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Opioid Task Force Members

Task Force Members

Steven Bender, DDS

College of Dentistry

  • Orofacial pain specialist dentist with extensive clinical experience in the diagnosis and management of patients with head, face, and oral pain
  • Director of the facial pain and sleep medicine program at Texas A&M College of Dentistry
  • Teach undergraduate and graduate students comprehensive and multimodal approaches to pain management
  • Provide continuing education in opioid safety to community dental teams

Michael Ellis, DDS

College of Dentistry

  • Dentist with specialization in pain and pain management
  • Supervises dental students and residents in clinical care and pain management of surgical patients and creates best practice dental curriculum about pain management

Starr Flores, MBA

Texas A&M Coastal Bend Education Center | Healthy South Texas

  • Health educator with special attention to building community and clinical partnerships for Healthy South Texas initiatives in a region with one of the largest number of people who died from opioid-related causes in Texas
  • Develops, implements and coordinates chronic disease self-management and opioid awareness programs for the Coastal Bend Health Education Center and oversees continuing education programs for multiple health professions

E. Paul Holder, PharmD

College of Pharmacy

  • Pharmacist with specialized expertise in federal and state pharmacy law and compounding
  • Provides guidance about pharmacy law related to enforcement, based on his prior leadership role with Texas State Board of Pharmacy

Mansoor Khan, PhD

College of Pharmacy

  • Pharmacist with expertise in abuse deterrent formulations
  • Provides guidance about aspects of abuse deterrent formulations and conducts research about formulations design and development

Carly McCord, PhD

College of Medicine

  • Clinical psychologist with expertise in promoting mental health
  • Develops remote telehealth programs for addressing mental health needs and engages in interprofessional education around mental health issues

Darlene McLaughlin, MD

College of Medicine

  • Clinical psychiatrist and co-clerkship director for third-year medical students
  • Teaches about substance use disorders as part of the general clinical psychiatry curriculum and promotes law enforcement best practices about opioid overdoses using Narcan with the Police Physicians Section for the International Association of Chiefs of Police

Cheryl Pullium, DNP, MSN, ACNS-BC

College of Nursing

  • Advanced practice nurse
  • Provides first-hand experience of opioid crisis from clinical practice at free clinic

Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES

School of Public Health

  • Assesses risk behaviors and substance use issues across the life-course
  • Develops and evaluates behavior change interventions in community, clinical, and corporate settings
  • Works with communities to identify and embed practical and effective upstream innovations and solutions to foster collaborative action

Sloane Williams

Texas A&M Health Marketing & Communications

  • Media, public relations and communications professional
  • Plans, implements and oversees initiatives aimed at promoting Texas A&M Health's excellence in research, education and practice

Bree Watzak, PharmD, BCPS

College of Pharmacy

  • Pharmacist with an emphasis on interprofessional education
  • Engages in addiction research and education, especially in rural populations, and offers continuing medical education and interprofessional education

Meredith Williamson, PhD

College of Medicine

  • Clinical psychologist with expertise in evidence-based psychological interventions and interprofessional treatment of health conditions including chronic pain
  • Provides psychological treatment for individuals with chronic pain, collaborates with physicians on psychosocial interventions for chronic pain, and participates in the development of evidence-based policies for opioid management at the Texas A&M Physicians Clinic

Lixian Zhong, PhD

College of Pharmacy

  • Researcher with expertise in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research
  • Conducts research using national and Texas state-side data to assess the impact of the opioid crisis
  • Evaluates cost-effectiveness of interventions and programs for opioid treatment and management