Speaker Bios

Dr. Glenn Sterner, Keynote, is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at The Pennsylvania State University, Abington Campus where he serves as the coordinator of the Criminal Justice Research Center’s Greater Philadelphia Office for the University. He is the founder of The Story Powered Initiative (www.storypowered.org) that addresses stigma toward substance use and other marginalized conditions. As an expert on the opioid epidemic, he is an appointed member of the Opioid Overdose Task Force for the State of Pennsylvania. He is also a founding member of the Penn State Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction, and he developed the Substance Use Stigma Reduction Collaborative. Dr. Sterner has been awarded over $12 million in local, state, and federal grants to study and address substance use issues, human trafficking, and gambling impacts. Dr. Sterner collaborates extensively with law enforcement agencies on the local, state, and federal level in his work to address the opioid crisis and other substance use issues. Dr. Sterner is dedicated to a holistic, data driven approach at the intersection of public health and criminal justice to minimize the harms of substance use in our communities, and he actively works across agencies and organizations to promote this ethos in his research and outreach endeavors.

Kurt August, MSW, is the Senior Director of the Office of Criminal Justice within the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety. His work involves overseeing a range of criminal justice reform efforts designed to safely reduce the size of the local jail population and promote racial equity across the criminal justice system. He has worked primarily in the diversion and deflection space to develop health-centered alternatives to arrest and incarceration for adults with complex unmet health needs that are having low-level, non-violent police contacts in the community through the City’s Police-Assisted Diversion (PAD) initiative. For the past 8 years, Kurt has worked at the intersection of the law enforcement and behavioral health communities by piloting a pre-booking diversion program, an Outreach focused Co-Responder pilot which embeds behavioral health professionals with law enforcement to collaboratively address quality of life issues, Crisis Intervention Response Teams that pair behavioral health professionals with CIT Officers in unmarked police vehicles to address behavioral health calls that come in to the 911 Call Center in real time, and collaborated with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services to establish the first Behavioral Health Unit in the City’s history under the police department in December 2022. 

Carlos Del Valle has worked for Prevention Point Philadelphia since 2018. In that time, he has worked as a Housing Specialist, helping manage the meal service, community resident meetings, teaching activities of daily living with PPP’s residents of 2 shelter locations, and providing brief care coordination for residents, engaging them with community resources. During the last 2 1/2 years, Carlos has worked as an Overdose Prevention Specialist, conducting community level, CBO, and health care provider group trainings, additionally conducting targeted outreach in communities most impacted by the unfolding overdose crisis, by recruiting and training a secondary community overdose response network, coordinating with block captains, local businesses, pharmacies, and community members, and equipping them to conduct community rescue. Prior to PPP, Carlos worked at Magna Legal Services, supporting attorneys in their work with clients. Prior to that, Carlos worked at MEE Productions, as an Adult Coordinator and Mentor, assisting and mentoring youth in building healthy relationships with peers and adults and identifying and engaging in productive social and vocational activities. In this role, Carlos also coordinated outreach teams that conducted community-based health and mental wellness education. Prior to this Carlos worked as a Marketing Director, and prior to this, Carlos served in the US Army in South Korea, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Carlos has reversed 622 overdoses in the last few years. He has skills in community outreach and engagement, group training, emergency response and client de-escalation, group management, and data management. Carlos spends his free time re-uniting individuals with their families, distributing food in the community, being a father, and trying to create a more caring world.

Megan Erickson is a Research Analyst at the University of Baltimore’s Center for Drug Policy and Prevention and the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Applied Statistics from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She went on to complete an M.S. in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the University of Baltimore.

She began her current role in 2020, where she supports the Combating Overdose through Community-level Intervention grant, serves as the Evaluation Chair for Prevention and Treatment, and is a member of ADAPT (A Division for Advancing Prevention & Treatment).

Van A. Jackson is a twenty-seven-year law enforcement veteran retired from the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Eastern Interdiction unit.  Van was a member of this unit for eighteen years and completed over twenty-two years with the Pennsylvania State police.  Van had been detailed as a task force officer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigation.  Assigned to  then Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA Hotel Interdiction Task Force in Philadelphia.  Van has conducted investigations in an undercover capacity for the state police and the FBI.  Van served as an instructor for Pennsylvania Top Gun undercover school for the National Guard Northeast Counter-Drug Program and is also an instructor for DEA El Paso Intelligence Center/Jetway school, instructing hotel/motel and freight interdiction. Van was enlisted in the United States Air Force assigned to the 24th security police squadron at Howard Air Force Base in the Republic of Panama assisting Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in drug investigations of Columbian cartel trafficking in South America. Van is currently assigned as Drug Intelligence Officer for Pennsylvania at Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA in Philadelphia, PA.

David Malloy graduated from Temple School of Social Work with his MSW in 2013.  Always a client advocate, he chose to challenge himself by completing the Management and Planning track during his graduate work. As the Executive Director of Mobile Services for Merakey Parkside Recovery he has the opportunity to be on the front lines for developing innovative solutions and programs that help address a wide variety of behavioral health challenges that so many individuals are facing in Philadelphia. David thrives on working at the nexus of Addiction and the Criminal Justice System, and through this work is continuing to pave the way and set real examples of what true recovery-oriented systems of care embody. His interests also include medication assisted treatment (MAT) and finding innovative solutions to the service delivery system that challenges Philadelphia communities.

Ann Ricksecker has been a member of the Regional Overdose Prevention Coalition since its inception in 2017 and served as one of the co-chairs from 2020-2022. She also currently serves at the Board Chair of Prevention Point Philadelphia, where she has been a board member since 2009.  Previously she was the Associate Executive Director of the Health Federation of Philadelphia, a consortium of community health centers and community health programs, from 1999 through 2018. In that capacity she oversaw public and community health programs which includes a health professionals continuing education training center, the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center; the National Health Corps; and a consortium of federally qualified health centers that provide HIV care and testing.  In addition, Ann was the Health Federation’s Senior Director of Opioid Epidemic Response.

Trained in Public Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Ann taught at the Drexel University School of Public Health, teaching the course “Public Policy and Advocacy” from 2006-2016.

Phil Waibel, BA Economics from Penn State University. Currently enrolled in MSW program at Widener. Professionally, I run Delaware County’s Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI) and work as a part time clinician at MVP Recovery for individuals struggling with substance use disorder. 

Tamar E. Wallace has served as the Public Health Analyst for Pennsylvania under the Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) since the inception of this innovative public health-public safety initiative in 2016. Tamar earned her Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of Pennsylvania with an emphasis in prevention and program evaluation. Through her work in her current role she applies a trauma-informed, harm reduction lens to bring together local and statewide partners to implement promising and evidence-based initiatives to reduce overdoses and the impacts of substances on the community, the individual, and the family.