Dr. Oz’s Healthcorps to Host Panel on Addiction to Support Facing Addiction over Dinner

Posted 11/15/2016 | By HealthCorps


Media Contact: Karen Johnson


(703) 362-7582


NEW YORK, NY (November 14, 2016) — HealthCorps, a national health and wellness nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, will host a panel on addiction on November 16 at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA from 11am-12pm. Facing Addiction Over Dinner, was developed by The Dr. Oz Show, Facing Addiction, HealthCorps, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to encourage parents to have an open conversation with their children about alcohol and drugs over dinner. Research shows that children who have dinner with their families have a lower risk of drug use.  This 2nd National Night of Conversation will take place the following day on November 17.


A recent poll conducted by HealthCorps found that 35% of students are less likely to use drugs after discussing drugs and alcohol with their parents. The same survey of 375 students found that 27% of students have never discussed drugs and alcohol with their parents.


“With the opioid epidemic taking center stage in media outlets, the National Night of Conversation could not come at a better time. Drug addiction affects millions of Americans, particularly in high risk communities. HealthCorps goes directly to these communities and instills a commitment to healthy living and an awareness of healthy life choices. This panel will allow students to have a frank conversation about addiction and how it has played a role in their lives.  We hope that the conversation we start will continue at home” said Dr. Pedram Salimpour, HealthCorps board member.


Dr. Salimpour will moderate the panel of doctors. Dr. Damon Raskin, an expert on addiction, Dr. Dana Myers, a general surgeon and medical consultant and Dr. Jon Spiers, a cardio thoracic surgeon and medical consultant. Students, parents and teachers from Long Beach Polytechnic High School will participate in the panel, asking questions of the panelists. HealthCorps Coordinator Ejiro Ntekume will join the panel with Long Beach Polytechnic teacher Sara Schol.


The panel discussion will be held against a backdrop of sticky notes with anonymous stories gathered from Long Beach Polytechnic High School students about how addiction has affected their lives.


On November 17 people are encouraged to post a photo of an empty dinner plate on social media to show support for this national night of conversation with the hashtag #NightOfConversation. “On most nights of the year you can find people posting pictures of their meals on social media, but on November 17th, we are asking people to post a picture of an empty dinner plate, cause on the conversation is more important than the food,” said HealthCorps Founder Dr. Mehmet Oz.


Photo opportunities and interviews with HealthCorps staff, panelists and students will take place from immediately following the panel.


The Facing Addiction Discussion Guide can be found here.



About HealthCorps


HealthCorps is a national non-profit organization that gives teens tools to improve physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives. HealthCorps students exercise more, eat better and practice positive thought. The program will impact almost 1 million students across 19 states in 2016.


The HealthCorps curriculum has been refined and developed in its in-school Living Labs program since 2003, where a full-time Coordinator is placed inside a high-need high school for two years to mentor hundreds of students, teach health related workshops, and promote a variety of during and after school activities. Coordinators are recent college graduates who go on to careers in medicine, public health policy or wellness practices.


HealthCorps University is an intense professional development program that certifies participants to bring HealthCorps’ innovative health and wellness curriculum to their organization whether it’s a school system, community organization or corporation. In 2015, HealthCorps teamed with CK-12 to distribute free, interactive and customizable versions of the HealthCorps curriculum for educators and students to use. For more information, please visit www.HealthCorps.org







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