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The original item was published from 6/20/2018 9:22:00 AM to 10/2/2018 12:00:02 AM.

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Pitkin County Press Releases

Posted on: June 19, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Surgeon General to Open Opioid Forum in Aspen

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For Media Only: A short, informal Press Conference with Dr. Adams will be held at 5:50 p.m. in the auxiliary gym in the Aspen Elementary School. It will begin promptly at 5:50 and end at 6:00 p.m. Ushers will be available at the entrance to the Aspen Elementary School beginning at 5:45 p.m. to guide you to the room. 

Aspen, Colo. (June 19, 2018) — The top-ranking public health official in the country, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, will open the Opioid Crisis Community Forum at the Aspen School District Theatre tomorrow evening. Adams is in Aspen participating in the Aspen Institute’s Idea’s Festival and agreed to drop-in to the community event. 

“We’re thrilled to introduce Dr. Adams to our community during this important conversation,” said Pitkin County Public Health Director, Karen Koenemann. “His appearance at our event underscores the fact that the opioid crisis is among the top public health concerns in our nation and that Aspen and Pitkin County are not immune,” Koenemann said.  

The Opioid Crisis Community Forum is being co-presented by Aspen Valley Hospital and Pitkin County Public Health. It will include a panel discussion among state and local health leaders, and presentations by local subject matter experts about opioid reduction strategies and other innovative ways to combat the opioid crisis in the community and in the home.

The Opioid Crisis Community Forum will feature individual presentations, a panel discussion, and a demonstration:

  • The Opioid Crisis Overview with Dr. Robert Valuck, Director of the Colorado Consortium of Prescription Drug Abuse.

  • What’s Happening in Our Community with Dr. Kimberly Levin, Aspen Valley Hospital Physician.

  • A 30-minute facilitated question and answer session with expert panelists Dr. Robert Valuck; Dr. Kimberly Levin - Pitkin County Medical Officer; Dr. Kelly Locke; Aspen Valley Hospital Pharmacy Director, Alyssa Franklin; and Pitkin County Sheriff, Joe DiSalvo. 

  • The evening also includes a demonstration by Dr. Levin on how to use Narcan. Narcan (Naloxone) is used to block the effects of opioids, especially in an overdose situation. Mind Springs Health has donated 40 cans of Narcan to be given away to the public at the event.

The Opioid Crisis Community Forum is set for Wednesday, June 20, 2018, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Aspen School District Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. Snacks and light refreshments will be served. More information is available at 

Contact: Pat Bingham - Pitkin County Community Relations - 970-319-6634

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Pitkin County Public Health is a new Department within Pitkin County Government, established in 2017. The Mission of the agency is to to promote health and prevent disease by encouraging environments, policies and systems that support wellness for everyone. Core services include disease investigation and tracking, data collection and assessment, planning for disease outbreaks, environmental health policy/regulatory development and implementation and evidence-based strategies which create tobacco-free environments, and support mental health. This work is accomplished through strong, regional partnerships with community-based organizations, health care providers and residents focused on population-based change.


Founded in 1891, Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) is one of the most sophisticated rural hospitals in the U.S. With twenty-five beds, AVH is designated as a critical access hospital and level III trauma center, meeting the needs of the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley communities, plus thousands of visitors from around the world every year. Combining the warmth and friendliness of a small town with the technical expertise of a major medical center, AVH has been recognized with numerous awards, including a Five-Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid; “Hospital of Choice” award (based on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems results); and a “Top 20 Best Practice in Financial Stability” designation from the National Rural Health Association for critical access hospitals in the U.S., among others. AVH offers a full range of services with board-certified specialists in 25 fields of medicine, with expanded expertise in orthopedics and sports medicine. For over 125 years, Aspen Valley Hospital has been working to deliver extraordinary healthcare in an environment of excellence, compassion and trust. Learn more at or 970/925-1120.

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