Hosted By | Center for a Healthy America

Combating Fentanyl in Schools

Oct 5, 2023, 4:00PM

Kicking off Texas Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month: Join Center for Education Opportunity and Center for the American Child Director, Laurie Todd-Smith, Chief Policy Officer and Center for a Healthy America Director Dr. Heidi Overton, and Texas Against Fentanyl Founder, Stefanie Turner for a conversation on protecting our youth from the dangers of fentanyl and the policy-based solutions needed to stop its harmful impact within American communities and schools. Turner lost her 19-year-old son, Tucker Roe, to one illicit Percocet pill purchased from a peer on social media that was laced with fentanyl. Together, TXAF and AFPI will reveal how the fentanyl crisis impacts non-chronic drug users, counter misconceptions about fentanyl, and break down the stigma so that parents and educators are equipped with the knowledge to protect their children and students from this deadly poison.

Laurie Todd-Smith: Laurie Todd-Smith, Ph.D., is originally from Phoenix, Arizona, but has lived in Mississippi for over 25 years. She serves as AFPI’s Director of the Center for Education Opportunity and the Center for the American Child. Dr. Todd-Smith was appointed by President Trump to serve as the Director of the Women’s Bureau at the United States Department of Labor. During her tenure at the Women’s Bureau, she focused the agency on issues of childcare, paid family leave, and grants to support women in apprenticeship. Prior to her work with the United States Department of Labor, Dr. Todd-Smith served as Senior Education and Workforce Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant. She led numerous legislative efforts to help improve public education in Mississippi, including The Literacy-Based Promotion Act, Early Childhood Education, Charter Schools, Special Needs Education Scholarship Account, and accountability models for school districts, all of which resulted in improved outcomes for Mississippi’s students. These education reforms have been deemed the “Mississippi Miracle” as the state’s students now lead the nation in growth in reading and math achievement outcomes. Dr. Todd-Smith is also the former executive director of the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) and the State Childhood Advisory Council (SECAC). Dr. Todd-Smith is a former elementary school teacher and holds a doctorate in education from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree from Western New Mexico University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Heidi Overton is from Gallup, New Mexico, and serves as AFPI’s Chief Policy Officer and Director, Center for Healthy America. Overton recently served as a White House Fellow in 2019-2020 in both the Office of American Innovation and the Domestic Policy Council and is currently completing her medical training in Preventive Medicine. Previously, Overton was a general surgery resident at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a physician advocate for price and quality transparency in healthcare through Restoring Medicine. During medical school, Overton was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez to serve on the University of New Mexico (UNM) Board of Regents, which included fiduciary and full-voting responsibilities for all business and clinical operations of the university and health system. Overton graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Health, Medicine, and Human Values from UNM’s Combined BA/MD Program, received her medical degree from the UNM School of Medicine, and obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Investigation from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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