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Biography and Statement - Margaret A.E. Jarvis, MD, DFASAM

Candidate for Vice-President and Regional Director: Region IV

1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

While I’ve done many projects for ASAM and addiction medicine, there are two that stand out in my mind as being important. One is the ABAM examination. I began writing questions for it in 2000, and have watched it evolve into a valued asset that has defined addiction medicine as a specialty. We have come so far in a relatively short period of time, and that work and the professionalism that has surrounded that project signifies the respect for and importance of what we do.

The other project that I am especially proud to have worked on is the National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opiate Use. This was a major project that the Quality Improvement Council undertook, and I believe that it will have far reaching effects. There is such a need for addiction medicine services, but we all have seen the wreckage of work poorly done. Medical services that do more harm than good damages our field and we need to hold ourselves and anyone else who does what we do, accountable. This and other Quality Improvement projects go a long way to bring us into accord with the rest of the House of Medicine, and I am grateful to have been able to participate.

2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

I am particularly grateful to have been able to work on the ASAM board for several years. This is an “interesting time” to be working in addiction medicine, with many challenges and opportunities. The decisions made now have far reaching consequences and import. I have been glad to give my time and energy to these decisions and projects; I don’t think that we will see opportunities like this again in my career. I believe that this is a time when we will set the path for several generations of addiction medicine doctors who follow us, and I see the Board as having the responsibility to set that path correctly. I am committed to chairing the Quality Improvement Council and to serving on the Development Council, and will represent those interests to the Board. Both of these councils have extremely important work to do and influence between the councils and the board will be deep in the next several years.

Biographical Sketch

Margaret Jarvis finished her medical school, psychiatry residency and Addiction Medicine Fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. She is board certified and recertified in psychiatry with the CAQ in Addiction Psychiatry. She was ASAM certified (now ABAM certified). She has been a member of ASAM since the early 90’s and became a Fellow of the Society in 2003. She has served on the Board of Directors for one term and currently is the co-chair of the Ruth Fox Planning; and a member of the Finance Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. She has also worked on Examination Committee for ASAM and now ABAM since 2000.

Dr. Jarvis is the Medical Director at Marworth, in Waverly, PA, which is the residential addiction treatment center for the Geisinger Health System. She has been in this position since 1999. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA.

Dr. Jarvis is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, a professional organization of therapists who treat sexual addiction, and served on that board of directors from 2001-2006, as president from 2004-2006. She received the Merit award from SASH in 2011. Dr. Jarvis currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Marley’s Mission, a non-profit that provides equine-assisted psychotherapy to abused children in the Scranton, PA area.