November 30, 2017 – Opioids- A Community Conversation

November 30, 2017 – Opioids- A Community Conversation

Law enforcement, community leaders and health experts to hold community conversation to discuss efforts to address the Opioid epidemic. Conversation presented by HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur Memorial Hospital, WSOY and Hosted by Millikin University.

How widespread is the Opioid problem in our community? How does this addiction begin?  How can people who narrowly survive a drug overdose put their lives in danger again by immediately returning to substance use? And what can be done?

Those important questions will be explored at “Opioids – A Community Conversation”, a free public event to be held Monday, December 4th at 6 p.m. in banquet room B in the Millikin University Commons Building on the campus of Millikin University.

This important community conversation is presented by Decatur Memorial Hospital, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, WSOY and The conversation will bring together law enforcement, medical experts and addiction services who are working on the front lines of this crisis, a widespread public health problem that has claimed the lives of over 11,000 people in Illinois alone since 2008.  That is twice the number of fatal car crashes in the same period.

“At Decatur Memorial Hospital, we are vigilant about preventing Opioid addiction,” said Timothy D. Stone, Jr., President and CEO of Decatur Memorial Hospital. “We ensure our providers are educated about appropriate prescribing procedures, and we offer alternatives to pain management that don’t involve Opioids.”

“The opioid epidemic is a serious issue that affects many people in our community. St. Mary’s Hospital is committed to not only bringing awareness to the crisis but increasing the care and treatment that those suffering from the chronic disease of addiction need and deserve” says Joan M. Coffman, president and CEO of HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital.

Both Coffman and Stone will join the panel, including:

  • Dr. John Furry, Director, St. Mary’s Pain Medicine Center
  • Dr. Ted Clark, Medical Director of the DMH Emergency Care Center
  • Jay Scott, Macon County State’s Attorney
  • Chief Jim Getz, Decatur Police Department
  • Sheriff Howard Buffett, Macon County Sheriff’s Office
  • Debbie Bogle, Director, United Way
  • Tanya Andricks, Director, Crossings Healthcare
  • Candi Clevenger, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center
  • Dr. Jo Carter, Associate Professor of Nursing, Millikin University
  • Mary Garrison, Professor of Social Work, Millikin University

Brian Byers, host of Byers & Co and VP of Development for Neuhoff Media will moderate the panel.

“Opioids – A community Conversation” will also be broadcast live, commercial free, on WSOY – 1340 AM, 103.3 FM and streaming live on  A full podcast of the conversation will also be made available on  This commercial free broadcast is presented by Decatur Memorial Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital.

ABOUT DECATUR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Decatur Memorial Hospital (DMH), located in Decatur, Ill., is a 300 bed, not-for-profit, community hospital that has been providing medical care since 1916 for the residents of Central Illinois. Today, DMH has nearly 2,150 dedicated employees, 300 physicians, and is a designated Level II Trauma Center. DMH has been recognized six consecutive years as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital from IBM Watson Health. For more information, visit

ABOUT HSHS ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL: Founded in 1878 by three Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is a 244-bed, all private room health care facility that combines modern technology with the caring spirit of the original founders. St. Mary’s is situated on an attractive 21-acre campus overlooking Lake Decatur and offers a broad spectrum of comprehensive health services, including the latest diagnostic equipment, interventional cardiology, surgical and medical intervention, emergency medical care, outpatient radiation therapy, pain management and a sleep center. St. Mary’s also offers a wide range of community education and wellness programs. The hospital also has both a unique intergenerational day services program and the community’s only provider of hospital-based behavioral health services for all ages. Learn more by visiting

ABOUT MILLIKIN UNIVERSITY: Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features Performance Learning, a unique learning approach offered only at Millikin that gives students the chance to build the confidence and skills to succeed before and after graduation. Millikin offers more than 50 majors in the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business, and is located on a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Ill. Last year, 99 percent of Millikin graduates gained employment or admission into professional/graduate school within six months of graduation. More information is available at

For media inquires, contact Lindsay Romano,, 217-423-9744