About Us

Anthony P. Albanese, MD, DFASAM

Candidate for Vice-President

Biography and Statement

albanese-asam-election-2020

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

During the 1990’s I presented at FSAM conferences, served as the FSAM representative to the Florida Medical Association, and as an evaluator for the Physician’s Recovery Network (along with other professional recovery programs). I was also a member of the ASAM pain committee. A few years after moving to California (in 2001) I got involved with CSAM. In 2013 I was elected to a Director-at- Large position on the CSAM Executive Council, and currently serve as President. In 2014 & 2018 I was elected to the Director-at-Large position on the ASAM Executive Board. I serve on the Nomination and Awards Council, the Conference Planning Committee, the Membership Committee, and as the Chair of the Chapter Council.

My primary contribution to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine has been teaching. As a key faculty member (at Mount Sinai) for the University of Miami addiction psychiatry program, I had the opportunity to personally mentor fellows. Since moving to California, I have had the opportunity to teach UC Davis residents in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Psychiatry about addiction. It’s a great joy to see these residents and fellows practicing addiction medicine and involved with ASAM. I have been a regular speaker at CSAM conferences since 2006, serving on the conference planning committee 2011-2018, chairman for the Review Course in 2012, and vice chairman for the “State of the Art” course in 2018. As an Affiliations Officer for the VA, I have had an active role in the development and funding of Addiction Medicine fellowship positions.

As a hepatologist and addictionist, I have also had the opportunity over the years to teach and raise awareness about the need for Hepatitis C treatment in patients with addictive illness. This has involved teaching addiction professionals about Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis C treating professionals about addiction. This groundwork is particularly important now that new, well tolerated, high efficacy treatments for Hepatitis C are available, especially with the new resurgence of Hepatitis C in young parenteral drug users and much of the infected population in the United States still undiagnosed.

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

ASAM is, and should always be the purveyor of solid, evidence-based information in the field of addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry. Entering this challenging era of changes in healthcare and policy, ASAM must remain the clear, understandable voice advocating for addiction prevention, treatment, remission, and recovery.

Our Vision aims at a future where these services are available to all people. Our Values reflect inclusive leadership, openness, innovation, integrity, and compassion. As a board member, I participated in formulating and reviewing ASAM’s missional statements and strategic initiatives and will work as a member of the executive team to implement them. I want to serve as Vice President on the Board of Directors because I believe in these principles, and see the importance of educating students, patients, colleagues, community members, criminal justice officers, and legislators for our continued success.

I will continue to work with Addiction Medicine Fellowship Directors to support our mutual goals of obtaining funding for and spreading availability of high quality medical addiction education in fellowship programs through the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). A good number of my colleagues in ASAM are ineligible or not yet eligible for ABPM certification and we must advocate for a pathway that allows them to gain or maintain certification. ASAM should work with the ABPM to extend the timeline for the practice pathway certification track. This is best for our communities, patients, and members.

It is important that we establish, publish, and advocate for evidence-based standards in addiction treatment. It is equally as important that we advocate for improving access to treatment, and fair pay for the services provided by addiction specialists. The job of the Executive Council is to engage our innovative, energetic members and associate members in this work. These aspirations can best be accomplished by ASAM if we function as a unified society, and it’s my goal to work towards these goals on both state and national levels.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Albanese is an Affiliations Officer with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations. He is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He attended college and medical school at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa Oklahoma, graduating in 1986. He did his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at The St. Luke’s- Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. During those years, he became interested in addiction medicine, working in the hospital’s methadone clinic and detoxification programs. Under the mentorship of physicians supervising these programs, he became a member of ASAM while still in training and became a certified addictionist in 1991. He completed his hepatology fellowship at the University of Miami in 1992, and after 3 years of private practice, became the co-director of the addiction treatment program at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, FL. As an Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Miami, he worked with the GI/Liver transplant programs, and taught in the Addiction Psychiatry fellowship program.

In 2001, he moved to Sacramento California and continued his work at the VA in gastroenterology, hepatology, and addiction medicine. Since then he has had roles as the VA Site Program Director for the UC Davis Internal Medicine and Family Medicine programs, then the Associate Chief of Staff for Education, then the Deputy Chief of Staff in the VA Northern California Healthcare System. In 2016, he accepted a national position as an Affiliations Officer with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations. He continues clinical work at the Northern California VA. His research interests have been in the medical aspects of opioids and alcohol, and intestinal changes associated with HIV infection.