Stories of Service


By: Katie Boehm


ServeMinnesota Hosts Event on Opioid Crisis to Focus on a Recovery Movement

Leslie Crutchfield

Author Leslie Crutchfield and recovery expert Peter Gaumond to keynote

Minneapolis (October 1, 2018) – ServeMinnesota, the hub for AmeriCorps programs in Minnesota, is hosting a forum for experts and stakeholders in the recovery field to explore social and economic solutions to the opioid crisis, including the mobilization of AmeriCorps participants.

The forum, the third in a series hosted by ServeMinnesota on the topic, will be held Tuesday, October 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota campus (300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN). Registration is free and open to the public. Seats are limited, and attendants who want full-day registration should register by Friday, September 28. To register for the event, please visit Participants attending the morning session only may register at the door.

AmeriCorps has the infrastructure to mobilize people to make a powerful difference in this devastating issue impacting millions of Americans.  According to the American Enterprise Institute, the opioid epidemic alone is costing each resident of Minnesota $1,139 annually, and those costs are expected to rise.

Leslie Crutchfield, author of How Change Happens and a collaborator with AmeriCorps leaders in creating a Toolkit for Social Change, will speak and lead a workshop on social movements and their role in creating new solutions.  Crutchfield is the Executive Director of the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Peter Gaumond, a nationally known advocate in the recovery movement and Senior Policy Analyst and Chief of the Recovery Branch of the Federal Office of National Drug Control Policy, will speak on the need for community-wide solutions. Liz Farmer, public finance reporter for the national magazine, Governing, will speak to the economic impact of the crisis.  

CEO of ServeMinnesota, Audrey Suker, says, “There are few needs in Minnesota that are greater than the opioid crisis is today. As the hub for AmeriCorps in our state, our mission is to find cost-effective solutions to pressing local needs. Right now, there’s a desperate need for opioid recovery services that is outstripping current resources. We are working with partners who are leaders in the recovery and policy field to further shape AmeriCorps’ role in the recovery process.”

Tom Horner will moderate a panel of policy leaders including MN Senator Chris Eaton, MN Representative Dave Baker, and Dr. Lynn Blewett, professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

This forum is possible with the support of generous sponsors: Butler Family Foundation, Allina Health, Regions Hospital and Minnesota Hospital Association.

About ServeMinnesota

As a catalyst for positive social change, ServeMinnesota moves research to practice and deploys the people power of AmeriCorps to meet critical needs in Minnesota. It recruits and supports thousands of individuals to improve the lives of Minnesotans by offering transformative service opportunities that focus on education, affordable housing, employment, the environment, addiction recovery, and police-community relationships. ServeMinnesota’s commitment to evidence-based practices, continuous program improvement, and strong community partnerships ensures national service is positioned to make meaningful contributions to our state. For more information, visit


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