Travelers Institute Convenes Experts to Address Pandemic-Era Opioid Crisis

November 1, 2021

Webinar will outline employer-based solutions to combat the public health emergency

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), will host a webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 3, titled “The Pandemic-Era Opioid Crisis: Where Are We Now? How Can We Break the Cycle?” The session will focus on the prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs); the prevention and management of chronic pain; and the latest strategies and interventions that can help families, employers and communities achieve optimal health outcomes.

“As the country’s leading workers compensation provider, we see the long-term effects that opioids can have, and we’re focused on finding safe and effective alternatives to treat and prevent chronic pain,” said Rich Ives, Vice President of Business Insurance Claim at Travelers, who will be a panelist during the upcoming webinar. “By combining our Early SeverityPredictor® modeling tool with our injured worker centric approach, we have been able to proactively identify many of the challenges our insureds’ employees experience, which has helped us to reduce opioid use among that population by approximately 80% since 2015. We look forward to discussing ways we can continue to address this complex problem.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drug overdoses – many of which involve opioids – have steadily increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While new types of health interventions, such as telemedicine, have become more readily available and have helped to improve access to psychiatric and medical support, additional steps are needed to address SUDs.

“The ongoing pandemic has further illustrated the need to prioritize mental health and the disease of addiction, and employers are key partners in this mission,” said Sabrina Spitaletta, Senior Director for the Center for Public Health at the Milken Institute. “To address this public health issue, we are drawing from our pre-pandemic SUD- and mental-health-focused work to help employers access platforms, tools and evidence-based, holistic approaches that address the needs of employees and their communities, both immediately and for the long term.”

The event is part of the Travelers Institute’s Wednesdays with Woodward® webinar series and is co-hosted by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association and the MetroHartford Alliance. Spitaletta and Ives will provide remarks and then serve as panelists during a Q&A moderated by Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. The program will begin at 1 p.m. ET and is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in registering can sign up here.

To learn more about the Travelers Institute and other upcoming events, please visit

About the Travelers Institute

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

Chesleigh Fowler, 860-277-5102

Source: The Travelers Institute