Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments to the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission

Monday, September 12, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the initial appointments to the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission, created by the Executive Order he signed in June.

The 21-member Commission, housed within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, will review the Report of Findings and Recommendations for Action from the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force and develop and propose policies and an action plan to implement the recommendation from the report.

“Prescription drug and opioid abuse is a very serious issue impacting people in communities all across our state,” Snyder said. “Members of this commission will work on the necessary steps to help prevent drug-related deaths in Michigan.”

The creation of the commission was a recommendation of the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force the Governor created last year that was chaired by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. Other recommendations can be found in the statewide action plan.

Appointments:

Dr. Stephen Bell of Carleton is the president and attending physician at Newport Internal Medicine, and is executive director of the Wayne County Osteopathic Medical Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, master’s degree from Western Washington University and a doctor of osteopathic medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will represent osteopathic doctors.

Dr. Vincent Benivegna of Okemos is an oral surgeon at Mid-Michigan Oral Surgery P.C., and is a member of Michigan Gives Kids a Smile, providing volunteer oral surgery services. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a doctor of dental surgery from the University of Michigan Dental School. He will represent dentists.

Dr. Rebecca Cunningham of Ann Arbor is the director of the CDC-funded University of Michigan Injury Center, and an attending physician at both Hurley Hospital and the University of Michigan, Department of Emergency Medicine. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University and a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. She will represent allopathic doctors.

Richard Dettloff of Rockford is a medical outcomes specialist at Pfizer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Ferris State University and a doctor of pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati. He will represent pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Lisa Gigliotti of East Lansing is an administrative law manager with the Michigan Administrative Hearing System. She has experience with the End of Life Commission, which focuses on improving pain and symptom management in Michigan. Gigliotti has lived with severe rheumatoid arthritis for 30 years. She has developed With Courage I Can, LLC and written four books designed to encourage people to live a life of purpose and optimism despite chronic pain. Gigliotti earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s College and a juris doctorate from the University Of Detroit School Of Law. She will represent chronic pain sufferers.

Timothy Hurtt of Portage is the undersheriff for the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office and previously served as the director of public safety and student services at Kellogg Community College. Hurtt holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and completed an intensive executive police management program at the Center for Public Safety at Northwestern University. He will represent law enforcement officers.

Dr. Stephen Lazar of Marshall is the owner of Lazar Psychological Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville, a master’s degree in educational psychology and counseling and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He will represent psychologists.

Paula Nelson of Riley is the president and chief executive officer of Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center, Inc., and also has held the roles of vice president of client services, chief operating officer and vice president of quality improvement. She holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Walsh College. She will represent substance abuse treatment providers.

Dr. Melissa Owings of Clarklake is owner and president of Kibby Park Animal Hospital in Jackson. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor University, a certificate in veterinary acupuncture from Chi Institute and a doctor of veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. She will represent veterinarians.

Dr. Michael Paletta of Northville is the vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer of Hospice of Michigan and is a clinical assistant professor at Wayne State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Albion College and a medical degree from Wayne State University. He will represent Michigan hospice organizations.

Dr. Gretchen Schumacher of Belmont is the director of the nurse practioners program and an assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Nursing. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing from Butler County Community College, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Slippery Rock University, a master’s in nursing from Clarion/Edinboro and Slippery Rock Universities, a Ph.D. in nursing from Duquesne University of Pennsylvania. She will represent registered professional nurses.

Mary Sclabassi of Novi is chief of police for the City of Taylor and previously served as commander of internal affairs/investigative services, and lieutenant of investigative services. She is a graduate of Oakland Police Academy, Leadership 21, holds a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Detroit-Mercy. She will represent law enforcement officers.

Patrick Shannon of Mackinac Island is the chief judge for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, an adjunct faculty at Central Michigan University and previously served as director of charter schools for Bay Mills Community College. He holds both a bachelor’s in business administration and a doctorate in educational administration and community leadership from Central Michigan University, a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from the University Of Detroit School Of Law. He will represent the general public.

Dr. Roy Soto of Bloomfield Hills is a professor in the department of anesthesiology at Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a doctor of medicine from Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences at F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine. He will represent Michigan medical schools.

Larry Wagenknecht of Haslett is the chief executive officer of Michigan Pharmacists Association. He is a licensed pharmacist and holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan. He will represent statewide pharmacy associations.

Dr. Laurie Wesolowicz of Northville is the Director II of Pharmacy Services Clinical for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, is the co-chair of the BCBSM Controlled Substance Workgroup, co-chair of the BCBSM Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and the director of the PGY-1 Managed Care Residency Program. She holds a doctor of pharmacy from the University of Michigan. She will represent pharmacists.

Adam Wilson of Petoskey is a physician assistant at Harborside Spine and Sport Center. He holds both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Central Michigan University. He will represent physician’s assistants.

Ex-Officio Members:

  • Dr. Debra Pinals, designee of the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lt. Col. W. Thomas Sands, designee of the Director of Michigan State Police
  • Carol Isaacs, designee of the Attorney General
  • Linda Davis, designee of the Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs – will serve as chair

Members will serve two-year terms expiring on Sept. 1, 2018, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Executive Order 2016-15 also abolishes the Controlled Substances Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management

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