Regenstrief sponsors lecture on Indiana's opioid crisis

Indiana’s top drug prevention official will discuss the state’s opioid crisis on Sept. 12 as part of Purdue’s Discovery Park Distinguished Lecture Series.
Jim McClelland

Jim McClelland, executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement for the state of Indiana, will be speaking at 1:30 p.m. in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled, “Toward Better Lives and Stronger Communities — Bringing the Pieces Together.” A reception will follow in the first-floor atrium of Mann Hall.

In 2014, nearly six times as many Hoosiers died from drug overdoses as in 2000, twice the national rate, according to state officials. From 2011 to 2015, there was a nearly 60 percent increase in non-fatal emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses, while opioid-related deaths increased an average of 3.5 percent each year.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has made attacking the state’s opioid crisis one of the five pillars of his administration. Creating McClelland’s position was among the first executive orders he signed. McClelland, who began in January, has been charged with coordinating drug prevention efforts spread among various state agencies to more effectively address the current crisis and reduce the likelihood of a similar one in the future.

McClelland’s talk will be attended by local city officials; West Lafayette, Lafayette and Purdue police chiefs; state representatives and executives from two local health systems. The event is being sponsored by Lilly Endowment and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE).

Located in Purdue’s Discovery Park, RCHE applies the principles of engineering, management and science to healthcare delivery. RCHE researchers work with health care systems across the country to address issues ranging from adverse drug reactions to the social determinants of health inequities.

“Indiana’s opioid crisis presents serious, complex challenges for state and local officials,” says Paul Griffin, RCHE director. “There are no simple solutions. But by creating opportunities for dialogue among researchers, health care providers and government officials, we can begin to find the answers.”

Before joining state government, McClelland served for 41 years as president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, based in Indianapolis. He has served as board member and chair of several local, national and international nonprofit organizations. A native of Florida, McClelland earned a bachelor of industrial engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

The Discovery Park Distinguished Lecture Series was launched in 2006 with a $1 million gift from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment. For more information about the lecture or the series, visit or contact Maria Longoria-Littleton, Discovery Park engagement operations manager, at 765-494-0015 or

Source: Purdue Newsroom