alcohol use disorder in Mississippi.

MississippiCare is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care, behavioral health, nutrition services and a variety of additional services, including clinical pharmacy consults, to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay. Baptist and MississippiCare’s collaboration resulted in a Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medicated Assisted Treatment access grant to increase access points to treatment and provide medications and supportive services to individuals with opioid use disorder and/or alcohol use disorder.