Opioid Use Disorder: Hope for Healing

On April 26, 2022, the School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) at the University of San Francisco (USF) held the Annual Crawford Lecture thanks to the generous gift of Geraldine Crawford, who was cared for by USF nursing students and graduates. On this opportunity, the Crawford Lecture provided an interdisciplinary understanding of the opioid misuse and use disorder crisis and discussed the need and opportunity for increased education and training among health professionals to provide a Radical Hope for Healing. In his welcoming remarks, USF President Paul Fitzgerald, S.J. highlighted the importance of this subject area, “...where the best of science needs are bolstered by the best of compassion and the best of a humanistic approach to health care.”

Remote video URL

Keynote Speakers

Alicia Kletter
Alicia Kletter ’22 is completing her Doctor of Nursing Practice with emphasis as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her professional background includes 22 years as a nurse and nurse practitioner, with extensive work in substance abuse use and use disorders, methadone maintenance, including extensive work in perinatal opioid use disorder treatment. She has developed and widely presented education and training related to perinatal opioid use disorders and methadone maintenance for numerous agencies and disciplines, including nursing, law enforcement, family course, and services agencies. She has worked extensively with students, community workers, and students in BAART internships.

Evan Kletter
Dr. Evan Kletter ’91, Ph.D., Psychology from Alliant International University has a 30-year career at BAART Programs, a health care company that provides substance abuse, mental health, and primary medical services to indigent populations. He was CEO of BAART until it was acquired in 2015 and renamed BayMark Health Services. The company has more than 100 clinics in the United States and Canada. Dr. Kletter continues to serve on BayMark's board. Dr. Kletter has also served on USF’s Presidential Commission on Health Professions. He is a past recipient of USF’s Alessandri Alumni Service Award and since 2014 on USF’s Board of Trustees.

During the lecture, Dr. Kletter stated, “According to the latest statistics from the DHHS, nationally, 10 million people in the past year used illicit opioids. This could mean anything from illegal heroin and illicit fentanyl use to taking someone else’s opioid pain medication, to using their own opioid medications not as prescribed. The definition is broad and when we think about it - it helps us appreciate the vastness of the problem, the lack of a ‘stereotypical addicted patient’.”

Alicia Kletter then guided the audience to reflect on the following: “As a doctoral student currently, I appreciate research and data. Like many of you, we pour over research articles, spend hours preparing to write papers by looking at the available evidence, and we agree that evidence-based practice is of utmost importance. What I struggle with, and maybe many of you do as well, is how to translate that research, that data, those numbers, into actual patient care. How do we take our knowledge and transform it into some actionable item we can employ when sitting in an exam room with a very sick patient suffering from opioid use disorder?”

Dr. Patricia Pearce, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions, said, “This was a thorough presentation of the historical and political tangle that influences how we view opioid use. This event had a great blend of science, experience, and application, and was a critical presentation for everyone, particularly those in the health professions.” 

Faculty Panelists

Trinette Radasa DNP, FNP, PMHNP
Dr. Radasa graduated from New Mexico State University with a BSN in 1999 and an MSN in 2002. Between 2011 and 2016 she attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where she received first her Post Master's Certificate in the FNP, then a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and a second Post-Masters Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Alice Fiddian-Green, PhD, MPH
Dr. Fiddian-Green specializes in the application and analysis of digital and visual participatory research methods to examine social, structural, and racial inequities as they pertain to reproductive health and justice. Her current research examines the intersections between structural and interpersonal trauma, mental health, and substance use among pregnant people and mothers.

Yvette Malamud Ozer, PhD in Clinical Psychology
Dr. Malamud is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in California, with training and experience in school psychology and neuropsychology, with an emphasis on providing culturally sensitive assessment and psychotherapy services to diverse, underserved clients. Her research has focused on resiliency and on developing a multicultural model for neuropsychological assessment of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Sharlisa Byrd, LMFT
Sharlisa Byrd is a certified Clinical Traumatologist and Compassion Fatigue Therapist. She has experience serving clients in domestic violence shelters, schools, community mental health, private practice, and in-custody at the Santa Clara County behavioral health unit. She teaches Substance Abuse & Addiction Counseling, Adult Development and Trauma and Crisis counseling at the University of San Francisco, and is a member of the REAL (Race Equity Advisory Leadership) Committee for Santa Clara County. Sharlisa has trained in Resmaa Menakem's Somatic Abolitionism, as well as various other trauma resolution modalities in service to her clients, students, and colleagues. Sharlisa's life, training, and clinical experience have shown her how substance abuse and addiction are often a coping mechanism for unresolved trauma; she is a manufacturer of hope in service to those who wish to become post-traumatic thrivers free of any unhealthy behaviors.