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Howard University’s Dr. Baxter to Receive ASAM’s 2022 Training Director Award

by | Nov 01, 2021

On July 1, 2020, Louis Baxter, Sr., MD, DABAM, DFASAM, watched with gratitude as a vision he helped cast became a reality.

That day marked the inaugural graduation of fellows from Howard University Medical School’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Baxter, the program’s co-founder and director, helped establish the program with the goal of providing addiction medicine services to underprivileged patients in the DC metropolitan area.

“That was very gratifying, primarily because it was the first addiction medicine fellowship program of any HBCU (historic Black college or university) in the country,” Dr. Baxter said. “It was also meaningful because Howard University Hospital is the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that really serves underprivileged patients. Many of the other hospitals don't handle their insurance, so Howard serves a big healthcare need. That’s a tremendous thing as we try to increase access to addiction treatment.”

Dr. Baxter said it was imperative for Howard University to develop the program, primarily in service to minority communities.

“African Americans, Hispanics, and others traditionally do not have adequate access to great medical care, if they have access to any medical care at all,” he said. “And as the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that receives a substantial number of underprivileged patients who have substance use disorders, it was crucial to that community.”

As a result of his efforts to help launch the program, ASAM has selected Dr. Baxter as the next recipient of its Annual Training Directors Award. The award, presented during the Society’s Annual Conference, recognizes and honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding training in the evaluation, treatment, research, and teaching of substance use disorders.

“I’m excited about it,” said Dr. Baxter, a past president of ASAM. “It's a great honor. We have about 90 fellowships and to be selected for this award is really meaningful.”

In addition to being an Assistant Professor at Howard University in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dr. Baxter is also President and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc., a nonprofit organization that manages impaired healthcare professionals. He also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School of New Jersey.

Dr. Baxter completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology (Premed) and American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Medical Doctorate at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Baxter completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at UMDNJ Cooper Hospital University Medical Center. He sub-specialized in addiction medicine through training at Portsmouth Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Baxter said the most rewarding part of working in addiction medicine is seeing patients recover in a relatively short amount of time, as compared to other chronic illnesses.

“Most importantly,” he added, “it’s seeing people get well and become great parents, spouses, and contributing members to society.”

            Throughout his years of treating addiction, Dr. Baxter said he’s collected a number of inspiring stories. One that stands out is of a 20-year-old woman who was addicted to heroin. She had dropped out of high school and had no income. Dr. Baxter prescribed buprenorphine for her and helped her get into counseling.

“Not only did she get her GED, she earned a bachelor's and master's in psychology, and she has finished her thesis for her psychology doctorate degree,” he said. “That’s probably one of the most dramatic changes that I've witnessed in my years of practice.”

Dr. Baxter said he’s grateful he was able to help the woman unlock her potential.

“It’s very humbling and I'm glad that I took the time to care for her,” he said. “She didn't have much money and she could not afford the services, but I don't let money stand in the way of my caring for these individuals.”

Dr. Baxter has also served as a Director of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He is a Director-At-Large of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has served on a number of National Advisory Councils and Committees including SAMSHA, CSAT, NIDA, and the FDA. He is a current member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

He’s also a consultant to the NFL, the NBA, and the US Olympic Anti-doping Committee. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).

Dr. Baxter, who has published numerous articles and textbook chapters, has been a White House Consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy under presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

            Although he believes the future of addiction medicine is bright, Dr. Baxter said there are many challenges for the field as well.

“One issue is making sure that information about substance use disorders is taught as part of the baseline curriculum at all healthcare training institutions at the medical school level. I’m talking about pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, etc. –,” he said.

Another challenge, he said, is providing equal access to addiction treatment for minorities and underprivileged populations.

“Although substance use disorders, involving alcohol and drugs, only affect about 10 or 12 percent of the United States population, it is a devastating disease, and it costs a lot of money in terms of lost productivity.”

Only 25 percent of individuals with a substance use disorder receive treatment for it, Dr. Baxter said. For African Americans, that number is cut in half. For Hispanics, he said, there’s even more disparity. There are also issues with insurance coverage of addiction treatment.

“Insurance companies and the various insurance products sometimes limit the amount of access and the quality of care that individuals with substance use disorder can initiate,” he said. “I'd like to see substance use disorders and addiction treated by insurers just as equally and with the same parity that they do with other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”

Dr. Baxter said he encourages every physician to consider specializing in addiction medicine, which is a relatively young specialty tasked with addressing an under-treated disease.

“Currently, there are only about 3,600 active specialists in the country,” he said. “We need to triple that number, at a minimum.”

Advocacy and Policy

Howard University’s Dr. Baxter to Receive ASAM’s 2022 Training Director Award

by | Nov 01, 2021

On July 1, 2020, Louis Baxter, Sr., MD, DABAM, DFASAM, watched with gratitude as a vision he helped cast became a reality.

That day marked the inaugural graduation of fellows from Howard University Medical School’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Baxter, the program’s co-founder and director, helped establish the program with the goal of providing addiction medicine services to underprivileged patients in the DC metropolitan area.

“That was very gratifying, primarily because it was the first addiction medicine fellowship program of any HBCU (historic Black college or university) in the country,” Dr. Baxter said. “It was also meaningful because Howard University Hospital is the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that really serves underprivileged patients. Many of the other hospitals don't handle their insurance, so Howard serves a big healthcare need. That’s a tremendous thing as we try to increase access to addiction treatment.”

Dr. Baxter said it was imperative for Howard University to develop the program, primarily in service to minority communities.

“African Americans, Hispanics, and others traditionally do not have adequate access to great medical care, if they have access to any medical care at all,” he said. “And as the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that receives a substantial number of underprivileged patients who have substance use disorders, it was crucial to that community.”

As a result of his efforts to help launch the program, ASAM has selected Dr. Baxter as the next recipient of its Annual Training Directors Award. The award, presented during the Society’s Annual Conference, recognizes and honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding training in the evaluation, treatment, research, and teaching of substance use disorders.

“I’m excited about it,” said Dr. Baxter, a past president of ASAM. “It's a great honor. We have about 90 fellowships and to be selected for this award is really meaningful.”

In addition to being an Assistant Professor at Howard University in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dr. Baxter is also President and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc., a nonprofit organization that manages impaired healthcare professionals. He also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School of New Jersey.

Dr. Baxter completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology (Premed) and American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Medical Doctorate at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Baxter completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at UMDNJ Cooper Hospital University Medical Center. He sub-specialized in addiction medicine through training at Portsmouth Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Baxter said the most rewarding part of working in addiction medicine is seeing patients recover in a relatively short amount of time, as compared to other chronic illnesses.

“Most importantly,” he added, “it’s seeing people get well and become great parents, spouses, and contributing members to society.”

            Throughout his years of treating addiction, Dr. Baxter said he’s collected a number of inspiring stories. One that stands out is of a 20-year-old woman who was addicted to heroin. She had dropped out of high school and had no income. Dr. Baxter prescribed buprenorphine for her and helped her get into counseling.

“Not only did she get her GED, she earned a bachelor's and master's in psychology, and she has finished her thesis for her psychology doctorate degree,” he said. “That’s probably one of the most dramatic changes that I've witnessed in my years of practice.”

Dr. Baxter said he’s grateful he was able to help the woman unlock her potential.

“It’s very humbling and I'm glad that I took the time to care for her,” he said. “She didn't have much money and she could not afford the services, but I don't let money stand in the way of my caring for these individuals.”

Dr. Baxter has also served as a Director of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He is a Director-At-Large of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has served on a number of National Advisory Councils and Committees including SAMSHA, CSAT, NIDA, and the FDA. He is a current member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

He’s also a consultant to the NFL, the NBA, and the US Olympic Anti-doping Committee. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).

Dr. Baxter, who has published numerous articles and textbook chapters, has been a White House Consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy under presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

            Although he believes the future of addiction medicine is bright, Dr. Baxter said there are many challenges for the field as well.

“One issue is making sure that information about substance use disorders is taught as part of the baseline curriculum at all healthcare training institutions at the medical school level. I’m talking about pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, etc. –,” he said.

Another challenge, he said, is providing equal access to addiction treatment for minorities and underprivileged populations.

“Although substance use disorders, involving alcohol and drugs, only affect about 10 or 12 percent of the United States population, it is a devastating disease, and it costs a lot of money in terms of lost productivity.”

Only 25 percent of individuals with a substance use disorder receive treatment for it, Dr. Baxter said. For African Americans, that number is cut in half. For Hispanics, he said, there’s even more disparity. There are also issues with insurance coverage of addiction treatment.

“Insurance companies and the various insurance products sometimes limit the amount of access and the quality of care that individuals with substance use disorder can initiate,” he said. “I'd like to see substance use disorders and addiction treated by insurers just as equally and with the same parity that they do with other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”

Dr. Baxter said he encourages every physician to consider specializing in addiction medicine, which is a relatively young specialty tasked with addressing an under-treated disease.

“Currently, there are only about 3,600 active specialists in the country,” he said. “We need to triple that number, at a minimum.”

Quality & Science

Howard University’s Dr. Baxter to Receive ASAM’s 2022 Training Director Award

by | Nov 01, 2021

On July 1, 2020, Louis Baxter, Sr., MD, DABAM, DFASAM, watched with gratitude as a vision he helped cast became a reality.

That day marked the inaugural graduation of fellows from Howard University Medical School’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Baxter, the program’s co-founder and director, helped establish the program with the goal of providing addiction medicine services to underprivileged patients in the DC metropolitan area.

“That was very gratifying, primarily because it was the first addiction medicine fellowship program of any HBCU (historic Black college or university) in the country,” Dr. Baxter said. “It was also meaningful because Howard University Hospital is the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that really serves underprivileged patients. Many of the other hospitals don't handle their insurance, so Howard serves a big healthcare need. That’s a tremendous thing as we try to increase access to addiction treatment.”

Dr. Baxter said it was imperative for Howard University to develop the program, primarily in service to minority communities.

“African Americans, Hispanics, and others traditionally do not have adequate access to great medical care, if they have access to any medical care at all,” he said. “And as the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that receives a substantial number of underprivileged patients who have substance use disorders, it was crucial to that community.”

As a result of his efforts to help launch the program, ASAM has selected Dr. Baxter as the next recipient of its Annual Training Directors Award. The award, presented during the Society’s Annual Conference, recognizes and honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding training in the evaluation, treatment, research, and teaching of substance use disorders.

“I’m excited about it,” said Dr. Baxter, a past president of ASAM. “It's a great honor. We have about 90 fellowships and to be selected for this award is really meaningful.”

In addition to being an Assistant Professor at Howard University in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dr. Baxter is also President and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc., a nonprofit organization that manages impaired healthcare professionals. He also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School of New Jersey.

Dr. Baxter completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology (Premed) and American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Medical Doctorate at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Baxter completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at UMDNJ Cooper Hospital University Medical Center. He sub-specialized in addiction medicine through training at Portsmouth Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Baxter said the most rewarding part of working in addiction medicine is seeing patients recover in a relatively short amount of time, as compared to other chronic illnesses.

“Most importantly,” he added, “it’s seeing people get well and become great parents, spouses, and contributing members to society.”

            Throughout his years of treating addiction, Dr. Baxter said he’s collected a number of inspiring stories. One that stands out is of a 20-year-old woman who was addicted to heroin. She had dropped out of high school and had no income. Dr. Baxter prescribed buprenorphine for her and helped her get into counseling.

“Not only did she get her GED, she earned a bachelor's and master's in psychology, and she has finished her thesis for her psychology doctorate degree,” he said. “That’s probably one of the most dramatic changes that I've witnessed in my years of practice.”

Dr. Baxter said he’s grateful he was able to help the woman unlock her potential.

“It’s very humbling and I'm glad that I took the time to care for her,” he said. “She didn't have much money and she could not afford the services, but I don't let money stand in the way of my caring for these individuals.”

Dr. Baxter has also served as a Director of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He is a Director-At-Large of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has served on a number of National Advisory Councils and Committees including SAMSHA, CSAT, NIDA, and the FDA. He is a current member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

He’s also a consultant to the NFL, the NBA, and the US Olympic Anti-doping Committee. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).

Dr. Baxter, who has published numerous articles and textbook chapters, has been a White House Consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy under presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

            Although he believes the future of addiction medicine is bright, Dr. Baxter said there are many challenges for the field as well.

“One issue is making sure that information about substance use disorders is taught as part of the baseline curriculum at all healthcare training institutions at the medical school level. I’m talking about pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, etc. –,” he said.

Another challenge, he said, is providing equal access to addiction treatment for minorities and underprivileged populations.

“Although substance use disorders, involving alcohol and drugs, only affect about 10 or 12 percent of the United States population, it is a devastating disease, and it costs a lot of money in terms of lost productivity.”

Only 25 percent of individuals with a substance use disorder receive treatment for it, Dr. Baxter said. For African Americans, that number is cut in half. For Hispanics, he said, there’s even more disparity. There are also issues with insurance coverage of addiction treatment.

“Insurance companies and the various insurance products sometimes limit the amount of access and the quality of care that individuals with substance use disorder can initiate,” he said. “I'd like to see substance use disorders and addiction treated by insurers just as equally and with the same parity that they do with other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”

Dr. Baxter said he encourages every physician to consider specializing in addiction medicine, which is a relatively young specialty tasked with addressing an under-treated disease.

“Currently, there are only about 3,600 active specialists in the country,” he said. “We need to triple that number, at a minimum.”

Education

Howard University’s Dr. Baxter to Receive ASAM’s 2022 Training Director Award

by | Nov 01, 2021

On July 1, 2020, Louis Baxter, Sr., MD, DABAM, DFASAM, watched with gratitude as a vision he helped cast became a reality.

That day marked the inaugural graduation of fellows from Howard University Medical School’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Baxter, the program’s co-founder and director, helped establish the program with the goal of providing addiction medicine services to underprivileged patients in the DC metropolitan area.

“That was very gratifying, primarily because it was the first addiction medicine fellowship program of any HBCU (historic Black college or university) in the country,” Dr. Baxter said. “It was also meaningful because Howard University Hospital is the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that really serves underprivileged patients. Many of the other hospitals don't handle their insurance, so Howard serves a big healthcare need. That’s a tremendous thing as we try to increase access to addiction treatment.”

Dr. Baxter said it was imperative for Howard University to develop the program, primarily in service to minority communities.

“African Americans, Hispanics, and others traditionally do not have adequate access to great medical care, if they have access to any medical care at all,” he said. “And as the only hospital in the DC metropolitan area that receives a substantial number of underprivileged patients who have substance use disorders, it was crucial to that community.”

As a result of his efforts to help launch the program, ASAM has selected Dr. Baxter as the next recipient of its Annual Training Directors Award. The award, presented during the Society’s Annual Conference, recognizes and honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding training in the evaluation, treatment, research, and teaching of substance use disorders.

“I’m excited about it,” said Dr. Baxter, a past president of ASAM. “It's a great honor. We have about 90 fellowships and to be selected for this award is really meaningful.”

In addition to being an Assistant Professor at Howard University in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dr. Baxter is also President and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc., a nonprofit organization that manages impaired healthcare professionals. He also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School of New Jersey.

Dr. Baxter completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology (Premed) and American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Medical Doctorate at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Baxter completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at UMDNJ Cooper Hospital University Medical Center. He sub-specialized in addiction medicine through training at Portsmouth Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Baxter said the most rewarding part of working in addiction medicine is seeing patients recover in a relatively short amount of time, as compared to other chronic illnesses.

“Most importantly,” he added, “it’s seeing people get well and become great parents, spouses, and contributing members to society.”

            Throughout his years of treating addiction, Dr. Baxter said he’s collected a number of inspiring stories. One that stands out is of a 20-year-old woman who was addicted to heroin. She had dropped out of high school and had no income. Dr. Baxter prescribed buprenorphine for her and helped her get into counseling.

“Not only did she get her GED, she earned a bachelor's and master's in psychology, and she has finished her thesis for her psychology doctorate degree,” he said. “That’s probably one of the most dramatic changes that I've witnessed in my years of practice.”

Dr. Baxter said he’s grateful he was able to help the woman unlock her potential.

“It’s very humbling and I'm glad that I took the time to care for her,” he said. “She didn't have much money and she could not afford the services, but I don't let money stand in the way of my caring for these individuals.”

Dr. Baxter has also served as a Director of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He is a Director-At-Large of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has served on a number of National Advisory Councils and Committees including SAMSHA, CSAT, NIDA, and the FDA. He is a current member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

He’s also a consultant to the NFL, the NBA, and the US Olympic Anti-doping Committee. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).

Dr. Baxter, who has published numerous articles and textbook chapters, has been a White House Consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy under presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

            Although he believes the future of addiction medicine is bright, Dr. Baxter said there are many challenges for the field as well.

“One issue is making sure that information about substance use disorders is taught as part of the baseline curriculum at all healthcare training institutions at the medical school level. I’m talking about pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, etc. –,” he said.

Another challenge, he said, is providing equal access to addiction treatment for minorities and underprivileged populations.

“Although substance use disorders, involving alcohol and drugs, only affect about 10 or 12 percent of the United States population, it is a devastating disease, and it costs a lot of money in terms of lost productivity.”

Only 25 percent of individuals with a substance use disorder receive treatment for it, Dr. Baxter said. For African Americans, that number is cut in half. For Hispanics, he said, there’s even more disparity. There are also issues with insurance coverage of addiction treatment.

“Insurance companies and the various insurance products sometimes limit the amount of access and the quality of care that individuals with substance use disorder can initiate,” he said. “I'd like to see substance use disorders and addiction treated by insurers just as equally and with the same parity that they do with other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”

Dr. Baxter said he encourages every physician to consider specializing in addiction medicine, which is a relatively young specialty tasked with addressing an under-treated disease.

“Currently, there are only about 3,600 active specialists in the country,” he said. “We need to triple that number, at a minimum.”

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