Candidate for Region VI: Regional Director
1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?
I have had the privilege to serve ASAM in a variety of roles. When I moved to Minnesota, I reached out to my local colleagues and established the Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine and I served as its first president. This allowed me to sit on the Chapters Council where I became co-Chair and a non-voting representative of the state chapters to the ASAM board of directors. I am currently Region VI director, which makes me a voting member of the ASAM board of directors. I have also served as program chair to the ASAM Annual Medical-Scientific Conference. During my time as chair, conference attendance grew by nearly 50% and attendee feedback indicated the programs were filled with high-value sessions.
While these leadership positions have been quite important, perhaps my greatest contribution to ASAM and addiction medicine has been through my participation in ASAM’s Medical Specialty Action Group (MSAG). Through MSAG ASAM made the bold decision to pursue recognition of addiction medicine as a medical specialty. The work of this group established the American Board of Addiction Medicine and drafted the roadmap for specialty recognition. I participated in the committee that drafted addiction core competencies for the newly developed addiction medicine fellowship programs and I am currently chair of the ABAM Maintenance of Certification Part 2 committee, which guides ABAM diplomates through a curated program of self-learning. The impact these programs have in shaping addiction practitioners by creating a pathway to professional recognition, maintaining professional standards, and training the future addiction specialists is my greatest contribution to addiction medicine. Their impact touches the lives of all the patients and families that addiction specialists serve.
2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?
I bring a balanced view to ASAM. This balance is between the realities of patient care and the promise of scientific research. As a clinician, I direct an addiction medicine division within a department of medicine in Minnesota’s largest safety-net hospital. This means caring for the most vulnerable populations. As a safety-net hospital we are faced with addressing health disparities in innovative manners such as through an accountable care organization specific to safety-net populations. As a researcher, I conduct NIH-funded clinical research through the NIDA Clinical Trials Network and pharmacogenetics research. This affords me the opportunity to work side-by side with some of the best research minds in addiction. I thus serve as an effective bridge between scientific validity and the realities of patient centered care. I also have extensive educational experience. In addition to teaching medical students, residents, fellows, and graduate students in an academic health center, I have experience leading CME events (as chair of the ASAM Medical-Scientific conference committee and as ABAM MOC part 2 chair) and am thus attuned to the ongoing educational needs of practicing physicians. I also work with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on addiction workforce development in Vietnam and so have education and governmental operations experience in an international setting. This balanced experience of patient care, research, and teaching both domestically and abroad allows me to bring a wide set of well-informed experiences to ASAM.
Dr. Gavin Bart is Director of the Division of Addiction Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He received his MD from the University of Minnesota and trained in internal medicine at the Hennepin County Medical Center. His PhD is in experimental and clinical pharmacology, also from the University of Minnesota. He trained in addiction medicine at The Rockefeller University where he continued as Director of Clinical Research until moving to Minnesota. His areas of expertise include clinical pharmacology and the pharmacological management of opioid dependence. His current research areas include the population pharmacokinetics of methadone, genetic influences of methadone pharmacology and treatment outcome, and he is co-PI of the newly funded NorthStar Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network and provides ongoing international technical assistance to the PEPFAR/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s capacity building efforts in Vietnam.