The Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center (BMC), a national leader in treatment and policy, will host the inaugural Together for Hope: Boston Addiction Conference 2024 on March 15 and 16 at Roxbury Community College to convene experts, share innovation, and collaborate on new ideas to advance equity and the future of addiction medicine. 


Throughout the two-day conference, researchers, clinicians, educators, students, harm reductionists, policymakers, community members, and those with lived experience of addiction will participate in panels and breakout sessions with four main themes: advances and challenges in addiction treatment; the intersectionality of race, class and gender with addiction; addiction advocacy; and the role of harm reduction. The keynote speakers will be Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Boston and the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).   


“We were intentional about pairing policymakers, clinicians, and researchers with the voices of people with lived experience when we were planning Together for Hope,” said Miriam Komaromy, MD, Medical Director for the Grayken Center for Addiction. “People who use drugs are so incredibly stigmatized and marginalized and are often not invited to be a part of the solution. We realized that unless we made an intentional effort to bring everybody into the room together, we would be missing valuable perspectives that can help us discover innovative solutions to improve the health of our communities.” 


Ojikutu will serve as the keynote speaker on Friday, March 15. Ojikutu is a nationally recognized physician leader, health equity researcher, community advocate, and expert in the prevention, care, and treatment of infectious diseases. She was appointed Executive Director of BPHC in July 2021. As Executive Director of the BPHC, Ojikutu is a key advisor to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu on health issues, and she builds innovative partnerships across city departments and within Boston’s communities to positively impact the health of all city residents. Among other public health priorities, she is committed to addressing racism as a public health crisis and advancing health equity. 


Goldstein will deliver the keynote address on Saturday, March 16. Goldstein, named DPH Commissioner in April 2023, served as a senior policy advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was actively engaged in the CDC’s emergency response to COVID-19 and the 2022 Mpox outbreak. Before CDC, he worked as an infectious diseases physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he established and served as Medical Director of the MGH Transgender Health Program, and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Goldstein has focused his clinical work on providing care to those living with or at risk of HIV. He has devoted his career to working to eliminate barriers to equitable care. 


In addition to Ojikutu and Goldstein, the two-day conference will feature other notable researchers, clinicians, and community members, including:  


  • Kiame Mahaniah, MD, MBA; Undersecretary for Health, Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine. Mahaniah will give a plenary talk on Friday, March 15 on the challenges and successes of implementing addiction treatment in community health centers. 

  • Kevin M. Simon, MD, MPH, Chief Behavioral Health Officer, Boston Public Health Commission; Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, and Addiction Medicine Specialist, Boston Children’s Hospital; Instructor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Simon will give a plenary talk on Saturday, March 16 focused on the impact of cannabis use on adolescents and young adults. Dr. Simon will also participate in a panel discussion on Friday, Friday March 15 about culturally tailored addiction treatment. 

  • Maryanne Frangules, a founder of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR). Frangules and a group of volunteers funded MOAR in 1991 to build a network of licensed counselors to help people with substance use disorder and fight stigma. In her current role, she has worked to organize the recovery community while also educating policymakers and the public on the positive impact of recovery efforts. Frangules will speak Saturday March 16 on Advocacy 101 – a panel about how people with lived experiences can advocate for change. 

RIZE Massachusetts will serve as the founding sponsor of Together for Hope. RIZE is a public-private partnership dedicated to funding solutions to end the overdose crisis. RIZE’s goal is to ensure that people suffering from substance use disorder have access to care and experience, better quality of life, and overall health.  


“RIZE is honored to support the Together for Hope: Boston Addiction Conference in partnership with the Grayken Center for Addiction at BMC,” said Julie Burns, President & CEO of RIZE Massachusetts Foundation. “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring people together from across the addiction field to learn about best practices, fuel and build upon innovative ideas, and inspire policy change while uplifting the voices and perspectives of people with lived and living experience and their families.”  


For more detail on the Summit visit For information on the Grayken Center for Addiction visit their website. Connect with BMC on Facebook, InstagramX, and LinkedIn



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Boston Medical Center models a new kind of excellence in healthcare, where innovative and equitable care empowers all patients to thrive. We combine world-class clinicians and cutting-edge treatments with compassionate, quality care that extends beyond our walls. As an award-winning health equity leader, our diverse clinicians and staff interrogate racial disparities in care and partner with our community to dismantle systemic inequities. And as a national leader in research and the teaching affiliate for Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, we’re driving the future of care.

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