Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic



Every day, an estimated 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose – a grim statistic that has devastated families and communities around the nation. Due to the complex and urgent nature of the epidemic, reversing the opioid crisis will require a multi-sectoral and multi-pronged response; no organization, government agency, or sector can solve this crisis on its own. Within the past year alone, numerous initiatives, reports, guidelines, and recommendations have been developed to address the epidemic across the public and private sectors. With so much activity underway, strong mechanisms to support better coordination, information-sharing, and evidence-based practice are needed.

To improve coordination and accelerate the pace of change, the National Academy of Medicine has partnered with the Aspen Institute and more than 55 other organizations to form an Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. This one-of-a-kind public-private partnership comprises government, communities, health systems, provider groups, payers, industry, nonprofits, academia, and more – all committed to sharing knowledge, aligning ongoing initiatives, and advancing collective, multi-sector solutions. Future activities of the Action Collaborative will span public meetings, expert publications, and the development of an information hub, among other efforts. The Action Collaborative will complete its work according to a mission, set of goals, and guiding principles.   

To be notified of upcoming events and activities, join the project listserv.  

Framing Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Acute Pain: Developing the Evidence

Read profiles of our Steering Committee members

Steering Committee


  • Victor J. Dzau, MD (Chair) | President, National Academy of Medicine
  • ADM Brett Giroir, MD (Co-Chair) | Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ruth Katz, JD, MPH (Co-Chair) | Vice President and Executive Director, Health, Medicine and Society Program, Aspen Institute
  • Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD (Co-Chair) | President, Clinical Services, and Chief Medical Officer, HCA Healthcare
  • Jay Bhatt, DO | Chief Medical Officer, American Hospital Association 
  • Carlos Blanco, MD, PhD | Director, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Helen Burstin, MD, MPH | Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Council of Medical Specialty Societies
  • Kathy Chappell, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN | Senior Vice President, American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Hank Chaudhry, DO, MS, FACP, FACOI | Federation of State Medical Boards 
  • Kelly Clark, MD, MBA | President, American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Deb Houry, MD, MPH | Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Thomas Nasca, MD| President and Chief Executive Officer, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Andrey Ostrovsky, MD | Managing Partner, Social Innovation Ventures
  • Alonzo Plough, PhD | Chief Science Officer and Vice President, Research-Evaluation-Learning, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Steve Singer, PhD | Vice President, Education and Outreach, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education


In addition to the steering committee, the Action Collaborative is composed of four working groups. View the working group participants >>

Working Groups


The Action Collaborative is composed of four working groups designed to address key issues in formulating a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic. The four working groups are:

  1. Health professional education and training
  2. Pain management guidelines and evidence standards
  3. Prevention, treatment, and recovery services, and
  4. Research, data, and metrics needs


View the complete working groups



The Persons with Lived Experience Advisory Group was assembled to ensure that the work of the Action Collaborative is inclusive of patients, their families, friends, and caregivers, and informed by their experiences. Advisory group members review and inform the work products of the Action Collaborative, and provide input on the broader priorities of the Action Collaborative.

  • Rodrigo Garcia (Parkdale Center)
  • Michelle Marikos (Oregon Pain Guidance)
  • Cortney Lovell (Our-Wellness Collective & Families Together of New York State)
  • Joy Rucker (Texas Harm Reduction Alliance)
  • Daniel Sledge (Williamson County Mobile Outreach Team)
  • Edna Boone Temenar (Health Information Technology Subject Matter Expert)
  • Joycelyn Woods (NAMA Recovery)



Sponsoring Organizations


  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Aetna
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Arnold Ventures
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CDC Foundation
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Council of Medical Specialty Societies
  • Federation of State Medical Boards
  • HCA Healthcare
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Member Organizations


The Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic is composed of members from federal agencies, state and local governments, health systems and provider groups, health education and accreditation, pharmacy, payers, private sector, nonprofits, and academia. See all of our member organizations>>

Understanding that the opioid epidemic is complex and multi-sectoral, the Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic has opened a call for organizations to join a communications network that will help to ensure that the Action Collaborative’s products and solutions reach those who need them most.

We invite your organization to join this expanding cross-sectoral network dedicated to reversing national trends in opioid misuse and overdose. 

Review the application criteria



  • Elizabeth Finkelman, MPP | Program Director
  • Aisha Salman, MPH | Associate Program Officer
  • Jarrett Nguyen | Program Specialist
  • Jenna Ogilvie | Deputy Director, Communications
  • Olivia Ramirez, MPH | Communications Officer

To contact us, please email

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