The 2017 HEAL Annual Conference

"Effective Pain Management in an Era of Opioid Abuse"

April 21, 2017, Samford University 

8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Samford University's Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute's annual conference is designed to help Alabama institutional ethics committees at all levels with some of today’s most pressing health care and law issues.

There are few subjects more prominent on the minds of healthcare practitioners, attorneys, ethicists, institutional ethics committees, practice managers, and yes, even consumers generally, than opioid abuse. Together with our conference presenters, we will examine the ethical frame for ensuring effective pain management to those in need, while at the same time curtailing the opioid epidemic.  


Regions Community Resource Room, Cooney Hall, Samford University


Program tutition is $79 for in-person participants, which includes handout materials and lunch. For the first time, the conference will be available online via WebEx. The tutition for online participation is $49.


Advance registration is encouraged, as seating is limited.


To register for online participation via WebEx, continue with the registration process as normal. When prompted, enter the promotional code "Online," and the price will reduce to $49.

Continuing Education Hours

Continuing education hours will be available in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work.



This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Brookwood Baptist Health and the Center for Faith and Health, Samford University College of Health Sciences.  The Brookwood Baptist Health is accredited by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement: The Brookwood Baptist Health designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.



This conference has been approved for 7.20 Contact Hours (ABN). NurCE is an Alabama Board of Nursing approved provider of continuing nursing education. (Provider Number: ABNP0004, Valid through December 23, 2018).


Logo for ACPE, an continuing education accrediting bodyThe Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This program is appropriate for all pharmacists. All sessions are knowledge based CPE activities.

This program provides 8.5 contact hours (8.5 CEUs) if all sessions are attended.

Credit will be awarded based on attendance and participation. Credit will be uploaded to ACPE through CPE Monitor within 60 days of attendance; NABP e-Profile ID and date of birth (MMDD) are required.

Ethical Plain Management in an Era of Opioid Abuse – Morning Session
0002-9999-17-005-L04-P    0.3 CEUs – must attend all morning sessions to receive credit 

Afternoon Small Group Sessions: 

Ethical Pain Management in Aging Populations with Panel Discussion
0002-9999-17-006-L04-P   0.275 CEUs – must attend both sessions to receive credit

Effective Pain Management in Athletic Training and Physical Therapy with Panel Discussion
0002-9999-17-007-L04-P   0.275 CEUs – must attend both sessions to receive credit

Social Work

This conference has sought approval for 5.75 hours of continuing education from the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners.

Physical Therapy

The Conference is accredited for continuing Physical Therapy Education


Morning Session: 

8 – 8:15 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:15 – 9:15 a.m.
“The Nature of the Soul, Addiction, and the Seven Deadly Sins” 
Dr. Dennis Sansom, PhD

9:15 – 9:30 am.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
“Opioids for Chronic Pain: Whatever Happened to First, Do No Harm?”
David N. Juurlink, BPharm, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FACMT, FAACT

10:30 -11:30 a.m.
“Turning the tide or riptide? Ethical Challenges of the changing opioid epidemic.”
Stefan G. Kertesz, MD, MSc  

Recognition Luncheon

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
At lunch, the institute with award Fellow Status, as well as Pellegrino Medalists

12:45 – 1 p.m.
Transition to Small Group Sessions

Small Group Sessions

1:00 – 2:45 p.m.

  1. “Ethical Pain Management in Aging Populations,” Dr. Maryam Iranikhah, Pharm.D.  and Andrea Collins, D.N.P., NP-C, CNE (Regions Room)
  2. “Effective Pain Management in Athletic Training and Physical Therapy,” Dr. Thomas J. Kopec Ph.D., LAT, ATC (Brooks 134)
  3. “Opioid Abuse and the Role of The Church ,” Mr. Denis Tanner (DLib 233/234/234)

2:45 – 3 p.m.

 3 – 4 p.m.
Closing Panel Discussion 


Nursing faculty member Andrea CollinsAndrea Collins D.N.P., NP-C, CNE

Andrea Collins is an assistant professor for graduate nursing at Samford University's Ida Moffett School of Nursing, and is a practicing family nurse practitioner. Collins received her BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees from Samford University.  She currently coordinates the adult health didactic and clinical courses in Samford’s family nurse practitioner program, with a strong emphasis on developing critical thinking skills and evidence-based clinical judgment. Her clinical experience as a nurse practitioner in adult primary care and chronic pain management has focused heavily on a holistic approach, integrating traditional, complementary and alternative medicine strategies and behavioral change in order to improve patient outcomes.

Pharmacy faculty member Maryam IranikhahMaryam Iranikhah, Pharm.D., FASCP

Maryam Iranikhah is an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy. A 2002 graduate of McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Iranikhah did her residency at a joint Samford University/Jefferson County health department residency. She was honored for her hard work in 2011 when she received the Margaret Self Propst Pharmacy Teacher of the Year award. Iranikhah believes the truth of Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other."

Headshot image of David JurrlinkDavid N. Juurlink, BPharm, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FACMT, FAACT

David Juurlink is a staff internist and head of the division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. He is also a medical toxicologist at the Ontario Poison Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children and a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

He received degrees in Pharmacy (1990) and Medicine (1994) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine (1998) followed by residency in Clinical Pharmacology (2000), a fellowship in Medical Toxicology (2002), and a Ph.D. in Clinical Epidemiology (2003), all at the University of Toronto. He has received certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (Medical Toxicology), and the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology.

He is presently the Sunnybrook site director for the program in Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology and is actively involved with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons subspecialty program in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology as a member of the Nucleus committee and Vice Chair of the Examinations committee.

In addition to his clinical, teaching, and administrative activities, Juurlink maintains an active research program in the field of drug safety. His areas of particular interest include drug safety, adverse drug events, the consequences of drug-drug interactions in clinical practice, and the epidemiology of suicide and deliberate self-poisoning.

Headshot image of Stefan KerteszStefan G. Kertesz, M.D., M.Sc.

Dr. Stefan Kertesz has 20 years of experience in direct provision, management and research on health services delivery and primary care for homeless and other vulnerable populations. His work has included development of methods to assess patient-centered measures of the primary care experience and methods to assess implementation of transformational change in health care environments. His work has also included a focus on pain, opioids, and illicit drug use in context of human development. He currently serves as associate professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Medicine.

Health Professions faculty member Thomas KopecThomas J. Kopec Ph.D., LAT, ATC

Thomas "Tommy" Kopec has been a Certified Athletic Trainer for a decade.  Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, Kopec earned a Master of Science in Physiology of Exercise and Adult Fitness from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. While pursuing his master’s degree, Kopec worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer for Akron’s athletics department, primarily with football and baseball.  In 2009, Kopec returned to his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, accepting a position at the University of South Alabama where he was a part of their inaugural football season. Before returning to The University of Alabama for his terminal degree, Kopec also worked one year as an outreach athletic trainer for Encore Physical Therapy. He currently serves as assistant professor and director of undergraduate athletic training in Samford University's School of Health Professions.

Samford faculty and HEAL presenter Dennis SansomDennis Sansom, Ph.D.

Dennis Sansom is a professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Samford University.  He joined the faculty in 1988.  Although he teaches and conducts research in many areas, he specializes in medical ethics. 

Dennis Tanner

Dennis Tanner serves as the Associate Pastor: Spiritual Formation & Students at Shades Crest Baptist Church. He has 30 years of ministry experience serving in the local church.  Tanner has served as student pastor and minister of education at churches in Alabama, Georgia and Texas.  He has a heart to make disciples. 

Tanner was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and holds degrees from Mobile College (University of Mobile) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Master’s in Religious Education. 

Tanner began Whatever It Takes, a group he and his wife formed in Hoover, Alabama, along with other volunteers, in 2015.  The goal is to do whatever it takes to prevent substance abuse and to establish help for those and their family who already are struggling.

Course Objectives

  1. Summarize the connection between the way we envision the nature of the “self” and treatments for addiction.
  2. Recognize that because addictions pervert the human will, successful therapies for addiction must incorporate compassion for their soul.
  3. Describe the genesis and evolution of the North American opioid crisis.
  4. Outline the measures required to address the opioid crisis as it now exists.
  5. Differentiate between an addiction diagnosis and physiologic dependence through stories of two patients who “can’t stop” opioids.
  6. Apply the central principle for opioid decisions advocated by the CDC Guideline, and avoid inappropriate or harmful policy extrapolations from the Guideline.
  7. Describe the clinical conundrum resulting from fear and lack of knowledge about pain management.
  8. Discuss the ethical issues of managing pain in an aging population.
  9. Describe the prevalence of medicinal abuses in the athletic realm.
  10. Identify parameters for appropriate opioid prescribing and dispensing.