April Smith

Author: April Smith

April Wilson Smith, MPH, is a PhD candidate in Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Her research focuses on harm reduction approaches to people who use substances when they enter the healthcare system.

April's other interest in healthcare is interprofessional education and teamwork. Her work with the Jefferson Center for InterProfessional Education won the 2016 James B. Erdmann PhD award for Excellence in Interprofessional Education. She is currently building a large, multidisciplinary coalition to create an interprofessional education module for healthcare professionals in best practices for the care of people who use drugs when they present in the acute care setting.

April is a Certified SMART Recovery facilitator and founded the first SMART Recovery meeting in the Philadelphia city limits. She is also co-founder of the only Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support meeting in Philadelphia.

April recently accepted a position as Harm Reduction Epidemiologist with Families for Sensible Drug Policy, which is a non-profit dedicated to helping families advocate for drug policies that save drug users' lives and keep families together and healthy.  Co-founder and President, Barry Lessin, is also a Pro Talk columnist

April graduated from Yale University in 1996. She was a union organizer for healthcare workers for 18 years before going back to school for her Master of Public Health, and spent ten years as Director of Organizing for Pennsylvania's largest nurses' union. She lives in West Philadelphia with her beautiful black cat, Loviefluffy.
  • Master of Public Health
    PhD candidate in Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University
    Recipient of the 2016 James B. Erdmann PhD award for Excellence in Interprofessional Education
  • Certified SMART Recovery facilitator
    Harm Reduction Epidemiologist with Families for Sensible Drug Policy
    Co-founder of the only Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support meeting in Philadelphia
  • Interprofessional education and teamwork in the healthcare setting
    Research focuses on harm reduction approaches to people who use substances when they enter the healthcare system
Founding a Non-12 Step Support Group Meeting: SMART Recovery Philadelphia

Founding a local SMART Recovery meeting and to be part of that movement was one of the most empowering experiences of my life.

An Inside Look at Youth in Recovery With Brooke Feldman

For young people, we shouldn’t make them identify as addicts or alcoholics. They can grow out of this moment.

Getting Your Brain Back Together After Benzo Withdrawal

Benzo withdrawal can be painful, but the benefits of getting your brain back – no longer having impaired cognitive function – are worth it.

Kenneth Anderson Talks Harm Reduction, Activism, and Challenges in the Field

Our revealing chat with Kenneth Anderson, founder of the international organization Harm Reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support.

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Loved One Does NOT Recover

Let’s take a hard look at five recovery strategies that probably seem like good ideas in theory, but are doomed to fail.

Putting Space Back Down

Those of us who find ourselves in the supporting cast of characters need to put the space down and pick our own space back up.

Covering the Latest Harm Reduction Conference in San Diego

This was a far cry from the calm, clinical world of the classes I’m taking for my PhD program. We cried and hugged each other, strangers from around the country…

Nothing Matters More Than Saving His Life: A Case for Heroin Prescription in Acute Care (Part II)

If doctors had the ability to prescribe safe, medical grade, legal heroin in supervised programs, this scene would not have happened.

Nothing Matters More Than Saving His Life: A Case for Heroin Prescription in Acute Care

Provision of medical grade heroin under the supervision of a medical significantly decreases the risks of overdose, infection with HIV or Hepatitis.