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5th Annual Penn State Addiction Symposium

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Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Junker Auditorium

500 University Drive

Hershey, PA 17033

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Event description


The Penn State Addiction Center for Translation (PS ACT) presents:

The Fifth Annual Penn State Addiction Symposium and Addiction Dinner

This year we are very excited to welcome Yngvild Olsen, MD, and Joshua Sharfstein, MD as our keynote speakers. Dr. Olsen is the Director of the Institutes for Behavioral Resources, Inc., a comprehensive addiction treatment center in Baltimore City, and Vice President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Sharfstein is Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He previously served as the Health Commissioner of Baltimore, Prinicpal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. FDA, and Health Secretary of Maryland.

Book cover

Our esteemed speakers co-authored the book The Opioid Epidemic: What Everyone Needs to Know, "an accessible, nonpartisan overview of the causes, politics, and treatments tied to the most devastating health crisis of our time. Its comprehensive approach and Q&A format offer readers a practical path to understanding the epidemic from all sides: the basic science of opioids; the nature of addiction; the underlying reasons for the opioid epidemic; effective approaches to helping individuals, families, communities, and national policy; and common myths related to opioid addiction."

"As two of the most distinguished experts on addiction and the opioid epidemic, Drs. Olsen and Sharfstein have written a definitive guide to understanding the epidemic and arming readers with information backed by science and evidence to help themselves, their loved ones, and their communities." --Michael Botticelli, Executive Director, Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine and former Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

"In The Opioid Epidemic, Drs. Olsen and Sharfstein lay out with clarity and eloquence the root causes and solutions to a crisis that has devastated communities across the United States. Whether you are a parent, a policymaker, a physician, or a concerned citizen, everyone should read this book." --Vivek Murthy, 19th Surgeon General of the United States

***Free Book!***

Drs. Olsen and Sharfstein have kindly made it possible for us to provide a number of books to event participants for free. We will give books to dinner guests and the first 100 symposium registrants who also physically attend the events (in whole or in part). Register early to receive your book!

Addiction Symposium

Drs. Olsen and Sharfstein will present "Applying Science to Clinical Care -- What it Really Means to Treat Addiction as a Chronic Illness" over the lunch hour (12:00-1:00pm).

-the talk will be live streamed and recorded (

-CMEs and CEs will be available for Penn State Hershey employees for the Keynote address.

-Lunch will be provided for those who register by December 3, 2019. (All are still welcome, but please know that we are unable to guarantee food for those who register late due to catering constraints).

The Featured Penn State Speaker this year is Yuval Silberman, PhD, who will be presenting "Stress Neurocircuitry and Addiction Across the Lifespan."

During the rest of the day, faculty members and clinician/scientists will share their current addiction-related research using brief 5-10 minute data blitz-style presentations. Students, post docs, and faculty members will also have an opportunity to present their work in a poster session. We will learn about the breadth of preclinical and clinical addiction research going on at the various Penn State campuses and build opportunities for collaboration.


To be considered to present a POSTER or DATA-BLITZ talk submit an ABSTRACT to Sarah ( no later than Monday, October 14, 2019. You will be notified of acceptance during the first week of November.

In your abstract submission, please include: 1) the poster title, 2) the names and 3) affiliations of all of the authors 4) indicate the presenting author, 5) provide presentin author's email address, 6) approx 250 words outlining your work. All abstracts will be printed in the program.


If you are interested in attending the SYMPOSIUM, or simply attending Drs. Olsen and Sharfstein's Keynote address and having lunch, please register by December 3, 2019.

All are welcome, regardless of registration status, however we are unable to guarantee meals for those registering late.


Please note that we have reserved a block of rooms at a local hotel for our guests from out of town. Funding is available to offset the price. Please contact Sarah before November 17 for details.

Tentative Schedule

8:15 am Registration/Check in begins

9:00 am Welcome

9:15 am Featured Penn State Addiction Researcher: Stress Neurocircuitry and Addiction Across the Lifespan, Dr. Yuval Silberman

10:00 am Faculty presentations

12:00 pm Keynote Address: Applying Science to Clinical Care -- What it Really Means to Treat Addiction as a Chronic Illness, Drs Olsen and Sharfstein

1:00 pm Poster session

2:30 pm Faculty presentations

4:00 pm General Discussion and Closing Remarks

Addiction Dinner

As in previous years, we will also be holding a Faculty Dinner before the Symposium. This for faculty OR by invitation. Faculty members and invited guests will be prompted to sign up for the dinner during the registration process. If you have difficulties registering, please contact Sarah (

Tentative Schedule

5:30-6:30pm Social Hour (cash bar)

6:30-7:30pm Buffet Dinner

7:30-7:45pm Address by Rachel Levine, MD, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of PA

7:45-8:45pm Keynote address: Doing More of What Works and Less of What Doesn't--The Policy Callenge for the Opioid Epidemic, Drs. Sharfstein and Olsen

8:45pm Discussion and Dessert

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Addiction Symposium or Addiction Dinner, please do not hesitate to contact Sarah (


Is this addiction event for everyone?

All are welcome!

We strive to bring together all interested in the topics of Substance Use and Addiction. That said, the content of the Addiction Symposium is generally research-based and data-driven, so may not be appreciated by all audiences. Though we request presentations be accessible to a wide audience, there will be some complex concepts presented from genetic and molecular work to human subjects work and everything in between.

The keynote address will be geared toward a wider, more general audience. If you have concerns as if this event may be of interest or use to you, please contact Sarah (

I signed up, but you don't have a record of my registration...

Unfortunately mistakes happen, and we greatly apologize for any mixups. To be safe, please make sure that you receive a confirmation pop up after you complete the registration form, as well as a confirmation email. If you encounter any problems, or suspect anything is not right with your registration, please contact Sarah (

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to the Symposium?

If you are not a Penn State Hershey Employee, please park in Center View Garage (with the Conference Center for overflow parking). Take the Campus Shuttle (running every 10-15 minutes) to the North Entrance, and then take the North Elevators down one floor to the ground level. As you exit the elevators, turn left, and Junker Auditorium will be directly on your right.

If you are traveling from Penn State Main Campus, there is a Shuttle that leaves UP at 7:00am and arrives in Hershey at approximately 9:05 am. It leaves Hershey at 4:15pm and arrives back at UP at 6:25pm.

If you are interested in carpooling, please indicate this on the registration form. We will help to set up carpooling from branch campuses as indicated.Penn State Hershey First Floor MapHow can I contact the organizer with any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Addiction Symposium or Addiction Dinner, please contact Sarah at

What if I am unable to attend after I have registered?

If you find that you are unable to attend any of the events for which you register, please let us know (, preferably 72 hrs in advance so that we can make appropriate adjustments to the food orders.

What if I register late?

You are still welcome to attend!

All are welcome, and the event is free to attend. By registering ahead of time (by December 3rd), you are guaranteed food, a name badge, and if you are within the first 100 to register and attend the symposium, a free book.

Are continuing education credits being offered?


This year we have arranged for CMEs to be available for phyicians and nurses employed at Penn State Hershey. APA credits will also be available. Please indicate your interest in receiving credits on the registration form.

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Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Junker Auditorium

500 University Drive

Hershey, PA 17033

View Map

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