Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel

As the legislative building remains closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pubic portion of the Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel meeting is suspended. However, members of the public may participate remotely in the panel meeting by emailing comments to Dorothy.Cavalier@suffolkcountyny.gov.

2020 Meeting Dates
(Friday from
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
(Friday from
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
(Friday from
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
(Public Hearing -
Wednesday from
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
(Public Hearing -
Thursday from
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
(Friday from
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Report is due Thursday, December 31st

Hauppauge Auditorium: William H. Rogers Legislature Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead Auditorium: Riverhead Legislative Auditorium, 300 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901

  1. 2020
  2. 2019
  3. 2018


  • Legislator Sarah S. Anker, acting Advisory Panel Chairwoman and designee of the Presiding Officer Robert Calarco of the Suffolk County Legislature
  • Legislator Tom Donnelly, Chair of the Public Safety Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature
  • Legislator William Spencer, Chair of the Health Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature
  • Legislator Kevin McCaffrey, Chair of the Education and Labor Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature
  • Errol D. Toulon, Jr., Suffolk County Sheriff
  • Geraldine Hart, Suffolk County Police Commissioner
  • Andrea Neubauer, Director of Suffolk County Department of Probation
  • James Tomarken, MD Suffolk County Health Department Commissioner
  • Michael J. Caplan, MD., Chief Medical Examiner, Suffolk County
  • Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Ph.D, CEAP, SAP, President/CEO Family and Children’s Association (FCA)
  • Antonette Whyte-Etere, LCSW-R, CASAC, Regional Coordinator, NYS OASAS Long Island Regional Office
  • Ann Marie Csorny, LCSW, Director of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Division of Community Mental Hygiene
  • Tim Sini, Suffolk County District Attorney
  • Dr. Julie Lutz, Ph.D Chief Operating Officer for East Suffolk BOCES and panel representative for the Suffolk County Superintendent’s Association
  • Dr. Kristie Golden, Ph.D, LMHC, CRC, Associate Director of Operations for Neurosciences at Stony Brook University Hospital
  • Dr. Richard Rosenthal, MD., Stony Brook University Hospital Division of Psychiatry
  • David Cohen, LCSW, Director of Outpatient Addiction Services at Eastern Long Island Hospital
  • Steve Chassman, LCSW, CASAC, Executive Director of Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (LICADD)
  • Mary Silberstein, LCSW-R, CASAC, Chair of Suffolk County Communities of Solution
  • Anthony Rizzuto LMSW, CASAC, Executive Director & Founder of Families in Support of Treatment (FIST)
  • Patricia Ferrandino, LCSW, CASAC, President of the Quality Consortium of Suffolk County
  • Janine Logan, President and CEO of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC)
  • Pamela Mizzi, MS, CASAC, LMHC, Director of Prevention at the Long Island Prevention Resource Center
  • John Venza, LCSW-R, LMHC, Director of Outreach House
  • Michael Chiappone, LCSW, representative from Hope House Ministries
  • Janene Gentile, Executive Director of the North Shore Youth Council (NSYC)
  • Veronica Finneran, member of the general public appointed by the Suffolk County Legislature, CN Guidance and Counseling
  • Robert McConville, President of the Suffolk County Fire Chiefs Council
  • Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, Catholic Health Services of Long Island


Resolution 704-2017, sponsored by Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, to establish a permanent Suffolk County Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel was approved unanimously by the Suffolk County Legislature and signed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on September 25, 2017. The goal of the panel is to provide ongoing guidance and input to the county in combating the opiate epidemic. The panel takes an interdisciplinary approach by focusing on preventative education, enhancement of law enforcement efforts, and aiding in treatment and rehabilitation.

The original Suffolk County Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel was formed in 2010 via IR 413-2010. The panel issued a report to the Legislature outlining 48 recommendations to combat the opioid epidemic. Several panel members met again in 2016 to update the recommendations to identify progress that had been made and where additional focus might be needed. However, no formal panel meetings occurred subsequently with the main focus of working to implement the recommendations. The ever-evolving nature of the opiate epidemic requires a continuous commitment to focusing on these priorities, and the newly-formed permanent panel will continue to meet and work toward these shared goals.  The panel includes members of the Legislature, representatives from Suffolk County Law Enforcement including the Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, and Probation, the Suffolk County Department of Health, the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, and local rehabilitation and treatment providers, advocacy groups, hospitals, and the Suffolk County Superintendent’s Association. The panel meets quarterly and holds two public hearings annually.

As per the resolution, a report will be filed with the Legislature in December of each year outlining the panel’s goals, recommendations, and accomplishments.  Panel members – all leaders in their respective fields - brought a diverse array of experiences and perspectives to the group, both personally and professionally. The energy, passion and dedication of each panel member was evident throughout the process. The panel has brought communities and agencies together, focused the field’s collective energies and maximized the power of collaboration.