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ASAM Honors Innovators and Leaders in Addiction Medicine at The ASAM 51st Annual Conference

by | Jan 16, 2020

ASAM Honors Innovators and Leaders in Addiction Medicine at The ASAM 51st Annual Conference

Recipients honored for their service and contributions to the advancement of addiction medicine, public policy, and education.

Rockville, MD (January 16, 2020) – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will honor physicians and important leaders in the field of addiction medicine at The ASAM 51st Annual Conference on April 2-5, 2020, in Denver, Colorado. Award recipients are being acknowledged for their service and contributions to the advancement of addiction medicine, public policy, and education.

“At a time when the nation is working to ensure that people with addiction have access to evidence-based medical treatment they need, we rely on leaders in the medical community who understand the complexities of addiction to guide our path,” said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “These 2020 ASAM award recipients exemplify the excellence and leadership required to develop and implement innovative solutions that are essential to successfully treat addiction and save lives.”

The following individuals will be recognized:


  • The R. Brinkley Smithers and Distinguished Scientist Award and Lecture:

    Hendrée E. Jones, PhD

    This award was established in 1995 as a lasting tribute to R. Brinkley Smithers who influenced “American alcoholism policy, theory, and treatment.” It recognizes an individual who has made highly meritorious contributions in advancing the scientific understanding of addiction, and its prevention, and treatment.


  • The John P. McGovern MD Award and Lecture on Addiction and Society:

    Penny S. Mills, MBA

    This award was established in 1997 to recognize and honor an individual who has made highly meritorious contributions to public policy, treatment, research, or prevention which has increased our understanding of the relationship of addiction and society. It is sponsored by an endowment from the John P. McGovern Foundation.


  • ASAM Leadership Award: R. Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, DLFAPA, DFASAM

    The Leadership Award is presented to those individuals who have served as national president of ASAM.  It is bestowed upon the completion of their term as the past president, by which time the recipient has served nearly a decade on the presidential track of the ASAM Board.

  • ASAM Annual Award: Marvin D. Seppala, MD, PC, FASAM

    This award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the growth and vitality of ASAM, thoughtful leadership in the field, a deep understanding of the art and science of addiction medicine, expanding the frontiers of the field of addiction medicine, and broadening our understanding of the addictive process, through research and innovation.

  • ASAM Educator of the Year Award: Petros Levounis, MD, MA, DFASAM

    This award recognizes an educator who has made outstanding contributions to ASAM's addiction medicine education.

  • ASAM Public Policy Award: Senator Brittany Pettersen

    This award honors an elected official (federal, state, local) each year who has effectively advanced public policies that promote the health of Americans, especially persons with addictions, addiction medicine physicians, the education of physicians and medical trainees regarding substance use and addiction, or recognition of the practice of addiction medicine.

  • ASAM Media Award: Jarrett J. Krosoczka - Author/Illustrator, Hey, Kiddo

This award is presented annually for excellence in print or electronic journalism. It is bestowed for a newspaper, magazine, television, radio or website story, column, or program that improves the public's understanding of addiction, addiction treatment, recovery, or the profession of addiction medicine.

The ASAM Annual Training Directors Award recognizes and honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding training in the evaluation, treatment, research, and teaching of substance use disorders. 

ASAM will present these awards during The ASAM 51st Annual Conference in Denver. Each year, at its annual conference, ASAM recognizes the innovators and leaders who have committed their efforts to treating addiction and saving lives by presenting prestigious awards to physicians and important leaders within the field of addiction medicine.


About ASAM

The American Society of Addiction Medicine, founded in 1954, is a professional society representing over 6,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information, visit www.ASAM.org.


About The ASAM 51st Annual Conference

Every April, ASAM brings together the leading experts in addiction medicine to share their expertise and insights on addiction and addiction treatment. This year, ASAM celebrates its 51st annual conference in Denver, Colorado, from April 2-5, 2020.  The presentations and posters presented at this conference represent the latest scientific research on addiction medicine and hold the keys to providing innovative, evidence-based solutions to today’s addiction epidemic.

About Addiction

Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases. (Learn more: https://www.asam.org/resources/definition-of-addiction)

Media Contact:

Christine Merrifield, 301.547.4140, cmerrifield@ASAM.org