Healthcare News Briefs

AIC Educators to Address Opioid Crisis at Public Health Lecture Series

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) will continue its annual Desmond Tutu Public Health Awareness Lecture Series with an examination of the current opioid public-health crisis by two of the college’s experts on the subject.

The keynote speakers are Director of Graduate Psychology Lina Racicot and Jaime Bruno, Springfield Police narcotics detective and adjunct professor of Forensic Psychology, who will discuss the psychological theories and physiological components of this epidemic as well as present real-life scenarios. The lecture will take place on Monday, April 8 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium at AIC, located at 1000 State St., Springfield. 

“The opioid public-health crisis has led to such senseless loss for so many. Whether it be the addicted losing everything including their own identity or loved ones losing them to the addiction, it’s essential to open the dialogue with healthcare providers to help recognize the comprehensive needs of each unique individual that comes their way,” said Racicot.

As the director of graduate psychology, Racicot oversees AIC’s forensic psychology and clinical psychology master’s-degree programs as well as the educational psychology and mental health counseling doctoral offerings. She brings with her decades of experience as an educator, author, researcher, clinician, and advocate, and has been invited to work on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant investigating medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Her novel, Living with the Little Devil Man, is based upon her own experiences with a loved one’s struggle with mental illness and addiction. An advocate for at-risk youth, Racicot partners with the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative to identify rehabilitative opportunities in lieu of imprisonment for non-violent offenders. She also works with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department researching the efficacy of post-incarceration services.

Bruno offers extensive, firsthand knowledge of the impacts of addiction. An officer with the Springfield Police Department since 1995, he has served the community as a narcotics detective for nearly two decades, including seven years spent in undercover work. He has presented extensively on issues pertaining to heroin and opiate abuse, appearing before the Mayor’s Violence Prevention Committee in Springfield, law students at Western New England University, at Westfield State University, and at the Center for Human Development at Springfield Technical Community College. Bruno earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Westfield State University and is a doctoral candidate at AIC.

The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP or for more information, contact Kristi Gosselin at (413) 205-3565 or