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Free talks to address recovery-related options for opioid users, babies
Epidemic exhibit

JOHNSON CITY – (May 13, 2019) East Tennessee State University will host free educational talks on Wednesday, May 15, and Friday, May 17, addressing recovery-related options for opioid users and babies. The talks are part of the “Epidemic” visual art exhibition at ETSU’s Reece Museum.

On Wednesday, May 15, at noon, Dr. Jack Woodside, a local family medicine physician, will have a conversation about “Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)” with Dr. Eric Avery, an artist and physician and the spring 2019 ETSU Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science. MAT is the use of medications and counseling to treat substance use disorders and prevent opiate overdose, Avery says.

On Friday, May 17, at noon, Avery and Dr. Shawn Hollinger, a neonatologist at Niswonger Children’s Hospital and assistant professor in Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, will discuss “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,” which occurs when a child is born dependent on medications or substances the mother used during pregnancy. NAS babies can experience withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, irritability and difficulty eating.

A question-and-answer session will be a part of both talks, which are free and open to the public at Reece Museum as part of the exhibition.

“It’s really important that the museum is being used for public health purposes,” says Avery, whose task at ETSU is to integrate the arts with the sciences and medicine, both areas of expertise for the artist/physician, a former faculty member at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston and AIDS psychiatrist.

The “Epidemic” exhibition is an art response to the opioid crisis. The exhibition, in galleries C and D of Reece, features prints, 3D art and projections by Avery and fellow printmaker and graphic designer Adam DelMarcelle of Pennsylvania, who lost his brother to an opioid overdose in 2014.

In fall 2018, the two artist/activists blended missions to present their first “Epidemic” exhibition at York College of Pennsylvania, while the ETSU exhibition, which also includes local and student art, opened in April and continues through May 31. “Epidemic” is part of the events and semester-long residency of Avery at ETSU.

For more information on the “Epidemic” exhibition, contact the Reece Museum at or 423-439-4392. For information on 2019 Basler Chair events, visit or call Anita DeAngelis, director of ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, at 423-439-5673. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

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