Opioid Advisory Task Force Leadership Committee

Ben Clark, PhD

Medical School, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Clark is the senior program manager for the University of Minnesota’s Medical Discovery Team on Addiction (MDTA). He is a University of Minnesota alumnus of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. As senior program manager of the MDTA he works closely with the MDTA Director, Dr. Mark Thomas, to lead and oversee the operational efficiency of the day-to-day research support functions and to provide key strategic direction of the MDTA initiative.

Bobbi Daniels, MD

Office of Academic Clinical Affairs

Bobbi Daniels is the Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs and is responsible for developing innovative solutions to vexing health care problems by bringing together expertise from across the University and by engaging with community partners.

Carolyn Fairbanks, PhD

College of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutics

Carolyn Fairbanks develops non-addictive analgesic medications to treat chronic pain and treatments for opioid addiction. She also uses pre-clinical models of opioid addiction and relapse in the context of chronic pain to understand how the reward centers may be altered under the condition of chronic pain.

James Fricton DDS, MS

University of Minnesota Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, and Public Health

Dr. Fricton is a Professor Emeritus in the University of Minnesota Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, and Public Health. He was trained in Dentistry at the University of Iowa and in Medical Anesthesiology and Pain Management at UCLA School of Medicine and started the Orofacial Pain Program at the University of Minnesota. He has 40 years of experience in patient care, University teaching, and National Institutes of Health-sponsored research on relieving and preventing chronic head and neck pain and use of health information technology in patient care.

Ann Ingwalson, PsyD

College of Continuing & Professional Studies
Dr. Ingwalson is a resident faculty member and Interim Director of Graduate Studies of the Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health and the Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling programs. She teaches a number of courses in the IBH and ADDC programs while serving as a valuable resource for students navigating the internship program. Since 1994, her primary focus has been working with children, adolescents, and families. Ann holds a dual license as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor from the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy.

Cresta Jones, MD, FACOG

Medical School, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health (OBGYN), Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Jones holds numerous leadership and advisory positions related to her care of women with substance use disorder in pregnancy.

Pinar Karaca-Mandic, PhD

Carlson School of Management, Finance (MILI)

Pinar Karaca-Mandic teaches economics of healthcare marketplace, health finance and medical technology evaluation, including as related to pharmaceutical use. She has published on issues related to opioid prescribing by physicians and hospitals, and is also the PI on a new grant by American Cancer Society to study the entry and uptake of biosimilar drugs in the U.S. markets.

Robert Levy, MD

Medical School, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program

Robert Levy practices full-spectrum family medicine, including obstetrics. He is treasurer of the Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine and was elected to a repeat term on the American Society of Addiction Medicine Public Policy Committee in 2018. He recently received a grant from SAMHSA to help Minnesota address the opioid epidemic. His interests are in healthcare professionals who have substance use disorder, chronic pain management, the integration of addiction treatment into primary care, hospital medicine, rural ER, and addiction in pregnancy and the neonatal period. He is also treasurer at the Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine.

Kerry Michael, PhD

U of M-Morris, Psychology

Kerry Michael is a professor of psychology at UMN Morris. She is the co-PI on a grant to evaluate drug court program in MN Eighth Judicial District.

Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, AE-C

College of Pharmacy, Duluth, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Laura Palombi is an assistant professor and community-based participatory action researcher focused on preventing and addressing substance abuse. She has been involved in a variety of projects and collaborations in Northeastern Minnesota, including memberships on numerous rural coalitions and partnerships with public health departments. She has affiliate appointments in the School of Public Health and Center for Bioethics.

Colin Planalp, MPA

School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Management

Colin Planalp studies the evolution of the opioid crisis, from its early days driven by prescription painkillers, followed by the ascent of heroin, fentanyl and other non-opioid substances that often mingle in the illicit drug trade.

Charles Reznikoff, MD

Medical School, Department of Medicine

Charles Reznikoff participates in the Minnesota Department of Human Service Opioid Provider Work Group. He collaborates with the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement to improve consistency of opioid prescribing and addiction treatment statewide. He also works with the Minnesota Medical Association and the Steve Rummler Hope Network to develop curriculum for medical students and providers to better prescribe opioids and treat opioid addiction.

Clarence Shannon IV, MD

Medical School, Department of Anesthesiology

Dr. Shannon has demonstrated excellence as a clinician, teacher, mentor, and researcher. His leadership as Executive Medical Director of Pain Management has resulted in a comprehensive care model that is transforming treatment for patients seeking relief from chronic pain while dramatically reducing the reliance on opioids.

Daniel Skaar, DDS, MS, MBA

School of Dentistry, Division of Periodontology; Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology

Dr. Skaar’s research interests and publications focus on clinical medical and pharmacology issues affecting oral health care. Recent research interests include antibiotic prophylaxis and stewardship, and pharmacogenomic applications in acute pain management. He has directed and presented numerous continuing education programs on a variety of pharmacology topics.

M. Kumi Smith, PhD, MPIA

Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Kumi Smith is an assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health in the UMN School of Public Health. She leads research on ways to improve equitable access to addiction treatment, particularly for communities of color, people experiencing homelessness, and people who inject drugs. She also teaches a graduate course called "The Drug Overdose Crisis in America." She engages in regular outreach activities as a volunteer at Southside Harm Reduction Services in Minneapolis.

Mark Thomas, PhD

Medical School, Department of Neuroscience

Mark Thomas studies brain pathways and stimulation to prevent drug addiction relapse. These studies will provide insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of an important form of experience-dependent plasticity that may hold some of the clues to drug addiction.

Deb Wamsley, MA

College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Debra Wamsley has spent most of her career providing evidence-based care for co-occurring addictions and mental health concerns. In addition to primary care, her interests include advocacy and dispelling disparate access and resources for underserved communities.

George Wilcox, PhD

Medical School, Department of Neuroscience

George Wilcox’s research is focused on neural mechanisms of opioid analgesia and analgesic synergy in spinal cord and peripheral tissues. He and his team have developed a non-addictive combination opioid treatment that lacks the CNS side effects like respiratory depression and addiction liability.