Tackling the Opioid Crisis Through Collaboration and Innovation

This panel aims to explore strategies and tools to combat the opioid crisis, assessing what’s worked, what hasn’t, and how attitudes are shifting toward treating the patient as a whole person. With unique perspectives from the public and private sectors, this intimate panel will discuss promising opportunities for collaboration in addiction treatment and examine the role of providers, policy makers, and innovative technologies in enabling better outcomes for the most vulnerable populations.


Zach Siegel (Moderator)



Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist and writer based in Chicago. His writing focuses on the intersection of public health and criminal justice. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, WIRED, New York Magazine, Longreads, The Daily Beast, VICE, and other outlets. He's also one of 2018's Guggenheim Justice Reporting Fellows at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, and co-hosts Narcotica, a podcast about drugs, informed by science, policy, and the lives of real drug users that navigates complicated debates. Currently, Zach is doing public health policy research at Northeastern University's Health In Justice Action Lab in Boston.  


Maria Bruni, PhD

assistant secretary for programs, Illinois deptartment of human services


Since February 2017, Dr. Bruni has served as the Assistant Secretary for Programs and has been deeply involved with the State’s efforts to transform the behavioral health system of care. She has worked closely with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) on Illinois’ Medicaid 1115 Demonstration Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Amendments, which are directed at expanding and enhancing the services available for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders (SUD).  Prior to her current role, Dr. Bruni served as the Acting Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA), where she had spent over 15 years overseeing the state’s strategic planning process for SUD treatment as well as numerous federally-funded grants.

Dr. Bruni earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration.


Ben Zaniello, MD, MPH

Physician and Chief medical officer, Collective Medical

Ben Zaniello.png

Dr. Benjamin Zaniello, MPH, is a practicing physician and chief medical officer for Collective Medical, developer of the nation's largest network for care collaboration. Prior to his work at Collective, Dr. Zaniello was a CMIO of population health at Providence St. Joseph Health where he was responsible for developing the technical infrastructure that supports Providence’s risk-based contracts, including the system's landmark direct-to-employer contracts. He also led projects on consumer experience optimization, EMR integration/data exchange and digital innovation projects with Providence’s venture fund. Prior to his work at Providence, Dr. Zaniello conducted NIH-funded translational research in population health at University of Washington.