NCOIL 2018 Summer Meeting Health General Session to Examine Opioid Epidemic


For Immediate Release
June 11, 2018
Contact: Paul Penna
(732) 201-4133


Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes Highlights Panel, Will Discuss Efforts of Utah Opioid Task Force


Manasquan, NJ – During the 2018 NCOIL Summer Meeting at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake
City from July 12th – 15th there will be Health General Session titled “Breaking Down Silos: Innovative Solutions to Address the Opioid Epidemic”

“NCOIL continues to provide timely health insurance general sessions as state legislatures and legislators look for policy solutions to this issue” said AR Sen. Jason Rapert, NCOIL President. “I am proud that we are actively searching for solutions to this vexing problem.”

Panelists scheduled to appear include:

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes – General Reyes will be discussing the efforts of the Utah Opioid Task Force that he serves as co-chair of and co-founded. Information about the Task Force can be found here –

Dr. Andrew Kolodny – Co-Director of Opioid Policy Research at the Brandeis University’s Heller
School for Social Policy and Management.

Dr. Howard Shaps, Sr. Medical Director, WellCare.

“We strive to educate policymakers and provide useful information, so a solution might present itself,” said Commissioner Tom Considine, NCOIL CEO. “We invite top-notch presenters, such as General Reyes, Dr. Kolodny, and Dr. Shaps, to share their experiences and recommendations so they can be taken back to the states for consideration.”

“In Utah, we have worked with stakeholders from a myriad of disciplines while including lawmakers at the state, federal and local levels, to drive policies addressing this scourge of death and addiction related to Opioids,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “We have learned valuable lessons from colleagues around the country and are happy to share our own successes with any members of NCOIL for the benefit of their states. I’m honored to be a part of this conference, the national discussion and, hopefully together, solutions.”

Biographies for all participants are below.


NCOIL is a legislative organization comprised principally of legislators serving on state insurance and financial institutions
committees around the nation. NCOIL writes Model Laws in insurance and financial services, works to both preserve the
state jurisdiction over insurance as established by the McCarran-Ferguson Act seventy years ago and to serve as an
educational forum for public policy makers and interested parties. Founded in 1969, NCOIL works to assert the
prerogative of legislators in making state policy when it comes to insurance and educate state legislators on current and
perennial insurance issues.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

In 2013, at the age of 42, the Honorable Sean Reyes was appointed by Governor Gary Herbert as Utah’s 21st Attorney General. General Reyes took over an office racked with scandal and inefficiency in the midst of some of the most significant constitutional issues in state history. Within a year, he
reorganized and re-energized the office internally and recaptured the trust of the State with striking leadership, innovative programs and historic wins against drug dealers, human trackers, child predators and white collar criminals. After winning election in 2014 by one of the largest margins
nationwide, Reyes was selected in 2015 by the Republican National Committee as one of its four national rising stars.

Prior to taking office, Attorney General Reyes was a partner in a small venture fund, general counsel for a tech company and a litigation partner at Utah’s largest private law -rm. He has been honored nationally and locally with a long list of awards for his legal skills, leadership and unparalleled
commitment to public service and has founded and served multiple non-pro-t organizations. The son of a Spanish-Filipino immigrant father, who ed the Marcos regime and a Japanese-Hawaiian mother, AG Reyes is Utah’s first minority elected statewide. General Reyes and his wife, Saysha, are
the proud parents of 6 children. He is a former collegiate volleyball player and mixed martial arts fighter who enjoys speaking at Comic Cons, playing basketball, coaching his kids, dancing with Saysha, watching Sports Center, cooking, shooting guns and rapping on Bloomberg News.

Andrew Kolodny

Dr. Kolodny previously served as Chief Medical Officer for Phoenix House, a national non profit addiction treatment agency and Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City.  Dr. Kolodny has a long-standing interest in public health. He began his career working for the New
York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner. For New York City, he helped develop and implement multiple programs to improve the health of New Yorkers and save lives, including city-wide buprenorphine programs, naloxone overdose prevention programs and emergency room-based screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs for drug and alcohol misuse.

Howard Shaps, MD MBA Sr. Medical Director, Value Based Care

Dr. Howard Shaps has served as a medical director for WellCare since January 2014. In this role, he has been responsible for overseeing the clinical direction of medical services and quality functions in the Kentucky market where he served as medical director for four years. During his tenure, he
provided medical leadership for the effective care integration of pharmacy operations; utilization, care and disease management activities. Most recently, Howard joined WellCare’s corporate team, based out of WellCare’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida. In his current role, Howard is tasked with delivering quality care to all of WellCare’s members through policy development and the promotion of value-based care.

Prior to joining WellCare, Howard was the medical director for Health Care Excel, a nonprofit health care consulting company and served as a medical director for Express Scripts. Since 2007, he has also been an assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Earlier in his career, Howard served simultaneously as the medical director for the Department of Emergency Medicine for Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky and the medical director for CVS Minute Clinic. He remains on the emergency medicine staff for the Jewish Hospital. He serves on the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association Medical Directors Clinical Advisory Panel and most
recently serviced on National Quality Forum’s (NQF’s) Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Committee for the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project.

Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, his doctor of medicine from the Boston University School of Medicine and his MBA, with distinction, from the University of Louisville College of Business. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Emergency
Medicine and holds active medical licenses in Kentucky and Indiana.