Candidate for Region V: Regional Director
1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?
I have been a member of ASAM since 2008. In that time I have regularly attended State of the Art Conferences and annual meetings, most recently serving as an annual meeting presenter and workshop organizer. My primary service to ASAM has been on the local level as an active member of our state chapter. For the past two years I served as Secretary of the Maryland Society of Addiction Medicine (MDSAM) and am currently the President-Elect.
For the last 8 years, I have contributed to the field of addiction medicine in the areas of clinical care, education and research. From 2008 – 2012 I was the Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Broadway Center for Addiction, a comprehensive outpatient substance use disorder treatment program providing intensive outpatient, outpatient and medication-assisted treatment services. In this role, I oversaw the Health Suite, which was staffed by a multidisciplinary team including another internist, a psychiatrist, and nurse practitioner. In addition to completing comprehensive history and physicals for program admissions, the Health Suite clinicians provided transitional somatic and psychiatric care until patients were able to be transitioned to community providers for ongoing care. Since 2011, I have been the Director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Substance Use Disorders Consultation Service (SUDS), a multidisciplinary addiction consultation service that conducts brief behavioral interventions with patients, provides guidance on the clinical management of patients with substance intoxication, withdrawal and associated problems, and facilitates linkage to alcohol and drug treatment programs including provision of brief buprenorphine/naloxone bridges for the gap between hospital discharge and treatment intake. The SUDS gets more than 1,600 consultation requests annually and has become an essential component of discharge planning for patients with substance use disorders. As the Director of the SUDS, I have taken a leadership role in the development of hospital order sets and policies in an effort to standardize the management of the care of patients with substance withdrawal.
In addition to my clinical leadership activities, I direct the Substance Use Disorders rotation for the Urban Health Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics residency tracks. In this role, I have designed a diverse, highly-rated 4-week experience that includes: didactic lectures; online modules including completion of training necessary for buprenorphine certification; and placements in a variety of clinical settings that provide behavioral treatments and pharmacotherapy for substance addiction. I am also a regular lecturer during the four-day Substance Abuse Intersession Course for second-year Johns Hopkins medical students and the PCSS-MAT Office-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Course in Baltimore. Additionally, I have presented regionally and nationally on addiction-related topics, including integration of addiction medicine and the role of opioids in chronic pain.
My research interests include gender and race/ethnicity differences in the risk for substance use disorders, integration of technology-based screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment in diverse settings and the association between psychological trauma, posttraumatic stress, and substance use, particularly in women. I currently have a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism K23 award to examine the relationship between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and high-risk drinking in women recruited from urban, community-based sites, including hair salons.
As a result of the aforementioned experiences, I have had the opportunity to serve as an expert on National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) panels on the role of opioids in chronic pain and integration of recovery-oriented care in hospital and medical settings, respectively.
2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?
I am always seeking opportunities to grow and expand my knowledge and skill set and thus, it is with great excitement and anticipation that I submit my name as a candidate for election as Regional Director for Region V. I believe my diverse clinical, educational and research experiences in the area of addiction medicine make me an ideal candidate for this position. If elected, my goals are to actively represent the interests of the Region V chapters, serving as a liaison between ASAM and the state chapters in the region, as well as to work with the individual chapter leadership to expand their membership and impact in their respective states.
ASAM has provided me with opportunities to increase my knowledge and further develop clinical skills in addiction medicine as well as afforded me unique opportunities to interact, network with and learn from established leaders in the field. Each of these experiences has served to make me a better clinician, educator and advocate for persons living with addiction and the providers who care for them. I view ASAM as my professional home and see this position as my opportunity to actively serve the organization and its members. My election to this position offers the prospect of increasing the diversity of ASAM leadership and I would bring to the position established leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to learn. I hope that you will seriously consider my candidacy and give me the chance to further learn from and contribute to this dynamic organization.
Anika Alvanzo, MD, MS is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and holds a master’s degree in biostatistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine (since 2010). She has been a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine since 2008 and is a Fellow of ASAM. Dr. Alvanzo currently serves as President-Elect for the Maryland Society of Addiction Medicine (MDSAM).
Dr. Alvanzo is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. From 2008 – 2012 she was the Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Broadway Center for Addiction, a comprehensive outpatient substance use disorder treatment program providing intensive outpatient, outpatient and medication-assisted treatment services. Since 2011, she has been the Director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Substance Use Disorders Consultation Service. In this role she directs a multidisciplinary consultation service that conducts brief behavioral interventions and counseling with patients, provides guidance on the clinical management of patients with substance use disorders and associated consequences, facilitates linkage to hospital and community-based alcohol and drug treatment programs, provides brief buprenorphine/naloxone bridges for the gap between hospital discharge and treatment intake, and educates patients, families, healthcare professionals and the community to prevent, identify, and treat persons living with addiction. Dr. Alvanzo is also the Director of the Substance Use Disorders Rotation for the Johns Hopkins Medicine-Pediatrics Urban Health and Urban Health Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency track programs. Her research interests include gender and race/ethnicity differences in the risk for substance use disorders, screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment in diverse settings and the association between psychological trauma, posttraumatic stress, and substance use, particularly in women. Dr. Alvanzo has served as an expert on National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) panels on the role of opioids in chronic pain and integration of recovery-oriented care in hospital and medical settings, respectively.