About Us

Anika Alvanzo, MD, MS, FACP, DFASAM

Candidate for Region V Director

Biography and Statement

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

I have been a member of ASAM since 2008. In that time, I have regularly attended ASAM Annual Conferences, serving as a workshop organizer and presenter at multiple conferences including last year’s 51st Annual Conference. My initial service to ASAM started on the local level where I have served as Secretary, President-Elect, President, and now Immediate Past President of the Maryland-DC Society of Addiction Medicine (MDDCSAM). In 2017, I was elected to the ASAM Board of Directors where I proudly represent Region V. In addition to serving on the ASAM Board, I have served on various councils and committees including the Nominations and Awards Council and the Annual Conference Program Planning Committee. Currently, I am a member of the Ethics Committee and Chair of the Annual Conference Program Planning Committee. Additionally, I was a member of the guideline committee for the updated ASAM Alcohol Withdrawal Management Guidelines, which were released earlier this year.

For the last 12 years, I have contributed to the field of addiction medicine in the areas of clinical care, education, and research. Currently, I am the Eastern Region Medical Director for Pyramid Healthcare, Inc., where my role is to optimize and standardize the medical care in the residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs in Eastern Pennsylvania and Central Maryland. Prior to this, I spent twelve years as faculty in the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where I held a variety of clinical leadership roles, including Associate Medical Director and Medical Director of comprehensive, outpatient substance use disorder treatment programs on the Johns Hopkin Bayview and Johns Hopkins Hospital campuses. From 2011 – 2018, I directed the Substance Use Disorders Consultation Service (SUDS), a multidisciplinary addiction consultation service providing clinical consultation, brief intervention and substance use disorder treatment linkage services for patients admitted to the Department of Medicine general and subspecialty services. As the Director of the SUDS, I took leadership roles in the development of hospital order sets and policies for the purpose of standardizing the management of patients with substance withdrawal.

In addition to my clinical leadership activities, for seven years I directed the Addiction Medicine rotation for the Urban Health Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics residency tracks. In this role, I designed a diverse, highly rated 4-week experience that included didactic lectures, online modules including completion of training necessary for buprenorphine waiver certification, and placements in a variety of clinical settings that provide behavioral treatments and pharmacotherapy for substance addiction. I am also a regular lecturer during the four-day Substance Use Disorder Intersession Course for second-year Johns Hopkins medical students. Additionally, I have presented regionally and nationally on a variety of addiction-related topics. Finally, I have served as faculty for ASAM educational activities, presenting lectures in the ASAM Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders, Fundamentals and ASAM Criteria courses.

My research interests include gender and race/ethnicity differences in the risk for substance use disorders and the association between psychological trauma, posttraumatic stress, and substance use, particularly in women and I have authored over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts in these areas. As a result of the aforementioned experiences, I have had the opportunity to serve as an expert on National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and National Quality Forum (NQF) panels regarding opioids and integration of recovery-oriented care in various medical settings.

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

I am always seeking opportunities to grow and expand my knowledge and skill set and serving as the Regional Director for Region V for the last two years has been an amazing educational experience for me. It has enabled me to learn more about ASAM as an organization as well as about the field of Addiction Medicine in general. The opportunities to interact, work with and learn from established leaders in the field has served to make me a better addiction clinician, educator and advocate.

While, I have gained much from my experience as a member of the ASAM Board, I have also contributed to ASAM and the field. My varied addiction-related teaching and research experiences, my clinical experience in treating a largely underserved population of persons with substance use disorder, as well as my prior experience working at the ASAM chapter level make me an ideal candidate for this position.

I bring to the position established leadership skills, a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn and a desire to foster collaboration. I have applied these characteristics to the position as Region V Director over the last 2 years, via regular regional email communication and establishment of a regional dinner at this year’s Chapter Leadership Summit. If elected, my goals are to continue to represent the interests of the region, serving as a liaison between ASAM and the Region V chapters, as well as to work with the individual chapter leadership to foster regional information sharing, networking and collaboration opportunities.

ASAM is my professional home and I am running for the position as Region V Director so that I may continue to serve the organization and its members. My re-election to the position will continue efforts to expand the racial and gender diversity of ASAM leadership and I hope that you will seriously consider my candidacy, giving me the opportunity to further learn from and contribute to this dynamic organization.

Biographical Sketch

Anika Alvanzo, MD, MS, DFASAM, FACP is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and holds a master’s degree in biostatistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She has been a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) since 2008 and is a Distinguished Fellow of ASAM.

Dr. Alvanzo currently serves as Immediate Past President of the Maryland-DC Society of Addiction Medicine (MDDCSAM), Chair of the ASAM Annual Conference Program Planning Committee and Region V Director for the ASAM Board of Directors. Dr. Alvanzo is the Eastern Region Medical Director for Pyramid Healthcare, Inc., where her role is to optimize and standardize the medical care, with emphasis on substance withdrawal management and pharmacotherapy, in the residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs in Eastern Pennsylvania and Central Maryland.

Prior to this, Dr. Alvanzo spent twelve years as faculty in the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she held a variety of clinical leadership roles, including Associate Medical Director of Addiction Treatment Services and the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy and Medical Director of the Broadway Center for Addiction, comprehensive, outpatient substance use disorder treatment (SUD) programs on the Johns Hopkin Bayview and Johns Hopkins Hospital campuses, respectively. From 2011 – 2018, Dr. Alvanzo directed the Substance Use Disorders Consultation Service, a multidisciplinary addiction consultation service providing clinical consultation, brief intervention and treatment linkage services for inpatients with substance use disorders admitted to the Department of Medicine general and subspecialty services. In addition, for seven years, she directed the Addiction Medicine Rotation for the Johns Hopkins Medicine-Pediatrics Urban Health and Urban Health Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency track programs.

Dr. Alvanzo has served as an expert on National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) panels regarding opioids and integration of recovery-oriented care in various medical settings. Most recently, Dr. Alvanzo served as a member of the National Quality Forum (NQF) Opioid Technical Expert Panel, which contributed to the February 20, 2020 report, “Opioids and Opioid Use Disorder: Quality Measurement Priorities” and was a member of the ASAM Alcohol Withdrawal Management Guidelines Committee.

Her research interests include gender and race/ethnicity differences in the risk for substance use disorders and the association between psychological trauma, posttraumatic stress, and substance use, particularly in women.