Educational Webinar

The Role of Surgeons in Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Friday, April 6, 2018

1:30 – 3:30 PM

As health care providers, we are all aware of the severity of the opioid crisis. Surgeons and their practice teams can play a key role in addressing this problem. Surgeons have the second-highest opioid prescribing rate in the country; in addition, one out of every three prescriptions written by a surgeon is for an opioid. The first SCW educational webinar will offer insight into opportunities for surgeons to change opioid prescribing patterns, as well as new information on potential alternatives for pain management. Join your colleagues from across the state to learn and network.


Jonathan Kohler, MD, MA (Director, UW Project ECHO)


David Melnick, MD, MPH (Meriter/UnityPoint)

Joseph Imbus, MD (UW-Madison)

“Characterizing Surgeon Prescribing Practices and Opioid Use after Outpatient General Surgery”

Nathan J. Rudin, MD (UW Health Pain Management Clinic)

“Managing Pain Post-Operatively and Beyond: What are the Options?”

Update from the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse

Invitation Extended, Speaker TBA


About the Panelists

Jonathan Kohler, MD, MA

Jonathan Kohler, MD, MA

Dr. Jonathan Kohler is a pediatric surgeon and health services researcher at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He holds a Master’s degree in Health Communications and focuses his academic work on  provider-patient and provider-provider communication strategies. He is particularly interested in developing effective, efficient telementoring tools to de-implement harmful and low-value care practices, including opioid overprescription. He is the director of the UW Department of Surgery’s Project ECHO telementoring program and is Director of Telementoring for the Surgical Collaborative of Wisconsin.

David Melnick, MD, MPH

David Melnick, MD, MPH

David Melnick, MD, MPH, practices general surgery in Madison at Meriter Hospital/UW Health and serves on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Including his surgical residency, he has prescribed opioids for 21 years. He developed an interest in appropriate opioid prescribing practices after recognizing the magnitude of the problem and the potential impact surgeons can have in reducing the risk of opioid abuse.

Joseph Imbus, MD

Joseph Imbus, MD

Joseph Imbus, MD, is a General Surgery resident and graduate student in the MS Population Health program working with Dr. David Melnick on opioid-related surgical outcomes research. He is also a postdoctoral trainee on the T32 Surgical Oncology Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Nathan J. Rudin, MD

Nathan J. Rudin, MD

Dr. Rudin came to UW Health from Johns Hopkins in 2001.  He directed the UW Health Pain Management Clinic for 11 years.  An active clinician, teacher, author and researcher, he has served on national and statewide task forces developing guidelines for chronic pain management.  Dr. Rudin will discuss tools available to surgeons to help patients manage pain, including setting patient expectations, the use of drugs and alternative therapies, and what happens if pain persists.