Caring for Patients with Substance Use Disorder (SUD): A Nursing Toolkit

SUD Conference 2022

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Thursday, December 8, 2022
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
UMASS Boston | Campus Center Ballroom
100 William T. Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125
View parking rates and information.

Presented by:
Boston Medical Center Nursing Substance Use Disorder Council

Sponsored by:
The UMASS Boston Department of Nursing and the Boston Medical Center Nursing Department

Conference Overview

In Massachusetts, approximately 4% of individuals age 11 and older have OUD, seven people a day are dying from opioid-related overdoses, and it is estimated that there are at least 8-10 nonfatal for every fatal overdose.* This inaugural conference presented by the BMC Nursing Substance Use Disorder Council will provide education and training for nurses and nursing students in caring for patients with substance use disorders. Topics will address stigma, engaging patients in their care, medication-assisted treatment, and harm reduction strategies. A nursing panel will also speak about substance use and recovery.

*MA DPH, 2018

Accreditation Information

Boston Medical Center is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Association Massachusetts, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Participants who complete and return the evaluation and stay for the entire session will be awarded 6.75 contact hours.

Agenda and Speakers

7:30 am – 8:00 am Registration  /  "Meet our Experts" Info Tables
8:00 am – 8:05 am Welcome Remarks
Maggie Faulds, MSN, NPD RN-BC, CNL
8:05 am – 8:15 am Introduction & Opening Remarks
Nancy W. Gaden, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Boston Medical Center
8:15 am – 9:00 am Addiction 101
Kristin Wason, MSN, NP-C, CARN
9:00 am – 9:45 am Assessing and Managing Substance Withdrawal
Jessica Taylor, MD
9:45 am – 10:00 am Break  /  "Meet our Experts" Info Tables
10:00 am – 11:00 am Understanding and Managing Stimulant Use Disorders
Justin Alves, RN, MSN, ACRN, CARN, CNE
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Harm Reduction: A Moral and Ethical Nursing Obligation
Kerri Fernandes, BSN, RN-BC, CARN
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch  /  "Meet our Experts" Info Tables
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm The Grayken Addiction Nursing Fellowship: Our Collective Experiences
Moderated by Donna Beers, MSN, RN-BC, CARN
Azure Bergeron, BSN, RN, CARN
Abby Brennan, BSN, RN, CARN
Jacqueline Gott, BSN, RN, CARN
Christine Kareh, BSN, RN, CCRN, CARN, TNCC
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm Break  /  "Meet our Experts" Info Tables
2:15 pm – 4:00 pm RNs in Recovery Panel Discussion
Moderated by Colleen T. LaBelle, MSN, RN-BC, CARN
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Wrap-Up & Evaluation
Nicole Lincoln, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CCNS


Getting there

  • MBTA - JFK/UMass Station or Bus Service Route 8
  • On-campus and nearby parking is available. Click here for visitor parking rates and information.
  • Shuttle buses run regularly between JFK/UMASS station and several points on campus. 

Click here for more information on visitor resources.

Covid Vaccination Requirement

UMass Boston is a fully vaccinated campus. BMC Nursing and UMass Boston will check staff vaccination status in advance. In addition, UMASS Boston has a mask optional policy in all spaces except University Health Services. Check the policies page for more details.


Justin Alves Justin Alves, RN, MSN, ACRN, CARN, CNE
Justin is a Clinical Nurse Educator for Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction TTA team. He is an expert in infectious diseases and their co-occurrence with substance use disorders, community outreach, and harm reduction. He serves on the Grayken TTA's SUD Care Continuum ECHO team and sits on the writing committee for the Addictions Nursing Certification Board. Justin has dedicated his career to caring for patients living with HIV/AIDS and suffering from substance use disorders across the continuum of care. He is an AIDS Certified Registered Nurse, a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse, and a member of the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. Justin received his BSN from Northeastern University in 2013 and his MSN, focusing on nursing education, from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 2020.
Donna Beers Donna Beers, MSN, RN-BC, CARN
Donna is a 19-year veteran of Boston Medical Center and has focused her career on addiction nursing education and research. As the Associate Director of the Care Continuum Core of the NIDA-funded HEALing Communities-Massachusetts study, she works with communities across the state to implement evidence-based addiction programs to reduce opioid overdose and complete systems of care. Donna has many years of expertise in creating collaborative clinical models that rely on addiction nurses as the center of treatment delivery.


Kerri Fernandes Kerri Fernandes, BSN, RN-BC, CARN
Kerri has been a registered nurse in the Medical-Surgical Float Pool at Boston Medical Center since 2013 and is co-chair of the Nursing-based Substance Use Disorder Council. She recently transitioned to an outpatient addiction clinic and public health nurse at the Roundhouse Hotel. Kerri was one of the first two inaugural Grayken Addiction Nursing Fellows and is certified as an Addiction Registered Nurse (CARN). She is passionate about addiction nursing, having witnessed the toll of the opioid epidemic in our communities, and believes nurses can play a pivotal role in harm reduction and recovery. Kerri earned her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from Simmons College.
Colleen LaBelle Colleen LaBelle, MSN, RN-BC, CARN
Colleen is the Director of the BMC Grayken Center for Addiction Training and Technical Assistance program and the founder and Director of Boston Medical Center's OBAT Clinic. She also serves as the Program Director of many related projects, including two Opioid Addiction Treatment Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHOs) at BMC. Ms. LaBelle has over 30 years of experience treating HIV and addiction and over a decade of experience advising health care organizations on incorporating addiction treatment into their programs. She is a Massachusetts Board of Nursing member and Governor Charlie Baker's Opioid Working Task Force. In recognition of her work to improve and expand treatments for patients with addiction, Colleen is the recipient of the 2017 Betty Ford Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), the 2016 Lillian Carter Exemplary Acts in Nursing Award from Modern Healthcare and the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility at the Emory University School of Nursing, among many others. She also received an honorable mention for the Gage Award from America's Essential Hospitals in 2016. Ms. LaBelle is board certified in addiction nursing and pain management. She earned her BSN and MSN from Grand Canyon University and a Diploma in Nursing from St. Elizabeth's School of Nursing.
Nicole Lincoln Nicole Lincoln, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CCNS
Nicole has an MSN in Critical Care and is a licensed Clinical Nurse Specialist and Family Nurse Practitioner. Since 2016, Nicole has worked with multi-disciplinary clinical teams as the Senior Manager of Nursing Innovation at BMC and collaborated and drove award-winning projects that include I-PASS bedside handoff communication, DANCE (Doctors and Nurses Communicating Effectively), a novel tool to assess the illness severity of oncology patients and improve access to palliative care, and pod-nursing to prevent patient falls. She has designed and facilitated numerous design thinking projects. She is the chair of the Pain Task Force and executive sponsor for the Integrative Nursing Committee and Substance Use Disorder Council at BMC.
Jessica Taylor Jessica Taylor, MD
Jessica is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in General Internal Medicine at the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center and a board-certified Addiction Specialist. Her research interests include HIV prevention among people who inject drugs, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation, low-barrier substance use disorder treatment models, and overdose prevention. She is Co-Director of the Care Continuum Core for the Massachusetts site of the NIDA-funded Healing Communities Study, which aims to reduce fatal opioid overdose by 40%. Dr. Taylor is the Medical Director of Faster Paths to Treatment, Boston Medical Center’s innovative, low-barrier substance use disorder bridge clinic and the Medical Director of the Transitional Care Clinic, a bridge clinic co-located with a low-threshold, transitional housing program for people experiencing homelessness. She directs HIV Prevention Programs at BMC. Her educational roles include directing the HIV Pathway for internal medicine residents and serving as core faculty in Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine’s Addiction Medicine fellowship program.
Kristin Wason Kristin Wason, MSN, NP-C, CARN
Kristin is a Nurse Practitioner at Boston Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Kristin has been working in addiction medicine since 2009 - initially practicing as a Registered Nurse within BMC's multidisciplinary OBAT clinic, managing a large caseload of patients with substance addiction, and now as a Primary Care Provider with a full DATA2000 X-waiver. In addition to her clinical practice, Kristin advises and supports community health centers on integrating best practices for treating substance use disorders into institutions across Massachusetts and nationwide. Kristin earned her MSN, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, a degree from Salem State University. She is board certified in addiction nursing through the Addictions Nursing Certification Board.