Track: Health and Well-Being
Format: Project-Based

The opioid overdose epidemic has had a devastating effect on the Philadelphia community. As the public health institute of Pennsylvania, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is uniquely positioned to combat the opioid epidemic in an effective, multi-systemic manner. As a comprehensive nonprofit public health institute, PHMC comprises over 2,500 employees, 350 programs, and a network of subsidiary organizations. It operates 70 sites and annually serves nearly 350,000 clients across the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. 

In early 2018, PHMC convened an Opioid Task Force with the goal of maximizing the impact and coordination of its work related to opioid use disorder treatment, research, and advocacy. Composed of representatives from across the organization, the Opioid Task Force intends to inventory and integrate its vast programming and services to bolster its efforts to address the epidemic.

Since its inception, the task force has worked to identify immediate, short- and long-term objectives focused on increasing internal organizational capacity, improving service delivery for clients and partners, and developing policy priorities at local and national levels. The Opioid Task Force quickly identified a need for targeted subgroups and began initiatives focused on assisting current employees in the navigation of an opioid use disorder in both a personal and professional capacity while also providing educational and training opportunities around overdose prevention.

In this session, presenters will share their perspectives on the process of unifying a complex organization around a public health issue, including challenges encountered and lessons learned. Presenters will describe the development of guiding principles, policy recommendations, and immediate short- and long-term objectives. The presenters will mentor participants on considering the strengths and limitations of convening a task force as an approach to identifying solutions to a public health problem. Participants will work in groups to develop a road map for convening a task force at their own organization around a critical issue, including the organization of key participants, the structure for participation, and the development of primary tools such as guiding principles and agendas.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand one model for the development of a task force, including the processes of convening representatives, establishing principles, and identifying immediate short- and long-term objectives
  • Consider how an inter-organizational collaboration can foster internal and external partnerships and drive meaningful initiatives and policies around a pressing public health issue
  • Develop a roadmap for aligning and modifying existing policies and practices around a critical issue to impact outcomes


  • Stephanie Shell, senior director of strategy development, Public Health Management Corporation
  • Laurie Corbin, senior director for criminal justice initiatives, Public Health Management Corporation

Stephanie Shell
Senior Director of Strategy Development
Public Health Management Corporation

 Stephanie Shell trained as a social worker at the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, graduating with a Master of Social Service in 1992. She then entered the children, youth and family services arena as a foster care social worker. Through her 12 years of direct service, Shell focused on at-risk children, devoting herself first to those in placement services and then to behavioral health services for children and families. In 2003, Shell started her own consulting practice providing grant writing, evaluation, strategic planning, and project management services to a range of organizations and entities. In 2013, she accepted the position of director of organizational advancement at a child and family serving nonprofit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she worked to provide development, marketing, and public relations services. In 2017, this organization was acquired by Public Health Management Corporation, and Shell moved into the role of senior director of strategy development. In this role, she is working with senior leadership to develop and implement a vision for new business development, support, and fundraising.

Laurie Corbin
Senior Director for Criminal Justice Initiatives
Public Health Management Corporation

Laurie Corbin is the senior director for criminal justice initiatives at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC). Her primary responsibility is directed to Forensic Services (aka FIR) which includes a continuum of programs and services that focus on the diversion and early release from incarceration for justice-involved individuals. This initiative’s goal is to connect these individuals to substance use disorder or other behavioral health treatment and social support services. Corbin is responsible for several other PHMC community-based outreach programs, including a treatment readiness/recovery support program titled New Pathways Project and the Philadelphia Hepatitis Outreach Project. 

Prior to her current position with PHMC, Corbin worked in leadership positions in the area of child welfare at Methodist Family Services and Northeast Treatment Centers and was program director at Interim House West and Bridges’ Step Down, a drug treatment and recovery house for woman and children. Corbin has more than 30 years’ experience in human services and nonprofit management and holds several related degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Social Service, and a Master of Law and Social Policy. She also holds certificates in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research and the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum (PAADLF) through the Urban League of Philadelphia.