Canadians to Attend U.S. Program on Confronting the Opioid Epidemic

OTTAWA – Canadian professionals in the fields of health policy, addiction services, toxicology, and law enforcement will visit Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities from February 3 to February 24 as participants in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The participants will examine initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, and bolster bilateral partnerships to decrease the number of opioid-related deaths in North America. The program is organized by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Participants will study collaborative initiatives among federal and state-level law enforcement agencies, investigators, public health experts, legislators, and prosecutors to address wide-scale substance abuse and to combat the production, transfer, and sale of illicit drugs. The visitors will engage with counterparts in community-based NGOs and the private sector who advocate for government policy change and raise public awareness about opioid addiction.

Participants in the program are:

  • Elaine Hyshka, Assistant Professor, Health Policy Management, University of Alberta, and Scientific Director, Inner City Health and Wellness Program, Royal Alexandra Hospital (Edmonton, AB)
  • Anthony Muench, Corporal, RCMP, Primary (Lead) Investigator, Project EPLAN (Surrey, B.C.)
  • Pierre-André Dubé, Pharmacist-Toxicologist, Québec National Institute of Public Health (Québec City, QC)
  • Sandhia Vadlamundy, General Director, CACTUS Montréal  (Montréal, QC)
  • Wayne Bishop, Regional Addictions Prevention Consultant,  Mental Health & Addiction Services – Eastern Health (St. John’s, NL)

The IVLP enables Canadians who are emerging leaders in their professional field to observe U.S. institutions, practices, and culture first-hand, and to meet with professional counterparts to explore issues of common interest. Founded in 1940, the IVLP has given hundreds of thousands of emerging leaders — including more than 1,200 Canadians — the opportunity to observe and interact with American culture and society on a personal level. For more information, visit

Participants are available for interviews before and after the program upon request.