Speakers at the 2024 Mississippi Opioid Summit

Attorney General Lynn Fitch

Mississippi Attorney General

Lynn Fitch Lynn Fitch was sworn in as Mississippi’s 40th Attorney General and first ever woman Attorney General on January 9, 2020. She was re-elected to her second term in 2023. Raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Attorney General Fitch earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate at the University of Mississippi. At the age of 23, she began her legal career as a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. She continued her career in private practice as a bond lawyer, accumulating more than 35 years of legal experience both in private practice and public service. Before becoming the state’s chief legal officer, Attorney General Fitch served as Mississippi’s elected State Treasurer for eight years, from January 2012 to January 2020. Prior to that, she was selected by Governor Barbour to serve as Executive Director of the Mississippi State Personnel Board (MSPB), and she served as Deputy Executive Director at the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) and as Counsel for the Mississippi House of Representatives Ways and Means and Local and Private Legislation Committees. Attorney General Fitch was active on the national level as State Treasurer, serving as Vice President for the National Association of State Treasurers and as Chair of the State Financial Officers Foundation. Since taking office as Attorney General, she has served on the Executive Committees of the Republican Attorneys General Association and the National Association of Attorneys General, and as Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Human Trafficking Committee. In 2022, TIME named Attorney General Fitch to its list of the 100 most influential people in the world and Worth Magazine named her to its Worthy 100 for her work protecting women and children. She was recognized as one of Mississippi’s Top 50 Most Influential in 2017, 2022, and 2023; selected as Outstanding Woman Lawyer of 2012 and a Woman Trailblazer by the Mississippi Bar Association; and honored with the prestigious Susie Blue Buchanan award by the Mississippi Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Committee. Attorney General Fitch was also named a Mississippi Business Journal Leader in Finance in 2016 and Leader in Law in 2010, as well as a 2015 Honoree of the Women in Government Leadership Program by Governing Magazine. Attorney General Fitch has also been active in her community, serving as a member of the boards of several charitable organizations including First Responders of Mississippi, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Goodwill Industries and the American Red Cross.

Brian Welton, MSHA, MBA

Administrator and CEO, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi

Brian Welton Brian Welton serves as Administrator and CEO of Baptist North Mississippi and is the overall executive management of the hospital. He holds a master’s degree in both health administration and business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee. He came to Baptist in 2012 as a Frank S. Groner Administrative Fellow and served as associate administrator at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. In addition, he has served as the operations director for Baptist Medical Group and as Administrator and CEO for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Crittenden in West Memphis, AR.

Joey Flowers, MBA

Chief Strategy Officer, ARCare

Joey Flowers Joey Flowers began her career with ARcare over 28 years ago. During this time, she has presided over operations, grants management, transportation, construction management, network development and most recently became the Chief Strategy Officer in 2019. When she began, ARcare operated nine Federally Qualified Health Centers; today the organization has expanded to Kentucky and Mississippi, which operates in 80 facilities across Northeastern Arkansas and Western Kentucky and Mississippi.

She has been instrumental in developing partnerships and networks on a statewide basis with regional hospital systems, behavioral health systems and the state PASSE system – Empower. In addition to her work with ARcare, Ms. Flowers also serves in several other organizations. She is currently serving as the Vice President on the White River Regional Housing Authority Board of Directors, Chairman of the Rural Health Association of Arkansas, board member of Mid-South Health Systems, and has participated in the development of three network coalitions with Arkansas and Kentucky through the office of Rural Health and the Delta Regional Authority.

Ms. Flowers graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 1991 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business, and then obtained a Masters of Business Administration in 2007 from the University of Phoenix.

Steven Maxwell, MPA

Director, Mississippi Department of Public Safety Administration Office

Steven Maxwell Steven Maxwell is a seasoned law enforcement officer with 29 years of public service as an Agent of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN). His leadership and management roles with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics include Group Supervisor of Special Operations, Captain of Special Operations, Captain of the Hattiesburg District, Captain of the Jackson Enforcement Team, Major of the Central Region, Major of the Southern Region, Lieutenant Colonel of Enforcement, Deputy Director, Interim Director, Director of MBN and now Mississippi Department of Public Safety Administrative Office. Steven has received numerous accolades, including the MBN Claude Stuckey Award for a sustained and superior record of service, as well as the MBN Director’s Award for outstanding performance and contributions in furtherance of the Agency’s mission.

Steven is a lifelong resident of Mississippi and graduate of Stone County High School in Wiggins. He continued his education by attending Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he obtained an associate degree followed with a bachelor’s degree in Corrections from Langston University. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a graduate of the FBI 252nd National Academy Class and served as an adjunct faculty member of William Carey University from 2013-2018.

Drew Blackstock, MD

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Dr. Drew Blackstock Dr. Drew Blackstock is a family medicine physician who treats all forms of substance abuse disorders, including alcohol, opioid and drugs. He specializes in medication-assisted addiction recovery and high-risk populations, including pregnant women. He has extensive clinical experience in community practice, emergency rooms, urgent care centers and inpatient settings. He is board certified in family medicine and addiction medicine.

He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee. He completed a family medicine residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and is a graduate of the fellowship at the Center for Addiction Science at the University of Tennessee. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Peter Hossler, PhD

Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Rhodes College

Peter Hossler Dr. Peter Hossler earned his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia. He is currently the assistant professor of the Urban Studies Program at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to his arrival at Rhodes College in 2013, he was a research associate in urban political economy in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Dr. Hossler’s research interests have focused on the development of health equity infrastructure for low-income communities with a focus on primary care and SUD/OUD treatment and recovery services. His most recent publications include an exploration of the impact of philanthropic foundations on the critical community resources in Memphis, Tennessee. Additionally, he is the project director on three federal grants, two of which aim to increase the availability of evidence-based approaches to reducing the harmful impacts of risky substance use (RCORP Planning Grant; RCORP Implementation Grant). The third seeks to better understand Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccination rates in under vaccinated communities across the Memphis metropolitan area. Additionally, he is the co-founder and Director of the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis, a free primary care clinic in the Oakhaven community of Memphis.

Sid Sea, RPh

Senior Compliance Agent, Mississippi Board of Pharmacy

Sid Seal Originally from Philadelphia, Mississippi, Sid is a 1985 graduate of the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy. Following graduation he worked for Super D Drugs in the Jackson, Mississippi area for 26 years. In February 2011, he joined the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy as a compliance agent. Over the past 13 years, he has worked cases in cooperation with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, DEA, FDA, AGO, OIG and FBI in areas of pharmacy fraud and diversion. Sid currently serves as Vice President of the National Association of States Controlled Substances Authorities.

Lieutenant Robert Whitten

Law Enforcement Liaison, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics

Robert Whitten Lieutenant Robert Whitten has over 16 years of Law Enforcement Experience. He currently works for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, overseeing their Clandestine Lab Operations and works as their Law Enforcement Liaison with the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy. Lt. Whitten began his career with the Vicksburg Police Department in 2007 and completed the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy in March of 2008. In 2014, Lt. Whitten began working for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, where he began working with the Jackson District Office enforcing drug related crimes in the Central Mississippi area. During his time with MBN, he has also worked with the Pharmaceutical Diversion Unit and had the opportunity to be an instructor for other state and local law enforcement officers. He has attended numerous trainings at the local, state and federal level to further his knowledge and understanding in a variety of fields, with a primary focus on clandestine lab operations, safety and handling, as well as basic and advanced pharmaceutical investigations and tactics.

Stephanie Strutner, MPH

Epidemiologist/Biostatistician/Trainer/Facilitator/Consultant, Catalyst Evaluation Group, LLC

A retired substance use prevention coalition director, Stephanie Strutner, MPH owns and operates an independent consulting firm, Catalyst Evaluation Group, through which she provides support to clients through measuring impact and conducting biostatistical and epidemiological analyses. She also serves as Master Trainer for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and serves as the part-time CEO for the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Emory & Henry College, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management from the University of Tennessee with a focus and field practice in epidemiology and biostatistics, a certificate in Social Enterprise Effectiveness from the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee and is a Level II Certified Prevention Specialist.

Stephanie has spoken to the United States Congress on a number of occasions on the impact drug use has on our communities and has also testified before the Tennessee General Assembly on multiple pertinent prevention issues. In 2018, she was summoned to a meeting in the West Wing of the White House with the President of the United States to discuss effective opioid prevention strategies in local communities. In 2020, the efforts and impact of the coalition she led were selected to be showcased as a case study to Congress. In 2023 she was invited by the Institute for Research and Evaluation (UTRIP of Slovenia) to attend the United Nations Commission on Narcotics and Drugs, the global policy forum for drug policy.

David Magee

Author and Director of Operations, The William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing

David Magee David Magee is the bestselling author of the award-winning Dear William: A Father’s Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, Love and Loss, a Publisher’s Weekly bestseller featured on CBS Morning. He has authored other books including How Toyota Became #1 (Penguin), is a bestseller in India and an award-winning columnist. He was also involved in creating the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi.

His forthcoming memoir is A Little Crazy, a sequel to Dear William, about mental health and recovery. David is a sought-after speaker in schools and universities, addressing students and parents about mental health and substance misuse challenges and solutions.

Few individuals, if any, have spoken in person since COVID to as many students about mental health and substance misuse as David. He's engaged with tens of thousands of students, parents and educators throughout the country since 2021 with his educational and stigma-breaking message. Previously, David was a daily newspaper publisher, a media company president, small business owner, a regular guest on CNBC and once hosted a national cable TV and radio program (The David Magee Show.)

Barry Doughty

Patient Experience Coordinator, Oxford Treatment Center

Barry Doughty Barry is the Patient Experience Coordinator at Oxford Treatment Center in Etta, Mississippi and has over 18 years experience in addiction treatment. He specializes in motivational interviewing and believes all the answers are within each individual. His passion is to help facilitate change that is person-centered, and provide an atmosphere and attitude that is loving, caring and free from judgement. Barry is also in personal recovery, a member of Narcotics Anonymous and has been clean since January 24, 2006.

Charlotte Bryant

Outreach Coordinator, Stand Up Mississippi

Charlotte Bryant is the Outreach Coordinator for the Stand Up, Mississippi campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and direct people who are either uninsured or under-insured to resources for treatment. Through the Stand Up, Mississippi campaign, Charlotte provides Opioid Workplace Awareness Initiative trainings. She also provides training to first responders, law enforcement officers, schools and the community on the proper use of Narcan, an overdose reversal medication. Charlotte is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Her experience includes working with the Department of Education for over 25 years where she served as State Director with several student organizations, providing students with leadership and academic skill training, Director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21s CCLC) Grant for afterschool programs and Title I Federal Programs. She holds her higher education degree from Belhaven University.

Keynote Speaker: Stephen D. Loyd, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Cedar Recovery

Stephen D. Loyd Dr. Stephen Loyd is an Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine physician who graduated medical school and residency from the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Loyd was the Assistant Commissioner (Opioid Czar) for Substance Abuse Services in the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Governor Bill Haslam’s administration. He has served as an expert witness in more than twenty federal and state cases against physicians who were improperly prescribing controlled substances. Dr. Loyd was named an Advocate for Action by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), an office of the President of the United States. He has delivered over five hundred educational lectures on addiction and treatment of opioid use disorder and proper prescribing of controlled substances.

Dr. Loyd was an original member (still active) of the Treatment of Chronic Pain Guidelines Committee, which defined pain treatment for providers in the state of Tennessee. He has worked as an Addiction Medicine Physician in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, specializing in the treatment of opioid dependent pregnant women. Dr. Loyd has served on multiple drug courts in Tennessee and remains an active participant in drug court in the 4th Judicial District under Judge Duane Slone. He has worked with multiple community level anti-drug coalitions from Johnson County to Shelby County and has worked with all levels of state law enforcement, mainly the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Cedar Recovery in Tennessee and is the current Chair of the Tennessee Opioid Abatement Council appointed by current Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

Dr. Loyd has been in recovery from opioid and benzodiazepine addiction since July 8, 2004.

Tiffany Tine

Recovery Coach, MississippiCare

Tiffany Tine Tiffany is a Lived Experience Professional with over 8 years of long-term recovery. In her current role as Recovery Coach at MississippiCare, she serves as a navigator for those on the journey to recovery by providing resources, experience, strength and hope. Prior to working for MississippiCare, Tiffany served as a Certified Peer Support Specialist Professional and Peer Bridger at North Mississippi State Hospital for 5 years. She is trained in Forensic Peer Support and is also a Wellness Recovery Action Plan Seminar I Facilitator. Tiffany is Co-Chair of Substance Use for the Mississippi Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council, where she advises Mississippi’s Department of Mental Health on grant funding disbursement in Mississippi communities. She is a senior at the University of Mississippi completing a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies and minoring in social work, criminal justice and psychology. Tiffany enjoys helping in the community and has a passion for helping those who are dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.