2019 Opioid Summit Speakers

Presenter Biographies

Mona Abdallah-Hijazi, MBA/MHA, Community Engagement Manager, ACCESS Community Health and Research Center

Mona Abdallah-Hijazi is a Public Health Coordinator at ACCESS. She leads the ACCESS Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) Community Coalition and works with Syrian Refugees in the Building Blocks for New Americans Program. She is currently a member of Healthy Dearborn Coalition Steering Committee, Greater Detroit Area Health Council’s Southeast Michigan Alliance for Addiction-Free Communities, and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Team. She will be conducting research in collaboration with Michigan State on substance abuse among Arab Americans in the upcoming year through the Community Based Participatory Research.

Ghada Abdallah, RPh, Clinical Pharmacist, Beaumont Health and DWMHA Board Member

Ghada Abdallah is a Clinical Pharmacist at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak. Prior to joining Beaumont she owned & operated her own pharmacies for 11 years. Abdallah is a board member of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA), where she represents families affected by addiction; a board member with The Family Center in Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods and the Wayne County Pharmacist Association. She is a member of the Michigan Pharmacist Association and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

Sandy Arnold, CPPS, CPRM, CPRC, Peer Recovery Coach/Relapse Prevention Specialist, Detroit Recovery Project

Sandy Arnold Jr. has worked with the Detroit Recovery Project, in Detroit, Michigan since 2007 as a Recovery Coach, Relapse Prevention Specialist, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Counselor. His credentials include: Certified Peer Support Specialist/CPSS (MDCH/BCMHS), Certified Peer Recovery Coach & Mentor (CPRC/CPRM), Fundamentals of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems (FAODP/MCBAP), AODA Counselor Development Plan (MCBAP), Ministering to the Whole Person (John Seay Center).

Wearing many hats as a “Recovery Advocate,” Arnold is known to be tireless and selfless in serving the “Recovery Community” and underprivileged. He has a personal stake in recovery, celebrating 16 years clean from drugs and alcohol on March 7, 2019. It is his passion, through experience, both personal and professional, that he will go that extra mile to help someone in need.

William Beecroft, MD, DLFAPA, Medical Director Behavioral Health, Blue Care Network of Michigan

William Beecroft, MD, is currently responsible for behavioral health management at Blue Care Network of Michigan. Dr. Beecroft is responsible for the medical administration of the division, along with the development and implementation of policy concerning new technologies and medical necessity criteria. During his tenure over the past four years, he has worked to provide services that are not traditionally available to members of an insurance product. He advocated for and achieved “on formulary” status for all the available long-acting injectable antipsychotic medications, developed a mechanism for provision of the injections in the home, developed the ability to provide home visits for members that have dropped out of treatment or recently had an opioid overdose or treatment course, and provided intensive case management to members with chronic and persistent mental illness. Dr. Beecroft has also developed and implemented an autism crisis program to intervene early in the course of a crisis. He has been able to address payment issues and referral strategies to three RAISE/navigate programs in Michigan (the first insurer to do so in Michigan) and to get reimbursement strategies instituted for the BCBSM population that provides first break psychotic individuals evidence-based care to prevent the secondary effects of psychosis.

Dr. Beecroft received his M.D. from Michigan State University. He is board certified in general psychiatry with added qualifications in geriatrics and psychosomatic medicine (recently completing the MOC in 2016) by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Beecroft was named a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2018.

Barika Butler, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority

Barika Butler, MD, is a double-board certified psychiatrist and serves as the Chief Medical Director of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority.

Dr. Butler served as Medical Director for Matrix Human Services, Molina Health Care in Illinois and Chief Medical Officer for the Behavioral Center of Michigan and Samaritan Behavioral Center. She has also served on several boards, including the Wayne State University School of Medicine Alumni Board of Governors, Michigan Dental Association Foundation and as an advisor to the Board of Directors for Vista Maria. Her civic involvement includes current membership in the Junior League of Detroit and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority among others.

Dr. Butler was recognized, with honors, by the American Psychiatric Association in 2010 and twice by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Zahraa Dabaja, President, ACCESS Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) Community Coalition Youth Group, Dearborn High School

Zahraa Dabaja is a freshman at Dearborn High School. She is a member of Students Against Substance Abuse (SASA) and is a partner with ACCESS ASAP. Dabaja was nominated to Junior National Leaders Conference (JrNYLC), a world-class Envision Program held in Washington, D.C. last summer. She has learned to expand her leadership abilities, discover her passion for a future career, build life-ready success skills, and realize the power of her potential.

Amber Daniels, Department Analyst, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)

Amber Daniels is a graduate of Saginaw Valley State University where she earned her Master’s in Public Administration. Daniels has worked in public health for over 9 years beginning her career at Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center as a Public Health Education and Medical Case Manager. She is a certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and has coordinated the Tobacco Reduction Project in persons living with HIV, funded through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Following her role at Sacred Heart, Daniels went on to serve as the Training and Education and Prevention Stakeholder Group Coordinator with the Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative at MDHHS. In June 2018, she joined the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, with the Bureau of Professional Licensing as a Department Analyst. In this role, she reviews data related to overprescribing, over-dispensing and drug diversion cases and works closely with case investigators, as well as the Assistant Attorney Generals who litigate these cases. Additionally, she works with healthcare professionals to understand and interpret Michigan’s opioid and controlled substance legislation, serves as an administrator for the Michigan Automated Prescription System and coordinates outreach efforts in the Bureau of Professional Licensing.

Grenaé Dudley, PhD, President & CEO, The Youth Connection

A professional advocate of children’s welfare for more than 30 years, Dr. Grenaé D. Dudley is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Youth Connection, an independent non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation, whose goal is to connect youth to brighter futures. The nationally recognized Youth Connection works to increase participation in after-school programs, improve academic outcomes, provide nutrition education and obesity prevention, help youth develop job skills through training and paid internships and reduce substance use among youth they serve.

Prior to assuming her present position, Dr. Dudley had been Deputy Director of The Children’s Center of Wayne County, an organization which she joined in 1977. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Dudley is well versed in the issues related to youth surrounding after-school programs – the reduction of youth violence, substance abuse, and early sexual activity – and brings invaluable experience and insight to its mission.

Dr. Dudley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University.

Akil Eckford, Drug Free Club Coordinator, Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan

Akil Eckford graduated with honors from Troy Athens High School in 2017. He is a shining example of how youth can beat the odds with the help of a strong mother and supportive network. Akil celebrates his 6 years of sobriety by sharing his story of overcoming peer pressure and addiction through the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan’s “Let’s Be Real, Real Talk with Akil” segment. He has a passion for mentoring youth and music. Akil is the owner of 100K Entertainment, a company that provides production services to local talent in the Detroit Metropolitan area.

Anjali Franco, Data Scientist, Appriss

Anjali Franco is a Data Scientist with Appriss where she manages the Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs in states and territories across the U.S. Prior to joining Appriss, she earned her master’s degree in Biostatistics from California State University, East Bay and worked for six years as a data analyst and programmer for several large healthcare systems including Kaiser Permanente and the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. At Appriss, she has worked extensively on the opioid epidemic, identifying risks for vulnerable subpopulations.

Andrew Hopson, Board Member, Northwest Wayne Families Against Narcotics

Andrew (Andy) Hopson is an addict in long-term recovery having been active in 12-step recovery since 2001. Hopson is a father of four children, with three struggling with addiction. He has been involved with Families Against Narcotics (FAN) since 2016 and helped to launch the Northwest Wayne chapter in 2017. Hopson is currently a board member of the Northwest Wayne FAN.


Andrew Hudson, Manager, Pharmacy and Drug Monitoring, Bureau of Professional Licensing

Andrew Hudson is the manager of the Pharmacy and Drug Monitoring Section within the Bureau of Professional Licensing, which oversees the drug diversion, overprescribing, and over-dispensing investigations on behalf of our various licensing boards. Prior to becoming manager of DMS, Hudson served as an assistant attorney general for 4 years and advised the Boards of Physical Therapy and Veterinary Medicine and the Health Professional Recovery Committee.

Josh Landon, Reported, FOX 2 Detroit

Born and raised on Detroit’s east side, Josh Landon graduated from Denby High School and earned his degree in broadcast journalism from Eastern Michigan University.

Originally a secondary education major at EMU, Josh was inspired by local television news personalities and was encouraged by friends to give broadcasting a shot. He recalls being interviewed by a news crew as a child at the Detroit International Auto Show, and again by a meteorologist while walking through the local mall. These experiences stuck with him and fueled his curiosity even more.

He drew from that budding interest and grew it into a promising journalism career, starting Lansing, Michigan as a reporter. From there, he worked out of state for eight years, from Florida and Virginia to Wisconsin and now back home with FOX 2 News.

The hometown reporter has been a welcome addition to the team and is proud to bring the news to the city he loves.

April Meadows, Certified Peer Recovery Coach, Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, Inc.

April Meadows is a grateful, recovering addict and survivor of human trafficking. Meadows grew up in Columbus, Ohio in an affluent neighborhood, went to private school, and was accepted to two colleges with a full ride to both. Her addiction started when she was 18 years old, six months after her mother passed away, with alcohol using it as an escape from life. At the time, Meadows did not understand addiction and felt that she did not have a problem. Following the death of her father, Meadows started using every day. She says, that during this time period, she was on a “suicide mission.”

In her attempts to stop using, she moved to Detroit but immediately began using heroin. Soon after, she experienced multiple sexual assaults, physical assault and torture, and as she says, this was all in an effort to get high. Meadows spent three years in-and-out of treatment before it finally clicked and she started to apply everything she had learned.

Meadows was an active addict for 13-years and has been in recovery for 21 months. She credits her success to simple daily actions and learning to deal with life on life’s terms. Meadows currently works as a Certified Peer Recovery Coach at Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, a treatment center that she frequented on her journey to recovery.

Lindsey Naeyaert, MPH, CHCEF, Associate Director of Integrated Health, Michigan Primary Care Association

Lindsey Naeyaert is the Associate Director of Integrated Health at the Michigan Primary Care Association. She possesses a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from Michigan State University, where she was the President of the Physiology Society, and a Master’s in Public Health from Indiana University. Prior to her role as the associate director, she was a clinical specialist focusing on providing training and technical assistance to HIV and LGBT populations, Health Center leadership committees and Emergency Management Preparedness. Currently, Naeyaert oversees substance use services by assisting health centers to expand and implement MAT services and oversees a criminal justice program linking parolees to health care.

Douglas S. O'Brien, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Douglas O’Brien was appointed by the White House in November 2017 to serve as Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Region 5. As a Presidential Appointee, Director O’Brien provides executive leadership as the primary representative for the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The office of the Regional Director is also tasked with intergovernmental and external affairs bringing together federal, state, local and tribal government organizations, along with other external partners. In this role, he is responsible for the six Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, as well as 34 federally recognized tribes. He is currently in his second term as Regional Director, having previously served from 2005-2007.

As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, O’Brien lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, Kate, a corporate attorney and member of the Illinois State Board of Elections and their twins, Patrick and Madeline.

Chris O'Droski, MA, CPRM, CPRC, ENGAGE! Program Coordinator, Hegira Programs, Inc.

Christopher O’Droski has been in long term recovery since October 6, 2008, and has been working in the addiction treatment field since 2010. Currently, O’Droski works as a Recovery Advocate, public speaker, and Peer Support trainer. He is a founding member of the Recovery Community Organization, the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project, and Michigan Recovery Voices. He is a proponent of secular resources, as well as multiple pathways to recovery. O’Droski is the ENGAGE! Program Coordinator at Hegira Health, Inc.


Ranaldo (Ray) Ollie, Deputy Director, Michigan High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA)

Ranaldo (Ray) Ollie began his law enforcement career in 1980 as a Police Officer with the City of Houston, Texas Police Department. During his tenure with the Houston Police Department, Ollie served as a Patrol Officer and Narcotics Detective until 1990 when he started his career with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

During his 28 year tenure with the DEA, Ollie served as a Special Agent in both Domestic and Foreign assignments in the following locations: Houston, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Kingston, Jamaica; Detroit, Michigan; Washington, DC, and Bangkok, Thailand. Immediately prior to his retirement, he served as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the DEA Detroit Division, where he managed DEA Task Forces and HIDTA operational, enforcement, and administrative functions throughout the Detroit Division area of responsibility.

In May 2018, after serving 28 years of U.S. federal government service, Ollie retired from DEA after being appointed to serve in his current capacity as the Deputy Director of the Michigan HIDTA.

Ollie holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston, and throughout his career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations.

Darlene Owens, Director, Substance Use Disorders Initiatives, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority

Darlene D. Owens, is the Director, Substance Use Disorders Initiatives for Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Region 7. Owens’ responsibility is to ensure the delivery of substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services to the Detroit-Wayne County area. She ensures that the network meets all contractual requirements, the services are consumer and community focused, are aligned with best practice and evidence-based methodologies, and are data-driven. She oversees a network of 77 providers that provide prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services with over 125 locations to the residents of Wayne County. She also serves as Region 7’s Women Specialty Services (WSS) Coordinator and oversees WSS spending and program activities.

Owens has worked as a licensed social work for the State of Michigan and is a certified addiction drug counselor, qualified mental health professional, substance abuse treatment specialist, and auricular detox specialist. She has a bachelor of science in Clinical Psychology and a master’s in Business Administration in Health Care Management.

Lauren Rousseau, Professor of Law, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and President, Northwest Wayne Families Against Narcotics

Lauren Rousseau is a Professor of Law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. She is the President of the Northwest Wayne Chapter of Families Against Narcotics and serves on the board of directors of Access to Bankruptcy Court, a nonprofit corporation providing pro bono bankruptcy services to indigent clients. She is one of the founders of Unite to Face Addiction-Michigan, a community group dedicated to increasing awareness of addiction as a mental health issue, eliminating stigma, and advocating for change. She has served on the boards of directors of Home of New Vision, an addiction treatment agency in Ann Arbor, and Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, which oversees nineteen community prevention coalitions and the Oakland County Chapter of Families Against Narcotics.

Professor Rousseau has spoken and written extensively on the subject of addiction and the opioid epidemic. In September 2016, she was honored as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law in recognition of the work she has done in the area of addiction treatment, education, and advocacy. Prior to joining WMU Cooley, she served as Vice President, General Counsel of an automotive supplier; senior litigation attorney at Ford Motor Company; and associate attorney at the law firm Dykema Gossett.

Abdulhassan Saad, MD, Patient First Medical Clinic, PLLC

Abdulhassan Saad, MD, was born and raised in Dearborn, MI. Dr. Saad has a passion for his community and is driven to provide exceptional healthcare to his patients. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Biological Science and the Toledo School of Medicine. Dr. Saad served his residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI and is a dual Board-Certified Beaumont doctor specializing in Internal Medicine (ABIM) and Addiction Medicine (ABPM). After residency, he took a position with a non-profit healthcare organization, IHA, stationed out of Ann Arbor, MI. While working as a general hospitalist for two years he was prepared to open his outpatient Internal medicine primary care clinic back in his hometown of Dearborn Michigan. Dr. Saad opened the primary care clinic in 2016, realizing the need for the primary care providers his community to help with the significant problem of opioid addiction, which has become increasingly common in his practice. Dr. Saad focuses on treating patients with opiate and alcohol dependency and is privileged to work with the DEA and LARA in practice improvement and anti-diversion strategies and provider education.

Noah Smith Partner, Capitol Services, Inc.

Noah Smith brings the Capitol Services team extensive legislative experience in criminal justice, judiciary, behavioral health, insurance, and appropriations. He has been named among the most effective multi-client lobbyists in Lansing by MIRS News.

Smith has been involved in lobbying and government relations for 20 years. After spending time on staff in the legislature, he was named the Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society, where he also served as Area Executive Director for the Capital Area Service Center. Smith has been with Capitol Services for 14 years, and a partner for seven years.

He holds a degree from Grand Valley State University and served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1992 to 2000. He currently lives in DeWitt with his wife, Jennifer, and 3 boys, where much of his free time is consumed driving kids to sports practice.

Timothy Tout, MI-REP Peer Recovery Coach, Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, Inc.

Tim Tout is a certified Peer Recovery Mentor (CPRM) with Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, Inc. (PNLH). His years of hands-on experience and training with other Substance Use Disorder providers in the area has positioned him to be selected as one of the first 100 applicants to be trained and certified as a Peer Recovery Coach in the State of Michigan in 2011. Since this initial certification, he has received his Peer Recovery Mentor (CPRM) credential from the Michigan Certification Board of Addiction Professionals (MCBAP).

In addition to his full-time position at PNLH, Tout works with the 29th District Court Behavioral Treatment Court as a peer recovery coach, spending his Sundays facilitating a relapse prevention group for the probationers that are part of that program. He has been a part of the Western Wayne County Families Against Narcotics (WWFAN) since it was founded and is a huge advocate for FAN, where he helps by presenting on, advocating for, and providing support for the family members and their children that attend the forums.

Tout joined the PNLH team in 2017 to help build and support its Peer Recover Program. Peer Recovery is an important support system at PNLH. He uses his Peer Recovery expertise as a team member of an important pilot program that PNLH operates with criminal justice. The pilot project is called “MI-Rep/CJ Program” and helps inmates that are identified with co-occurring opioid use and mental health disorders prepare for and manage their release from incarceration. His years of experience allows him to successfully help the program participants navigate the various programs that offer help and resources around Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Monroe counties.

Kristine Whalen, PhD, Data Scientist, Appriss

Kristine Whalen is a Data Scientist with Appriss where manages the Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs in states and territories across the U.S. She trained as an epidemiologist, earning her masters and PhD from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, she worked at a clinical research organization as a biostatistician, analyzing phase I-III clinical trials for FDA approval of new drugs and medical devices. Since joining Appriss, she has worked on several projects including PDMP effectiveness, predicting overdose deaths from PDMP prescription history, and identifying bad actors in the opioid space.

Haley Winans, Senior Analyst, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)

Haley Winans is the Senior Analyst for the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), within the Enforcement Division of the Bureau of Professional Licensing at the State of Michigan. Winans administers MAPS in partnership with Appriss Health. Specifically, she oversees various projects and enhancements of MAPS, including the transition from a homegrown system to Appriss Health’s PMP AWARxE software platform, implementing NarxCare, as well as statewide integrations. She manages grants that involve MAPS and assures the proposed projects and reports are completed. As a part of the Enforcement Division, Winans is the point-person for analytics of MAPS, and assists in reviewing data to open overprescribing, over-dispensing, and drug diversion cases. As a follow-up, she works closely with the Investigators of these cases, as well as the Assistant Attorney Generals who litigate these cases by understanding the data and testifying at hearings if required. Haley has been with the State of Michigan for the past seven years, six of which have focused on MAPS. Prior to joining the State of Michigan, she worked as a pharmacy technician at Meijer Pharmacy. Winans graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a Bachelor’s in Health Care Administration.