Board of Directors
Passion. Expertise. Commitment. Those words describe the individuals who serve on the JP Opioid Interaction Awareness Alliance Board of Directors. Our members included those who have lost a loved one due to an opioid interaction or an opioid overdose.
The board also includes a dedicated group of individuals who have devoted their professional careers to raising awareness about the epidemic and who are working diligently to change perceptions, behaviors and laws in order to reduce opioid deaths and change public perception about the prevention of, treatment for and recovery from opioid use disorder.
Don is JP’s father and JPOIAA’s co-founder. For Don, the loss of his son brought an unspeakable sense of loss and sparked a clarion call to action. Not wanting to see others face the senseless loss of a loved one, he and JP’s mother Karen, put their energy and business acumen into creating an organization that would raising awareness about the opioid epidemic and especially the dangers of combining opioids with other medications
Don has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from University of Utah and a Master’s Degree in Business. He is the Director of Global Supply Chain for Brinker International and has over 30 years of supply chain and logistics experience in both domestic and global markets.
Karen is J.P.'s mother and JPOIAA’s co-founder. The loss of her son created a long, dark shadow over Karen’s life and ignited a passion for helping other families recognize that ending the opioid epidemic begins with understanding the safe use, safe storage and safe disposal of opioid prescriptions. She also co-chairs the Affected Family and Friends workgroup of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
Karen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Sciences from Colorado State University and is a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines. For 15 years she owned and operated her own medical billing and scheduling company and prior to that she worked as a unit coordinator in emergency rooms in hospitals in both Colorado and California.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Suzi’s youngest daughter, Heidi, died in May 2011 after taking a prescribed benzodiazepine along with a prescribed opioid. Heidi’s death came only six months before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared opioid deaths an epidemic. The gut-wrenching loss of her daughter—to a problem that she did not know existed—motivated Suzi to learn all she could about the issue and to join the JPOIAA board in order to work with others in Colorado who are speaking out about the opioid crisis. She is also active in the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention where she co-chairs the Affected Family and Friends workgroup and sits on the Public Awareness workgroup.
A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Suzi, who is retired, spent over 20 years in communications and public relations. She served as the Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at Pinnacol Assurance, the Director of Communications and Special Events at Bonfils Blood Center Foundation and the Director of Communications and Marketing at the Colorado Association of School Executives.
Kristina Carroll Searles
Kristina is J.P.’s sister and like all JPOIAA’s board members she is committed to putting an end to senseless opioid deaths. Currently she is making a difference in the medical community by sharing her firsthand knowledge of methods of safe prescribing in her capacity as a PA-C for Aspen Creek Family Medicine in Parker, CO.
Kristina graduated with a double major in Biology and Secondary Education from Colorado State University. After graduation she obtained a position at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in HIV-AIDS Research and was published in several journal articles. In 2015 she graduated from the Red Rocks Physician Assistant program.
Dr. Geremi Boom is a clinical pharmacist at the Medical Center of Aurora in Aurora, CO and was the first recipient of the JP Opioid-Interaction Awareness Alliance Scholarship, joining the board upon graduation. She attended Northern Arizona University where she received her undergraduate degree in chemistry and later attended the University of Colorado and obtained her doctorate in pharmacy. She has completed a general hospital pharmacy residency in Aurora, CO and is currently pursuing additional certifications in clinical toxicology. Geremi has maintained a special passion for opioid use disorders and continues to be an advocate by promoting safe prescribing practices and medication education within the Aurora community.
Dr. Marta J. Brooks
Dr. Marta Brooks is currently the Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and an Associate Professor at the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions School of Pharmacy at Regis University. Throughout her career she has advanced patient care by delivering quality healthcare education and communications while attending to the needs of the people who develop them—the academicians, the practicing healthcare professionals and her staff. Her areas of research interest include opioid misuse and abuse, matters of policy and healthcare related to pharmacy, and interprofessional education.
Dr. Brooks attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs where she received undergraduate degrees in pharmacy and nutritional sciences. After a general hospital pharmacy residency, she attended the University of Texas Health Science Center where she received her PharmD and then pursued a specialized Nutrition Support residency at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans’ Hospital. Most recently, she completed a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy with the University of Florida.
With close to 20 years in progressively increasing roles of responsibility for delivering healthcare communications and leading multifunctional teams, Dr. Brooks has collaborated with numerous stakeholders across academia, industry and the healthcare community. Her successful career in corporate and academic environments includes diverse areas of expertise including administration, departmental supervision, P&L management, marketing, scientific content development, project management, and mentoring of staff/teams. Prior to joining the Regis University School of Pharmacy, Dr. Brooks was President of ProEd Communications, Inc.® in Beachwood, Ohio for eight years. Prior to this role she spent 10 years with the Centeon Management Group family of companies, where she held leadership positions in Scientific Affairs, Client Services, and Program Management culminating in President of the Genesis Healthcare division located in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Dr. Marina Maes is a clinical ambulatory care pharmacist resident at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is a former recipient of the JP Opioid Interaction Awareness Alliance Scholarship. She attended Colorado State University for her undergraduate education and then University of Colorado for her doctor of pharmacy degree. It was during her time in pharmacy school that she was first exposed to the opioid epidemic and she was actively involved in expanding awareness among pharmacy students and the community. She attended the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies, coordinated a naloxone training session for pharmacy students, and organized student volunteers for annual DEA Drug Take Back Days. She completed her first year of post-graduate training at the University of Michigan where she volunteered as a pharmacist student preceptor for community outreach efforts to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. Upon her return to Colorado for her second year of post-graduate training, Marina hopes to continue raising awareness about the danger of opioids and drug-interactions particularly within the primary care setting.
Whit is the strategic planning coordinator for theColorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention where he focuses on connecting community efforts and resources across Colorado. Like other JPOIAA board members, Whit has been personally affected by the opioid crisis with both friends and family misusing, abusing, and in some cases losing their lives to the epidemic. He believes the way forward is through community level action.
Whit is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Promotion. In August 2018, will receive a Master of Public Health at the University of Colorado and recently completed the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Prevention Fellowship.
Dr. Kevin Patterson
Dr. Patterson has been practicing oral and maxillofacial surgery in Colorado since 1998 and remains dedicated to the well-being and oral health of all his patients. He has a special interest in providing care for individuals who may not have the means to obtain care in regular clinics. He devotes a significant amount of time providing care for children and adults through organizations such as Kids in Need of Dentistry, Colorado Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, The Metropolitan Denver Dental Foundation Smile Again Program and The Metropolitan Denver Domestic Violence Program.
Dr. Patterson is a member of the Colorado Dental Association, American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the Colorado Medical Association, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology and the Colorado Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons where is past president.
Dr. Patterson received his degree in biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1983 and continued his education at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry completing his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in1989 and a General Practice Residency in 1990. From 1992-1998, he attended the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, completing a six-year residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery. While completing his residency, Dr. Patterson received his Doctor of Medicine Degree in 1996 from Mayo Medical School.
After completing his residency program, Dr. Patterson returned to Colorado to begin practicing as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon as well as becoming an associate professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in the Department of Surgical Dentistry and the General Practice Residency Program.
Robert J. Valuck
PhD, RPh, FNAP
Robert J. Valuck is a Professor in the Departments of Clinical Pharmacy, Epidemiology, and Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Schools of Pharmacy, Public Health, and Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. He is the Director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, created in 2013 by Governor Hickenlooper to address the prescription drug abuse problem with a collaborative, statewide approach. Since its inception, the Consortium has evolved to include nine work groups, with over 400 members across the state, focusing on key areas relating to education, prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. The Consortium has gained recognition as a model for the development of collaborative, coordinated responses to the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States.