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About

Today we face the gravest public health crisis of our time.

In 2016 more than 42,000 Americans died from overdosing on opioid-related drugs, including fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioid medications. The number topped 63,000 when one includes nonopioid drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine. That’s more victims in one year than died in the entire Vietnam War.

The Opioid Research Institute was formed in early 2018 to create a community of people devoted to containing and subduing this scourge.

At the outset, we are doing that by disseminating, through the Opioid Watch website and electronic newsletter, crucial information about the crisis to the very wide range of people who seek to combat it. Ambitious as it may sound, we seek to serve public health officials, lawmakers, regulators, first responders, litigators, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, physicians, patients, and families.

Opioid Watch website provides original news and commentary, while our newsletter alerts readers to, comments on, and links to the most important and interesting articles from all media sources. (Initially, the newsletter will come out about once a week, but we hope to publish it more often over time.)

As our community grows, we aspire eventually to commission research, host conferences, and play other roles in accelerating solutions.

In case you’re wondering, we don’t take money from the pharmaceutical industry. By the same token, we don’t take money from the plaintiffs bar either.

Where does our money come from then? Ultimately, it comes from Joseph H. Kanter. Joe is a World War II vet who built business ventures in real estate, banking, and the movie industry. In the 1990s, when he suffered the first of three bouts with cancer, he became a patient advocate, devoted to finding ways to make medical data and information about “what really works” available to both patients and physicians. Since then his foundations have funded projects to improve health care information technology and electronic health records, while also pursuing an approach to synthesizing medical data into practical knowledge known as the Learning Health System.

Joseph H. Kanter

“Sharing saves lives,” Joe has often said.

In 2018, Joe, now 94, his wife Nancy, and his son, Harry, decided to enlist the JHK Foundation’s resources in the war on the opioid epidemic by funding creation of The Opioid Research Institute.

Our Team

Harry S. Kanter
Chairman

Harry is the founder and CEO of United Westlabs Inc., a health care services company based in Orange County, California. Harry founded the company in 1993, and has built it into one of the most successful healthcare management companies in the country. UWL enters into agreements with major hospital organizations to provide hospitals with its proprietary turn-key business model, technology, expertise, billing systems, connectivity and staffing necessary to implement and manage robust hospital-based, laboratory outreach programs. The company has implemented, managed, and staffed over 27 hospital-based laboratory outreach programs throughout the country.

Harry also serves as president of the board of directors of the Joseph H. Kanter Family Foundation, founded by Harry’s father (a World War II veteran, self-made entrepreneur, and cancer survivor). The foundation has been working for over two decades to transform healthcare using health data. The Foundation mobilizes diverse organizations and people to share health data, as well as harness the potential of analytics, to empower learning from every health experience. The Foundation remains the first and only philanthropic foundation founded by a patient activist whose mission is to realize such a patient-centered Learning Health System at national and global scales.

Prior to his involvement in health care, Harry served as president of the Bank of Florida and as a board member of the National Banking Corporation of Florida. He remains a trustee and partner of his family’s investment firm, which is one of the largest landowners in south Florida.

Harry graduated from Georgetown University, with a finance degree. He has two children and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

A. G. Newmyer III
President

Mr. Newmyer, known as “Terry,” is founder of The Newmyer Organization based in Palm Beach County, Florida. He is a health care activist, consultant, and investor.

Terry was active in real estate before spending twenty years at Newmyer Associates, Inc., a consulting firm based in Washington. The firm served a limited number of corporate clients with information and strategy services focused on legislative and regulatory developments at the national level. Terry sold the business in 1992 to a group of investors headed by Hon. Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of Defense and chairman of The Carlyle Group.

He opened his own office in Washington, a predecessor of The Newmyer Organization, to focus on consulting, investments, and philanthropy. In the late 1990’s, Terry founded U. S. Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, a network of seasoned individuals willing to serve as trustee. He sold USFid but continues to run its Florida operations.

Terry was a founding director of Thornburg Limited Term Municipal Fund, a multi-billion dollar bond fund, and served on the board for twenty years. He has served on the boards of many closely-held companies.

Terry and his family created the Newmyer Fellowship for Innovative Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center to support the work of Jean Emond, M.D. He also funded the Newmyer Institute for Innovative Teaching at Palm Beach Day Academy. He is proud of his work decades ago as chairman of the Fair Care Foundation, a patient advocacy group and of his service for twenty years on the boards of The Epilepsy Foundation and its Florida affiliate organization.

A graduate of Andover and Yale, Terry lives in Florida and Maine. He has four children.

Roger Parloff
Editor-in-Chief

Roger is an award-winning journalist, analyst, and columnist with a legal background. He spent 13 years as Fortune’s principal legal correspondent, and was, before that, a staff writer for the American Lawyer, Brill’s Content, and Inside.com. More recently he has contributed to The New York Times, ProPublica, New York, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, and The New Yorker. He has won numerous recognitions, including a National Magazine Award, three Best in Business citations, and four New York Press Club awards. Roger is also the author of “Triple Jeopardy — A Story Of Law At Its Best — And Worst,” published by Little Brown and Company.

Prior to becoming a writer, Roger practiced law for five years, first as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, and then with a white-collar criminal defense firm in Manhattan.

He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

Joshua Rubin
Policy Director, J.D., M.B.A., M.P.P., M.P.H.

Josh is executive director and a member of the board of directors of the Kanter Family Foundation. He also serves as Program Officer for Learning Health System Initiatives at the University of Michigan Medical School’s first-in-the-nation Department of Learning Health Sciences. Previously, Josh served as a Senior Policy Fellow at eHealth Initiative and as a Senior Consultant at IBM Global Business Services, working at the intersection of the health information technology, health policy, consumer engagement, and public health arenas in both roles.

Josh has played instrumental leadership roles in collaborative efforts to innovatively address critical societal challenges inside and outside of healthcare. Examples include the 2010 International Working Meeting on Electronic Medical Records and Outcomes Research; the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) Consumer Consortium on eHealth; the 2012 Learning Health System Summit; the 2013 National Campus Sexual Assault Summit convened by Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE); and several National Science Foundation workshops aimed advancing a high-functioning Learning Health System.

Josh is a life member of American MENSA and a graduate of Georgetown University’s College of Arts and Sciences. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University and is a member of the bar in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Josh also holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, all with healthcare concentrations. He lives in Virginia and Michigan.

Board Members

Our board is advisory in nature. The members, listed below in alphabetical order, offer seasoned and sophisticated advice to guide our activities.

Hon. John Bridgeland
Board Member

Bridge is the CEO of Civic Enterprises, a social enterprise firm in Washington. He is also vice chairman of the Service Year Alliance at The Aspen Institute, an initiative to enhance civilian national service; vice chairman of Malaria No More; co-convenor of the Grad Nation campaign; and author of “Heart of the Nation: Volunteering and America’s Civic Spirit.”

Bridge previously served as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council in the first term of President George W. Bush, where he coordinated policy on more than 100 issues, and then as Assistant to the President of the United States and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps, where he coordinated policy on international, national, community, and faith-based service in the aftermath of 9/11. He co-chaired the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth, co-led the Cabinet-level review of Climate Change, and co-chaired the White House Task Force on the Revitalization of New York City after 9/11. In 2010, President Obama appointed Bridge to the White House Council for Community Solutions, where he authored the report “Opportunity Road: The Promise and Challenge of America’s Forgotten Youth.”

Bridge is an experienced public speaker and has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Fox News, Cavuto Fox Business, BBC, National Public Radio, American Public Media’s Market Place, among others. He also was a Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he offered a seminar on Presidential Decision Making. He is currently a Fox Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Bridge began his professional career by practicing law in the New York and Paris offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he also had an active pro bono practice. He also served as chief of staff and counsel to former Congressman (now Senator) Rob Portman.

Bridge graduated with honors in government from Harvard University; studied at the College of Europe and Université Libre de Bruxelles; and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he continues to serve on the Public Service Advisory Committee. He holds five honorary degrees and serves on numerous non-profit boards. Bridge lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.

Sheila Burke
Board Member

Sheila is a faculty research fellow and lecturer at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she previously served as the school’s chief operating officer and now teaches a course on the opioid crisis. She also chairs the Government Relations and Public Policy Group at the law firm Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz in Washington.

Sheila began her career as a nurse in California before becoming a director at the National Student Nurses Association. She joined the staff of former U. S. Senator Bob Dole and became The Secretary of the Senate and Dole’s chief of staff when he was majority leader. Sheila also served as chief operating officer of The Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.

Sheila’s board service has included directorships at The Commonwealth Fund, Ascension, Abt Associates, Chubb Corporation, Anthem/Wellpoint, and the Bipartisan Policy Center, among many others. Sheila has been honored by the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, and Outstanding Young Women of America. She holds a nursing degree from the University of San Francisco and a master of public administration from Harvard, as well as an honorary doctorate from Marymount University. Sheila lives with her husband and three children in Virginia.

Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.
Board Member

Richard has been a professor of health economics at the Harvard University Medical School since 1999. During the Obama Administration, Richard served in high positions at the Department of Health and Human Services, including his service as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation from 2014-16.

Richard’s research is focused on the economics of substance abuse and mental health care, long-term care financing policy, health care competition, and implementation of health reform and disability policy. He served as editor for the “Journal of Health Economics” and is widely published, including his co-authorship of the book “Better But Not Well.” His list of honors and awards is lengthy.

Richard graduated from Bard College before becoming a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Botswana. Upon his return, he resumed his economics work and earned his Ph.D. at Boston University.

Richard lives outside of Boston and has two grown sons that he tries to ski with often.

Harry S. Kanter
Board Member

Harry is the founder and CEO of United Westlabs Inc., a health care services company based in Orange County, California. Harry founded the company in 1993, and has built it into one of the most successful healthcare management companies in the country. UWL enters into agreements with major hospital organizations to provide hospitals with its proprietary turn-key business model, technology, expertise, billing systems, connectivity and staffing necessary to implement and manage robust hospital-based, laboratory outreach programs. The company has implemented, managed, and staffed over 27 hospital-based laboratory outreach programs throughout the country.

Harry also serves as president of the board of directors of the Joseph H. Kanter Family Foundation, founded by Harry’s father (a World War II veteran, self-made entrepreneur, and cancer survivor). The foundation has been working for over two decades to transform healthcare using health data. The Foundation mobilizes diverse organizations and people to share health data, as well as harness the potential of analytics, to empower learning from every health experience. The Foundation remains the first and only philanthropic foundation founded by a patient activist whose mission is to realize such a patient-centered Learning Health System at national and global scales.

Prior to his involvement in health care, Harry served as president of the Bank of Florida and as a board member of the National Banking Corporation of Florida. He remains a trustee and partner of his family’s investment firm, which is one of the largest landowners in south Florida.

Harry graduated from Georgetown University, with a finance degree. He has two children and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Barbarajean Magnani, Ph.D., M.D., F.C.A.P.
Board Member

BJ is Pathologist-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center, and Professor and Chair of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology as well as a professor of medicine at Tufts University. She is internationally recognized for her expertise in the field of laboratory medicine, specifically in clinical chemistry and toxicology. She has presented numerous workshops and seminars in the field and has received three Outstanding Speaker Awards from the Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), as well as a Recognition Award for Significant Service from the Massachusetts Poison Control Systems in Boston.

In addition, BJ received the 2012 Outstanding Communicator Award, the 2014 Distinguished Patient Care Award, and the 2014 Humanitarian Award from the leading organization for board-certified pathologists. She was also named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Laboratory Medicine Professionals in the World by The Pathologist in 2015.

BJ has served as an editor of Clinical and Forensic Toxicology News and is the author of Lily Robinson and the Art of Secret Poisoning, as well an editor of The Clinical Toxicology Laboratory: Contemporary Practice of Poisoning Evaluation, and Clinical Toxicology Testing: A Guide for Laboratory Professionals.

A. G. Newmyer III
Board Member

Mr. Newmyer, known as “Terry,” is founder of The Newmyer Organization based in Palm Beach County, Florida. He is a health care activist, consultant, and investor.

Terry was active in real estate before spending twenty years at Newmyer Associates, Inc., a consulting firm based in Washington. The firm served a limited number of corporate clients with information and strategy services focused on legislative and regulatory developments at the national level. Terry sold the business in 1992 to a group of investors headed by Hon. Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of Defense and chairman of The Carlyle Group.

He opened his own office in Washington, a predecessor of The Newmyer Organization, to focus on consulting, investments, and philanthropy. In the late 1990’s, Terry founded U. S. Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, a network of seasoned individuals willing to serve as trustee. He sold USFid but continues to run its Florida operations.

Terry was a founding director of Thornburg Limited Term Municipal Fund, a multi-billion dollar bond fund, and served on the board for twenty years. He has served on the boards of many closely-held companies.

Terry and his family created the Newmyer Fellowship for Innovative Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center to support the work of Jean Emond, M.D. He also funded the Newmyer Institute for Innovative Teaching at Palm Beach Day Academy. He is proud of his work decades ago as chairman of the Fair Care Foundation, a patient advocacy group and of his service for twenty years on the boards of The Epilepsy Foundation and its Florida affiliate organization.

A graduate of Andover and Yale, Terry lives in Florida and Maine. He has four children.

Robert Spiegel, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Board Member

Bob has over 30 years of extensive R&D and operational experience in biopharmaceuticals including Big Pharma, biotech, and academic startups as well as interactions advising venture capital and private equity. He spent over 25 years at Schering-Plough, where he joined as the first Director for Oncology Clinical Research, and subsequently held a series of senior executive positions, including Senior Vice President for worldwide Clinical Research and Chief Medical Officer. During his time at Schering-Plough, he took numerous drug candidates through clinical development and was involved with over 30 NDA approvals at the FDA.

More recently, Bob has served as a consultant to the biotech industry with seats on the boards of multiple biotech companies, some of which are publicly-traded. He serves on the board of Geron Corporation, Sucampo, and Edge Therapeutics. He is chairman of Vidac Therpeutics and Neximmune Inc. In addition to his consulting activities, Bob is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a Senior Advisor to private equity firm Warburg Pincus and an Advisor to the Israel Biotech Fund.

Bob received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his specialty training at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH). He and his family live in New Jersey.

Craig Turk
Board Member

Craig is a writer and producer of television and feature films who has been nominated for numerous awards. He was executive producer of “The Good Wife,” which was named one of the best-written shows in the history of television, and since has been developing a new dramatic series for CBS about the FBI. He recently completed a political thriller feature film for Elizabeth Banks.

Craig’s previous work includes serving as executive producer of the hit ABC series “Private Practice,” and has written on “Boston Legal,” “Cold Case,” “Law and Order,” and more.

In addition to screenwriting, he served as chief counsel for John McCain’s 2000 presidential run, and then as general counsel of Straight Talk America, a political action committee. Beyond our borders, Craig has advised political parties in Europe and Asia.

Craig has practiced law in Los Angeles and in Washington, specializing in election law and government ethics. He served for five years as chairman of the National Conference on Citizenship, a congressionally-chartered organization where he remains on the board.

Craig graduated from Harvard College with high honors, won a scholarship to pursue graduate studies at Oxford, and graduated from Harvard Law School with honors. He lives in California with his wife and children.