IN CAREs ECHO

About IN CAREs ECHO

The IN CAREs ECHO brings together leaders from key sectors within local communities in Indiana that are experiencing high rates of substance use disorder and opioid-related overdose to share community-based solutions that have demonstrated effectiveness and to mitigate poor health outcomes related to drug use.

Each session begins with a didactic presentation by a guest speaker and it is followed by an engaging, open discussion amongst the participants on the Zoom call. Following the didactic discussion, a county will present a case study where they'll ask for feedback from the participants. 

The program is a collaboration between the IUPUI ECHO Center at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and the Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention (DTIP) at the Indiana Department of Health and funds the implementation of community-driven, best-practice efforts in 14 Indiana counties.

For more questions about IN CAREs, contact Alex Buchanan: albuchan@iu.edu 

Counties Participating

  • Allen
  • Bartholomew
  • Cass
  • Clark
  • Dearborn
  • Floyd
  • Jay
  • Johnson
  • Lake
  • Morgan
  • Porter
  • Randolph
  • Scott
  • Tippecanoe

Hub Team

Amnah Anwar, MPH, MBBS

amnah_anwar_headshot.jpg

Senior Director & Epidemiologist | Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA)

Her work at IRHA involves Senior staff management, program management, grant evaluations, and grant writing. She is currently working as the program director for the Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium, which is a grant-funded program under the Health Resources and Services Administration for combating the epidemic of Substance use overdose deaths and morbidity in rural Indiana. She is also the lead evaluator for three different federally funded programs. She serves on the board of the Indiana Immunization Coalition. She has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from King ward Medical University, Pakistan and master's in public health with a concentration in Epidemiology from Indiana University (IUPUI). Her research interests include health disparities, mental health and addiction, and vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Alex Buchanan, MA

alex-buchanan-headshot.jpg

IN CAREs ECHO Project Manager

Alex Buchanan is the Project Manager at the Indiana University Interprofessional Practice and Education Center (IU IPE). At the IU IPE Center, Alex oversees various curricular and co-curricular projects that pertain to interprofessional education and collaboration. He also manages the Indiana Communities Advancing Recovery Efforts (IN CAREs) ECHO at the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health through the IUPUI ECHO Center. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Indiana University. He earned his master’s degree in Executive Development at Ball State University. Alex previously worked at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business as the Associate Director of Student Engagement where he supervised the academic advising staff and assisted in course and curriculum development. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director of Student Life at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, IN. 

Ben Gonzales, MPH, MHA

ben_gonzales_headshot.jpg

Operations Manager II, Virtual Care, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Ben Gonzales is the Administrative Fellow for the Steele Institute for Health Innovation. Originally from Indianapolis, Ben completed his B.S. in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University and briefly worked in the Agriculture Industry. Ben's pathway to healthcare is deeply personal, changing professions after finding recovery from a substance use disorder. Ben worked as an advocate and recovery coach, seeking to change the way we respond to mental illness as a society, and spent several years a caregiver in inpatient psychiatric hospitals. After realizing his passion for healthcare leadership and advocacy, he enrolled in a dual MPH/MHA program at Indiana University. During his time at IU, Ben completed an Administrative Residency at Eskenazi Health and served as a Crisis Intervention Trainer of Hamilton and Marion County. He also co-founded INStep, a non-profit that creates opportunities for collaboration and innovation to combat SUD in Indiana. 

Lauren Savitskas, MPH

lauren_savitskas_headshot.PNG

Senior Research Associate | The Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR)

Ms. Lauren Savitskas currently works for the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) as a Senior Research Associate providing training and technical assistance for Overdose Fatality Review Teams across the county regardless of site-based funding. Prior to joining IIR, Lauren served as the Suicide and Overdose Fatality Review Program Manager for the state of Indiana from 2018- 2021. This program is selected as a peer-to-peer technical assistance site by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a mentor site for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and is a BJA pilot site for data entry.  Ms. Savitskas chaired the Suicide Learning Collaborative and the Pediatric Suicide Child Fatality Review Team.  She received her Master of Public Health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences from the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Her bachelor’s degree is in journalism from Indiana University. 

Chief Tom Synan

chief_tom_synan_headshot.png

Chief of Police, Co-Chair Interdiction Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition

Tom Synan is a United States Marine Corps veteran. A 26-year police veteran and is the Police Chief of the Newtown Police Department. A 10-year SWAT veteran serving 4 years as Team Leader. In 2014, Mr. Synan helped form the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition where he sits on the Steering Committee and Chair Interdiction. Mr. Synan coordinates law enforcement efforts to reduce supply and works with other members to help reduce demand. Mr. Synan was asked to testify in Washington D.C. at a U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee giving testimony on synthetic opiates and the impact Fentanyl and Carefentinal have had on the country. Mr. Synan was a speaker with President Clinton and other distinguished panelists for the Clinton Foundation discussing the opioid crisis at Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Synan’s career and work with the opiate epidemic has been recorded and archived in the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington D.C. His work with the Coalition has been used in national and international publications and media outlets.

Madison Weintraut

madison_weintraut_headshot_2.jpg

Assistant Administrator | Infectious Disease | Safe Syringe Access and Support

Madison Weintraut is the founding program manager of Safe Syringe Access and Support, Indianapolis' first legal syringe services program. Prior to her work with syringe services, Madison worked as a nurse epidemiologist focusing on hepatitis B and C. Madison served as Incident Commander during the planning of the SSP, designing the program policies and procedures, meeting with community stakeholders and elected officials, and applying to and receiving nearly $3 million in grant funding over the course of less than a year. Madison has degrees in Neurobiology and Physiology from Purdue University (BS), Nursing from Marian University (BSN), and Health Policy and Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (MPH).