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Release Date: 11/21/2016

Kent Hospital, in conjunction with the East Greenwich Drug Program, will host an opioid forum, Unscripted, highlighting the nation’s opioid crisis on Thursday, December 1, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at the Westminster Unitarian Church, in East Greenwich. The forum is free, open to the community and will feature an array of speakers and panelists who will share their insights into various components of a frightening epidemic.

“As the community hospital for East Greenwich and the 300,000 people who comprise Kent’s service are, we are committed to bringing much-needed attention to this important issue as we continue to see tragic results coming into our emergency department and our intensive care unit,” said Ehsun Mirza, MD, critical care specialist at Kent Hospital. “Opioid abuse has been on the rise for several years now and continues to have serious effects on our community. Coming together for this important forum can only help provide critical awareness on the dangerous effects of these drugs to so many in our area, especially our youth.”

The speaking program for Unscripted includes:

  • Ehsun Mirza, MD, critical care specialist, Kent Hospital

Opioid Forum Speakers

  • Lisa Marzilli, Pharm. D., adjunct professor, University of Rhode Island, and nationally recognized speaker
  • Kelly Matson, Pharm. D., member, Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group, professor, URI School of Pharmacy
  • Michelle McKenzie, MPH, senior projector director, Miriam Hospital, director of Preventing Overdose and Naloxone Intervention (PONI)
  • Reinhard Straub, MSW, clinical and business liaison, American Addiction Centers
  • The Honorable Brian P. Stern, superior court justice, chief of staff for former Rhode Island Governor, Donald Carcieri
  • Thomas Raimondo, MD, pulmonary disease specialist, intensive care unit, Kent Hospital

Event Coordinator
  • Robert L. Houghtaling, M.ED, director, East Greenwich Drug Program, CEO, Academy Foundation

For more information, please contact Robert Houghtaling at (401) 230-2246 or

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About Kent Hospital

Kent Hospital, a Care New England Hospital, is a 359-bed, acute care hospital. It is Rhode Island’s second largest hospital, serving approximately 300,000 residents of central Rhode Island.

A teaching affiliate of The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kent offers programs in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and an Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship. Kent’s redesigned Emergency Department (ED) sees approximately 70,000 patients a year and ranks Kent’s ED volume among the top 10-percent nationally. It was the first hospital in the state to eliminate the practice of ambulance diversion.

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Contact Information

Jim Beardsworth
P: (401) 737-7010, ext. 31395