A number of team members from Damascus Way had the privilege of attending the State of Reform Health Policy conference for Minnesota on December 7th at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul. Brooke Cunningham, the commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health opened things up in the morning by speaking on some of the pressing concerns in Minnesota health policy and management, touching on the importance of collaborating in order to address mental health and substance misuse across the state.

Throughout the day individuals from various departments and organizations hosted breakout sessions on topics such as SUD (Substance use disorder) treatment, housing concerns and behavioral health integration. Members of our team were especially privileged to attend  a session on increasing access to SUD treatment and another on working to address racial disparities. The urgency of the opioid epidemic was underscored and panelists detailed the work that is occurring to address this issue as well as the progress being made. A session on health related social needs was also facilitated by Allan Godfrey (Director, Field Services, Minnesota Department of Corrections) and Tim Walsh (Chief Executive Officer, NorthStar Regional).

Damascus Way extends its gratitude to the organizers of the State of Reform for giving us a voice in these conversations!