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Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

Stier Lecture in Medicine

The purpose of the Stier lecture is to feature key leaders in medicine whose works have increased professional and public understanding of new technologies and challenging issues.

Documentary Screening & Panel Discussion

March 23, 2023

Attention Must Be Paid:  Women Lost in the Opioid Crisis
In America’s deadliest drug epidemic, women get the short end of the stick.

For more information and to watch the trailer, click here.

Attendees may choose to attend the screening in person or virtually.

  • Doors Open/Check-In:  5:00-5:30 pm (Appetizers & beverages provided)
  • Screening:  5:30-6:45 pm
  • Panel Discussion:  6:45-7:15 pm (virtual or in-person)

Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building, Room 101
205 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Join the Live Panel

Debra Gonsher Vinik, PhD, is a film producer, writer and director who has produced and written 21 documentaries, including six Emmy winners. Dr. Gonsher Vinik’s newest feature film, Attention Must Be Paid: Women Lost in the Opioid Crisis, explores the stories of women who are battling opioid use disorder (OUD) and are casualties of this neglect.


  • Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research, WSU Spokane
  • Debra Gonsher Vinik, PhD, Producer & Director, Diva Communications, Inc.
  • Rosa Maldonado, Featured in documentary
  • Hendree Jones Lensch, PhD, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill


Heather Byrd
Events, Development & Community Relations



Attention Must Be Paid: Women Lost in the Opioid Crisis movie poster.

About Robert F.E. Stier, Spokane physician, businessman

In 1921, Dr. Robert F. E. Stier and Guy Hollister started the first clinical laboratory in Spokane outside of the hospitals and prepared their first batch of allergy medicine. The company grew into the international HollisterStier pharmaceutical manufacturing company that still has a division in Spokane.

Stier also was the pathologist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane and had developed an extensive service area for lab and tissue pathology services in eastern Washington, Idaho, eastern Oregon, western Montana and British Columbia. Stier and Hollister added sales of allergy products to the regional service area, and the company eventually expanded its territory nationally and internationally until Hollister Stier Laboratories became the largest allergen manufacturer in the world.

Stier also started one of the earliest postgraduate education programs in the region. Teaching bacteriology and pathology to nursing students and interns at St. Luke’s Hospital expanded to many years of teaching bacteriology at Gonzaga University. He also lectured at Whitworth University, Eastern Washington University, and Washington State University in Spokane.

In 1955, Hollister Stier became a subsidiary of Cutter Laboratories, and thus began a series of mergers and acquisitions. In 2017, the Hollister Stier pharmaceutical manufacturing division in Spokane is owned by Jubiliant Life Sciences headquartered in India.

Robert F. E. Stier’s influence in the community extended to medical practice, teaching, and business that helped to make Spokane the medical and educational center that we find today. His two sons – Robert A. and Alton R. Stier – both became physicians and businessmen in Spokane and joined together to honor their father with the Robert F.E. Stier Lecture in Medicine at WSU Spokane. Lectures began in 1996 with the purpose of featuring key leaders in medicine whose works have increased professional and public understanding of new technologies and challenging issues.